YARMOUTH — When Yarmouth coach Mandy Lewis called a timeout with 16 minutes left in the first half, the coach hoped to focus her Clippers as visiting Lisbon began to take over the flow of the Western C field hockey semifinal on Tuesday.
Instead, it was the Greyhounds who benefited from the stoppage, and that momentum carried over to a solid second half in a 2-0 win.
Third-seeded Lisbon improved to 14-2 and will take on rival Oak Hill (a 4-0 winner over No. 4 North Yarmouth Academy) in the Western C regional final at Scarborough on Thursday. The Raiders, the No. 1 seed in Western C, enter with a 15-0-1 mark. The Greyhounds and Raiders have met three times this season, with Oak Hill winning the two Mountain Valley Conference regular season matchups by a combined score of 6-0, while the Greyhounds captured the MVC title with a 2-1 win.
Against Yarmouth (14-2), Lisbon used second-half goals from Courtney Lawrence and Kate Philbrick five minutes apart to take control, and goaltender Victoria Swan made the lead stand up with two sensational saves down the stretch.
“We wanted it more, and we were busy in the circle and moved to the ball aggressively,” said Lisbon coach Julie Petrie, whose Greyhounds outshot Yarmouth 16-8 on the Clippers’ artificial surface. “We are a grass team and we know this surface is much faster. We had to be faster and anticipate better. We played a full game today.”
“They picked up their intensity a little bit more than us, and we knew that they were a good team with fine-tuned stick skills,” said Lewis. “We did our best to break their momentum, and even though we had our opportunities, we weren’t able to finish,” said Lewis.
Prior to the start of the game, Yarmouth midfielder Breanna Morrill sat on the trainer’s table, icing an injured knee. The injury to the Clippers midfielder forced a change to the Yarmouth lineup, with standout Kallie Hutchinson forced to carry the load.
Lisbon took advantage, behind the play of midfielder’s Molly Nicholson, Philbrick and Lawrence, winning the race to the ball on most occasions.
“We have really come together in the midfield, and it seemed that we were winning the little battles and getting the ball to our forwards for scoring chances,” said Nicholson.
Lisbon nearly jumped on top six minutes in as Ashley Field tipped an insert from Michaela Bedell inches wide of Yarmouth goaltender Tori Messina’s cage.
Swan, who became the starting Lisbon goaltender in the MVC win over Oak Hill, made a solid stop on Hutchinson off a penalty corner.
After the Yarmouth timeout, Messina was tested twice by Arianna Kahler, and moments later stopped Morgan Fenderson’s opportunity off a pass from Kahler.
The Greyhounds swarmed Hutchinson nearly every time she touched the ball.
“We had seen them a few times and knew she was a great player,” said Petrie of Hutchinson. “We played keep-a-way, and doubled when we could and played smart.”
“A lot of the things that Breanna does fell on Kallie today,” said Lewis. “They have played well together all season, so that was a tough blow for us.”
Lisbon finished with a 5-3 shots advantage in the opening frame, and the momentum gained in the first half carried into the second for the Greyhounds. Messina stopped Charlotte Mooney twice, but there was little that she was able to do on Lawrence’s tally. Kahler tipped a shot, with the ball finding the stick of Lawrence. Messina made the first stop, but Lawrence put home the rebound for a 1-0 lead.
“The goalie stopped it, and she pushed it right out to me and I was able to push it in,” said Lawrence of her game-winning goal with 24:16 remaining in regulation. “We have been struggling with goals, but as soon as we get a goal we are just on fire and keep getting them.”
“Courtney was where she needed to be, and the whole team did a good job of being aggressive and quick,” added Petrie.
Lisbon kept coming, with Messina stopping Nicholson and Kahler in a quick sequence.
With 19:38 remaining, the Greyhounds made it a 2-0 game when Philbrick slipped a shot behind Messina.
“The goals really spark a fire under us and breaks the ice. It allows us to settle down,” said Nicholson.
Yarmouth didn’t quit, getting two solid chances from Fiona Clarke, but Swan kept the Clippers off the scoreboard and finished with eight saves.
Now comes Oak Hill, with the game to be played on the turf field at Scarborough on Thursday. Petrie feels her team’s success in the MVC title game gives the Greyhounds confidence.
“The MVCs wasn’t about the win,” said Petrie. “We had not scored a goal against them, and we were excited to have scored and it gets us over that mental block that we couldn’t score on them. They are a great team, and it is going to a battle on Thursday.”
“We feel that we are very even with Oak Hill,” said Lawrence. “They are very nice, and we always have great games with them.”
Yarmouth held an 8-7 edge in penalty corners, with Messina turning aside 14 shots.