AUBURN — When Lewiston and Edward Little met Thursday in girls’ lacrosse action, it was a bit like an NBA game. You really only needed to see the last couple minutes.
Lewiston rallied to tie the game in the final minute and then took the lead early in overtime to hold off the Red Eddies for a 9-8 victory at Central Maine Community College.
Saba Naji had the tying tally with 32 seconds left and then scored the game-winner in the first minute of the first overtime to give the Blue Devils (2-1) their first lead of the game.
“We kept saying that it’s a one-goal game and that we needed to act like it was 0-0 and keep getting back in there,” said Naji.
Naji and Kayla Hamel each finished with three goals while Kirstin McCombs, Megan Pelletier and Lauren Lessard also scored for the Blue Devils. Goalie Emily Craig was stellar in net with eight saves as EL outshot Lewiston 17-10. EL goalie Amanda Williams also had eight saves.
“I thought their goalie really stepped up,” said EL coach Greg Perkins. “Not that our goalie didn’t have some good saves because she did have some good saves, too.”
EL was led by Shelbea Russell and Katie Williamson with two goals each. Sam Dean, Courtney Pelletier, Katie Sawyer and Maddie Williamson also added goals for EL.
The Red Eddies (0-3) built a 3-1 lead early, but Lewiston got within one before the half on a McCombs goal and then tied it on a Hamel tally early in the second half.
EL got the two-goal lead back on goals by Katie Williamson and Russell, but Lewiston kept coming. The Blue Devils got a goal from Hamel on a Kelsey Dumond pass with 4:57 left. Then Lessard took a pass from Naji and tied it with 2:58 left in regulation.
“I think we just got tired,” said Perkins. “They were beating us in the end. They didn’t have much success doing that early, but they did it at the end.”
EL took the 8-7 lead with 47 seconds left in the game. Katie Williamson won control of the ball in the offensive zone and cut toward the net for the go-ahead score.
Lewiston got one last chance by winning the face-off at midfield and controlling the possession. It took just 15 seconds for the Blue Devils to tie it.
“All we were thinking about was moving the ball down,” said Naji. “At the beginning of the game, we started running and weren’t watching our teammates to see who was open. We did a lot of transition and watching for each other. So basically we were thinking smart at the time at 47 seconds and knew that all we had to do.”
Sara Marden won possession of the loose ball off the face-off. She found Naji moving through the offensive zone and got her the ball. That allowed Naji to cut to the net for the equalizer.
“I did not expect to score that goal,” she said. “I guess it was meant to be because I was there. Sara Marden passed it to me, and I was open and shot it.”
Then in the first minute of overtime Naji gave Lewiston its first lead. Hamel gave her a pass in the middle and Naji converted with 2:15 left in the first of two three-minute overtimes.
“That was exciting,” she said. “I just didn’t think about it. I knew I could beat the girl in front of me, and I just shot it in.”
EL had its chances to rally. Pelletier, Dean and Russell all had bids in overtime but Craig shut them down.
“We took some shots in overtime, and they didn’t go in,” said Perkins. “They did a good job of coming back against us and stepped it up. Their shots went in and ours didn’t.”