CUMBERLAND — Second-seeded Greely used a balanced attack and tenacious defense to hand No. 3 Messalonskee its first defeat of the spring, 14-3, in a Class B girls’ lacrosse semifinal Wednesday.

The victory sends the Rangers (12-3) into the state championship game Saturday at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland against top-seeded Yarmouth, at a time to be determined. Messalonskee finishes 13-1.

Seven players scored for Greely, six in the first half. The Rangers pulled ahead for good in the 14th minute on a goal by freshman Eva Williams that snapped a 1-1 tie. Greely scored three more times over the next four minutes and led comfortably at halftime, 8-1.

“Coming into this game, we had a lot of nerves,” Greely senior Elsa Dean-Muncie said of the early minutes, when each team seemed to be feeling its way against an unfamiliar opponent. “I think it was a matter of settling into our rhythm.”

Dean-Muncie led Greely’s attack with five goals. Charlotte Taylor added three and Sam Goldburg had two. Carley Ferentz, Abby Taylor, Allie Read and Williams each scored one. Such offensive balance made it impossible for Messalonskee to concentrate its defense on one or two players.

“It makes us dangerous, makes it hard to take one player out of the game, because you have a bunch of other ones who can put the ball in the back of the net,” said Greely Coach Becca Koelker.  “That was definitely our most team-oriented attack game that we’ve had all season. So it was really good to have that now, perfect timing going into Saturday.”

In the regular season, Greely lost twice to Yarmouth, by 13-6 in early May in Yarmouth and by 11-9 in late May in Cumberland. Wednesday marked the first meeting this spring between Greely and Messalonskee.

“The scariest part for us was not knowing the team,” said Greely sophomore Charlotte Taylor. “I think that’s why the first 10 minutes were kind of sketchy, because everyone didn’t know what to expect and I think we psyched ourselves out.”

The Eagles managed only three shots in the first half and were thwarted by 13 turnovers. Senior Jenna Cassani scored twice and junior Francesca Caccamo once. Sophomore goalie Shea Cassani made 12 saves as Greely held a 30-9 advantage in shots.

“Nerves got us a little bit,” said Messalonskee Coach Crystal Leavitt. “We had a few mistakes and we pushed through. We scored a couple more, but Greely took care of the ball well.”

The Rangers forced Messalonskee into 22 turnovers overall and committed only 10. Hannah Perfetti made six saves for Greely, which reached running time seven minutes into the second half when Abby Taylor converted a loose ball into a goal that made it 11-1.

Greely’s only other appearance in a state championship game came in 2000 when the Rangers fell 5-4 to Bonny Eagle.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.