OAKLAND — It’s hard to find a more helpless position in all of sports than that of the lacrosse goalie, but Maddie Barnhorst etched her name into the Brunswick history books.

The sophomore led a shocking upset of No. 1 Messalonskee on Saturday at Veterans field, making 12 saves to backbone ninth-seeded Brunswick’s 8-5 Class B state quarterfinal victory. Barnhorst made a four-goal first half lead from classmate Elizabeth Putnam hold up, and the Dragons conceded just a single second-half goal to the Eagles (10-3).

“She had a game. I give mad credit to the goalie,” Messalonskee coach Crystal Leavitt said of Barnhorst. “We shot right at her stick, and she saved the ones right at her stick. She changed the momentum.”

Brunswick (7-7), which dropped a 13-9 decision to Messalonskee at home on May 24, will travel to either No. 4 York or No. 5 Mt. Ararat in a state semifinal on Wednesday.

“I think we really realized that this season, a lot of the teams were really, really even,” Brunswick coach Emily Aschenbrenner said. “Despite some of the scores you’ve seen, any one of these teams could be in the No. 1 spot. We had a mission, and it was just to keep playing. These girls came here and did exactly what we came here to do.”

Heading out of the halftime break with a 6-4 lead, Barnhorst and the Dragons defense in front of her got to work.


Messalonskee rarely got into the prime scoring areas in front of the net, finding a wall of Brunswick defenders in the way of both the ball carrier and off-the-ball cutters. The lone Eagles goal of the second half came via senior Frankie Caccamo (three goals) with 8:53 remaining and Brunswick already nursing a four-goal lead.

On the few good opportunities produced by Messalonskee, Barnhorst stood firm. She made point-blank stops on both Caccamo and Julia Ward early in the second half.

Barnhorst also made two key saves from free position attacks late in the game.

“I actually prefer those free position shots,” said Barnhorst, in her first season as a varsity goalie. “It’s easier for me to see where the shots are coming from. This was really a confidence booster.”

She credited her defense in front of her.

“We bonded, and we knew what we had to do,” Barnhorst said.


“Defense is where my heart is,” Aschenbrenner said. “We hammered that this week, how to really break it down into a two-person defense. It’s not always a full team thing, but it becomes a full thing when you have individuals working together piece by piece. That’s what came together in that second half.”

After allowing Wade to open the scoring only 16 seconds into the first half, Putnam scored twice in a span of less than two minutes. Junior Kelsie Carlton connected for a pair of free position strikes in the final 3:04 of the period — answering Caccamo’s tying tally with 7:23 left — to send Brunswick into the break with a two-goal advantage.

Carlton finished off her hat trick with 8:39 to play in the second half, doubling the Brunswick lead to 8-4. The Dragons never looked back.

“We’ve been working on transitions during practice, and I think that really paid off,” Putnam said. “We worked it up the field really nicely and tried to see it into our sticks, take time and make good passes.”

Alexa Scott also scored in the win for Brunswick.

Shea Cassini made three saves for Messalonskee, while Madi Doody added a goal for the Eagles.

“I believe the mental game is really important, and I don’t know if we were necessarily there,” Leavitt said. “It’s been a tough week, it’s been a tough week for seniors all across the board. It’s the end of the season, and I hate playoffs after graduation. It’s the worst.”

Comments are not available on this story.