LEWISTON — There are few coaches in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference that will admit out loud that Brunswick’s tough 0-2 start to begin the high school girls’ lacrosse season is something they feel bad about.

Consider the Dragons have pretty much owned Eastern Maine Class A girls lacrosse over the past decade, with state championship appearances the norm rather than the exception, including last year. And, with longtime coach Beth Caputi retired and first-year leader Steph Fisher in her place, most teams are anxious to put it to the Dragons.

Unbeaten Lewiston had its turn on Thursday at Morgan W. McDuffee Field, but the Blue Devils were unable to replicate what Edward Little did on Tuesday as Brunswick came from behind to earn a 10-9 victory.

The win gives the Dragons a 1-2 mark, while Lewiston drops to 2-1. The Blue Devils have one week to regroup before visiting Oxford Hills on May 2, while Brunswick hosts Messalonskee on Saturday.

“I think we took them a little bit too lightly,” said Lewiston coach Butch Dow. “I feel that this was a good wake-up call for these girls, and I think these girls were trying to skip steps and think about playoffs already. They need to take everyone serious. I think they learned a lesson.”

For Fisher, a former Brunswick All-American lacrosse goaltender, this was her first coaching win after taking over for Caputi and came two days after Edward Little defeated the Dragons for the first time in varsity lacrosse.

“This is a fantastic win,” said the emotional Fisher. “I went in not entirely confident, knowing Lewiston is always a talented team. Today, we finally looked like a Brunswick team that I know and love, that some of the girls on this team have played on. Hopefully, we can carry this on the rest of the season.

“This is so big, so for me coming in after Beth and having that loss to Edward Little for the first time, I was worried about where we were going. So, it is great that we were able to pull through today.”

Down 9-8 with three minutes to go, Brunswick standout defender Caley Nicholson made a steal and passed ahead to Eliza Brooks, who beat a Lewiston defender before firing a shot past Blue Devils netminder Sam Cote (nine saves) to tie the game with 2:23 remaining.

Moments later, Brunswick midfielder Savanna Kay caused a turnover, found Brooks, who potted her seventh goal of the contest with 1:52 left for a 10-9 Dragons lead.

Lewiston, which won the final seven draw controls behind the play of Bri Wilson, had two chances down the stretch, the best coming off the crosse of Kelsey Dumond, whose shot was stuffed by Brunswick goaltender EmaLeigh Aschbrenner with 13 seconds remaining to preserve the victory.

“Caley Nicholson did great on draw controls, something we worked on after losing nearly all of them against Edward Little, and our goaltender EmaLeigh (11 saves) was superb today and made those big stops at the end,” said Fisher.

The teams went back and forth throughout the contest. After Mariah Carrier staked the hosts to a 1-0 lead, Sarah Judd tied the game for Brunswick, followed by a pair of goals from Brooks for a 3-1 Dragons lead.

Lewiston roared back, running off a 4-0 run behind the passing of Laurianne Murphy, who picked up three assists on goals by Dumond, Wilson and Dumond again for a 5-3 lead.

Brooks’ third goal of the first half made for a close 5-4 contest at the half.

Brunswick opened the second half by scoring four of the first five goals to take an 8-6 lead. Brooks had two, while Kay and Olivia LeRoy found the back of the net.

“Eliza is my top scorer and she is my go-to girl,” said Fisher after Brooks score a game-high seven goals. “She is very strong with her footwork.”

Back came Lewiston as Dumond made it a one-goal game, and Carrier and Natalie Rousseau scored 11 seconds apart for a 9-8 Blue Devils advantage with 5:03 remaining.

But, Brunswick ended Lewiston’s hopes of a 3-0 start down the stretch.

“Last year our passing game was so strong, and Brunswick’s dynasty team from last year we caught by surprise in the beginning of the game, so our game-plan will be to step back and do what we do best, not skipping any steps,” said Dow. “Even though we have eight seniors, we have a lot of freshmen on the team. We are working on that chemistry, getting them to work together.”

Lewiston finished with a 28-19 shots advantage and led in draw controls 12-9. Dumond and Rousseau each picked up four ground balls, while Carrier led in interceptions with three.


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