OAKLAND — It’s onto the semifinals for the Messalonskee boys and girls lacrosse teams.

The Eagles won both of their respective Class B quarterfinal games Saturday. The girls started off the day with an 11-8 victory over Mt. Ararat, while the boys followed with a 14-0 win over Biddeford.

As it has throughout the season, offense played a huge role for the Messalonskee girls. The Eagles (13-0) were led offensively by Shauna Clark and Francesca Caccamo, who each scored three goals. But Messalonskee had a well-balanced attack, with six different scorers chipping in.

“It’s really nice to not have to rely on one, two or even three people,” Clark said. “Coach always preaches seven girls to the net, seven girls scoring, always hammer the goalie as much you can, trying to get every girl to touch the ball and score a little.”

Despite the strong offensive attack by Messalonskee, Mt. Ararat (8-6) would not back down. Trailing 4-1 in the first half, Mt. Ararat scored three unanswered goals to tie the game at 4-4. Clark, Caccamo, Gabby Smart and Julia Wade would answer back with goals for Messalonskee to take an 8-4 halftime lead.

“It was really hard, we didn’t see (Mt. Ararat) in the regular season, to match up against them,” Clark said. “We knew they had some tall girls, and we’re not the tallest team in the world. We just came out and decided to play our game. We had a 7:30 (a.m.) breakfast, talked about our gameplan and executed it, and I think we did a pretty damn good job.”

Trailing 9-4 early in the second half, Mt. Ararat would again score another three unanswered goals, and would add pressure on the Messalonskee defense late in the game, but could never catch back up. Maddie Kinney led Mt. Ararat with four goals.

“We expected Mt. Ararat to (play) great,” Messalonskee coach Crystal Leavitt said. “We know they’re tall, they’ve got a lot of length. And they’re young, which is great, they came out with a lot of fire. It feels good to win.”

Mt Ararat’s Cecelia Greenleaf jumps as she defends Messalonskee’s Shauna Clark (10) with teammate Naomi Martin (9) during a Class B quarterfinal game Saturday in Oakland. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

Goalkeeper Shea Cassani put together a strong effort for Messalonskee, particularly late in second half.

“Shea’s a good worker,” Leavitt said. “She busts butt, she’s been a goalie for a long time. And she just sees the ball well. She’s in game mode right from the get, even at practice. I try to give her a day off, like ‘Hey it’s hot.’ But she’s like, ‘No coach, put me in the net.'”

Messalonskee, the No. 3 seed in Class B, will play the winner of Saturday’s game between No. 2 Greely and No. 7 Brunswick in the semifinals on Wednesday.

The Messalonskee boys (12-1) jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in the first quarter on Biddeford (8-6) and never looked back. Luke Buck and Bryce Crowell each scored two goals for the Eagles in the first half, as Messalonskee went into halftime with a 7-0 lead.

“Our last game, we came out really hot, we scored a lot of goals right off,” Buck said. “If we do that in the first quarter, we put up (three) in the first quarter, I think. If we can do that, we basically get (Biddeford) down, they’re already out of it mentally. A lot of them were on the bench just out of it in that second quarter. If we get on (teams) quick, we get out there, we’re pretty hard to stop.”

The Eagles (12-1) were able to control the tempo and possession throughout much of the game, and continued the offensive dominance in the second half. Freshman Brady Brunelle would finish as Messalonskee’s leading scorer, with four goals, while Buck and Crowell each finished with three goals.

“I really wanted our guys to come out and compete, transitionally do what we can do in space,” Messalonskee coach Tom Sheridan said. “Biddeford, we knew coming in, talking to some other teams, that they were going to be physical and be athletic. They had some good players out there, but matchup-wise, I thought we did well with our matchups. My hats off to these guys. In (2019), we were 2-10. Now we’re right there on the cusp of the state game, at a level we’ve been too few times.”

The Eagles, the No. 1 seed in Class B, will host No. 4 Marshwood in the semifinals on Wednesday. The Hawks beat Kennebunk 10-5 on Thursday.

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