WINSLOW — As good as the Winslow High School field hockey team’s offense has been all season, the Black Raiders defense has been just as sharp. In a Class B North semifinal game Friday against Lawrence, that defense delivered again.

Goalie Leah Pelotte made nine saves, and the Black Raiders clamped down on the aggressive Bulldogs to take a 3-0 victory.

“Their communication has been great all season. What we saw today, I think, their confidence has grown. We also saw their speed,” Winslow coach Mary Beth Bourgoin said. “Willa (Doley) has great speed back there. Abby Washburn is just incredibly smart. She’s one of those players who thinks two passes ahead. Where does she want to get it to and how is she going to get it there?”

Winslow junior Bodhi Littlefield carries the ball down field as Lawrence’s Lexi Lewis defends during a Class B North semifinal game Friday afternoon in Winslow. Morning Sentinel photo by Michael G. Seamans

Winslow, the top seed in the region, improved to 14-2-0 and will face the winner of Saturday’s game between No. 6 Gardiner and No. 2 Belfast in the regional championship Wednesday at Hampden Academy. Game time for the regional final will be set by the Maine Principals’ Association once the participants in all three finals are set.

Winslow defeated Lawrence, 5-0, just over two weeks ago. This time, the Bulldogs did a better job keeping the ball in Winslow’s defensive zone, earning six penalty corners, including three in the final 11 minutes of the game. Even with more consistent pressure, Lawrence couldn’t solve the Winslow defense.

“We were really positive. We kept our sticks down low. We talked to each other. We just worked really hard,” Washburn said.

The Black Raiders got on the board with 14:10 left in the first half, when Sage Clukey tipped in a Leah Knight shot on a penalty corner for a 1-0 lead. Winslow added a second penalty corner goal with 19: 12 left in the game, this one by Bodhi Littlefield.

“When you make a stop on a corner, you can’t give them another chance. That’s the difference,” Lawrence coach Shawna Robinson said.

Added Bourgoin: “That’s a daily thing we do in practice. We’ve been working to execute (penalty corners). Get the shots off. That’s a big focus of our practices.”

Littlefield added her second goal, this one on a blast from the top of the circle, with 5:37 left in the game to close the scoring. Lawrence goalie Emma Poulin played a strong game, making 16 saves.

“(Poulin) played awesome today… They left it all there and that’s all you can ask for,” Robinson said.

While disappointed the season is over, Robinson praised her team’s improvement and growth.

“Honestly, it’s rejuvenated me as a coach. This group has just been phenomenal. Every day it’s been great to come to practice. It doesn’t feel like practice. They make me super proud,” Robinson said.

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