Gamache stopped a four-goal EL run with three consecutive goals her own — her sixth, seventh and eighth goals of the morning — as the Vikings put away the Red Eddies, 17-9, in a KVAC girls’ lacrosse matchup at the Gouin Athletic Complex on Saturday.

“I guess I just tell myself, ‘We need the goals, we need the points,’ and I can just get in there and do it,” Gamache said.

Oxford Hills built a nine-goal second-half advantage over Edward Little, only to watch the Red Eddies whittle away and draw within five at 14-9.

“When I did the math, they had scored four goals in (4:16), and I told the girls, ‘We can’t let in any more than this, we need to get the ball, make good passes, and good shots,'” Oxford Hills coach Jaimee Brett said. “For a time there, we were rushing our shots, and that made a big difference.”

Twenty-six seconds after Hannah Johnston scored the ninth EL goal, Gamache answered with a quick rush off the ensuing faceoff. Thirty-eight seconds later, she moved to the front from behind the cage and rifled a shot past EL keeper Sierra Mansir, and then with 3:08 to play in the contest, Gamache iced the game with her final tally.

The win for the Vikings (2-8) avenges an early-season loss to EL (4-6).

“It feels good, I’m really proud of the team,” Gamache said.

The game began much like the first between the two teams. EL controlled the draw and was patient, scoring after nearly two minutes of offensive-zone possession.

It was EL’s only lead as the Eddies struggled against Oxford Hills’ defense.

“They were playing a zone, and our girls haven’t played much against that this year,” EL coach Jess Somers said. “They had a more difficult time, and we didn’t take the offensive break opportunities that we needed to. By allowing them to set up, it put us in a difficult position that we didn’t know how to play offense against.”

Gamache, Amanda Hanning and Joanna Murch all scored before EL found the board again, and while EL remained close and trailed by only four at the half, the Vikings did well to keep their lead, and prevent EL’s offense from doing any damage.

“We switched defensive strategies from the first time we played (EL),” Brett said. “This defensive strategy is much more effective, and most teams are getting fewer shots than we were giving up at the beginning of the season.”

“We had a difficult time on the breakaways, we were cutting wide instead of cutting to the net, which ultimately cut down on our shot opportunities,” Somers said.

In the second half, Oxford Hills expanded its lead to six before EL called timeout and quickly changed goalies. Without their normal starter, the Red Eddies tried Taylor Landry — normally a forward but who has goalie experience — in the cage.

“We pulled one of our best field players to play the position for us, and that hurt right from the beginning,” Somers said. “(At the timeout), it came down to, if we didn’t start getting some more offensive opportunities, it wasn’t going to matter. I’d rather try it and lose by more than not try it and be content with losing anyway.”

At first, the move appeared to backfire, as the Vikings netted the next three in a row. But once Landry settled back into the offense, Johnston and Shelbea Russell each found some extra room to roam and pulled the visitors back to within five with a pair of goals each.

“We tried to slow it down, and they figured out what we were doing with our cutters,” Gamache said. “So we just had to pick it back up.”

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