WATERVILLE — It was an effort worthy of a pile-up — and the Nokomis field hockey team gave it one.

Moments following a 2-0 victory over defending state champion Lawrence in the Class B North quarterfinals, the Warriors ran to the southwest goal at the Colby College field and piled on goaltender Eliya Drummond. Even Raegan King, ice pack on her knee after a nasty knock, half-limped and half-sprinted to join in on the party.

“It’s the playoffs, and we just really wanted the win,” said Nokomis forward Madeleine Roundy. “We’re ready, and we want to go all the way. We know every game from now on is really big, so it feels good.”

It certainly does after a dominant second half that saw the Warriors outshoot the Bulldogs 9-0. Even a strong performance from Lawrence’s Abbey Stewart between the pipes couldn’t stop Nokomis, which reached the regional semis for the second straight year.

Seniors Roundy and Ava Lovely scored a goal apiece in the win. The Warriors advanced to face No. 2 Cony or No. 7 Old Town, which met in another regional quarterfinal game Tuesday evening.

Sixth-ranked Lawrence (8-7) had the upper hand in the initial stages of the game, controlling the ball in the Nokomis half early in the first quarter before the Warriors settled into their groove. Although Nokomis didn’t score in the first half, head coach Shaunessy Saucier was confident the increased pressure would yield a goal.


Lawrence’s Mya Dixon, center, battles Nokomis’ Abbie Reynolds for the ball during a Class B North quarterfinal game Tuesday at Colby College in Waterville. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

“That was the halftime talk,” Saucier said. “Our passing game was on today, and that’s something we’ve been building and building. As the game went on, we just played better and better, and I told them that, ‘Hey, if we just keep it up and keep playing like this, we’re going to find a way to score.’”

No. 3 Nokomis (12-2-1) had a pair of good opportunities on penalty corners early in the second half, but solid defending from Lawrence neutralized both threats. The Bulldogs failed to stop a third, though, as Lovely got a stick to a pass from Roundy and poked the ball past Stewart with 5:50 left in the third quarter to break the deadlock.

“I knew she was going to shoot, so I just put my stick down, and that’s what happened,” Lovely said. “It was luck, really, but that’s what happens sometimes, I guess. … (We held) possession of the ball, we worked as a team, and we were passing great.”

Lawrence would stay within a goal over the next 10 minutes with Stewart making a number of key saves as Nokomis continued to apply the pressure. With 8:43 to play, Roundy doubled the Warriors’ lead with a long-range shot that deflected off the inside of the post and bounced up into the inside netting.

Lawrence’s Payton Cole, right, hops over the ball as Nokomis’s Ava Lovely defends during a Class B North quarterfinal game Tuesday at Colby College in Waterville. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

“I was scared for a second; I thought, ‘Oh, great; that’s not going in,’ so when it did, it felt great,” Roundy said. “Our forwards and our mids, they sprint to the ball, and when you lose it, they’re on it in five seconds. We just kept applying pressure and trying to find those gaps to make our offense work.”

Nokomis’ win means there will be a new state champion in Class B after Lawrence went undefeated en route to the first state title in program history last year. Stewart made 10 saves in the loss for the Bulldogs, while Drummond made a pair for the Warriors in the win.

Taking out the reigning champs made the win even sweeter for the Warriors. True, they had beaten Lawrence by the same score just two weeks earlier, but it was not a given, their head coach said, that the same bounces would go their way in a do-or-die playoff environment.

“There’s a lot on the line, and Lawrence is such a great team,” Saucier said. “Anything can happen in a field hockey game, and it’s always great when you can beat a team like Lawrence. It just carries on our goal of making it far in the playoffs.”

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