LISBON — After two halves of scoreless high school field hockey, followed by another double overtime deadlock, Lisbon and Dirigo set up for penalty corners to decide the outcome of a Western Maine Class C semifinal on Saturday.

Another two rounds of three turns each went by the wayside, with no shot besting Lisbon goaltender Stevie Charest or Cougars senior keeper Amanda Dolloff. Finally in the third round of penalty corners, the outcome was decided as Greyhounds midfielder Bailey Cutler’s shot deflected off a Dirigo defender, changing directions and clanging into the cage.

Lisbon coach Julie Wescott gathered her team, thinking her Greyhounds had to stop the Cougars one more time. Hey, why not? This was a game that just didn’t want to end.

The referees informed Wescott and her charges that the game was over, and the celebration began as defending Class C champion Lisbon finally put away fourth-seeded Dirigo (8-7-1).

With the win, Lisbon (13-2-1) advances to the Western C final against No. 2 North Yarmouth Academy (13-2-1) at Thornton Academy in Saco on Tuesday. It will be the third consecutive meeting in the postseason between the Greyhounds and Panthers, with each holding a victory.

“We really didn’t think that it was over,” said an exuberant Wescott after hugging all of her players, who were huddled together under blankets in the blustery conditions. “It was one of those games where you just keep drilling away, and their goalie had some phenomenal saves, and we just couldn’t put it in. This is our field, and we always say we’re going to protect our turf. This was the last time on this field for these seniors, and we wanted to go out there and get one more big win here.”

“I think from day one that this team had it, and we believed in them, and even after four losses early, they never gave up and played as a team,” said Dirigo assistant coach Tanya Perreault, who stepped in after head coach Gretchen Errington departed immediately after the game to be with her daughter Brittany LaPointe, who was hit with an accidental high stick late in the first overtime and taken to an area hospital. “We believed in them, and just put it all out on the field today.”

Cutler’s winner came on Lisbon’s second turn in the third round of penalty corners. She received a pass from Hanna Jordan, made a move around a charging Dirigo defender and fired a shot into the crowd in front of Dolloff. The shot changed directions and slipped into the cage.

“If we don’t get the initial shot through, they are taught to follow it and Bailey did there and the ball went in,” said Wescott, who praised her defense, led by Ali Bubar, Mariah Breton, Mia Durgin and Charest, who had nine saves. “I have a very solid four back there, with Stevie, Mia, Mariah and Ali, and we have the utmost faith in them to get us through.”

“We always have our sticks down and just play strong defense,” said Bubar, who talked about Dirigo. “We knew they were going to come out here and play tough, with nothing to lose and they did. You could tell that they wanted it. We wanted this so bad, and to finally get it was great.”

Even first half

Neither team took control in an evenly-played first half. Dirigo outshot Lisbon, 6-5, with the Greyhounds holding a slight 4-3 advantage in penalty corners.

Dirigo’s best chance came after a scramble in front of Charest, with the ball tied up underneath the goaltender, resulting in a Cougars penalty stroke with 9:24 remaining until halftime. But, Emma Lueders fired wide of the cage to keep the game scoreless.

The second half was a different story as the Greyhounds dominated, outshooting the Cougars 9-1. Dolloff stood tall, stopping Arianna Kahler, Hanna Jordan, Michaela Bedell and Cutler from in close. The Greyhounds nearly claimed a 1-0 lead as Molly Nicholson broke in on Dolloff, but the goaltender flashed her right leg pad to keep the ball out of her cage.

“We left everything out on the field today,” said Lueders. “We played like we practiced, and had to do everything to stay with Lisbon. This season was a big season for us, and we had a lot of fun. We were a great team, no drama, and we’re just like sisters.”

In the first 7-on-7, eight-minute overtime, Lisbon fired the only three shots on goal. The second overtime featured more of the same, with the Greyhounds using their speed to create chances. Kahler had the best opportunity, tipping a cross from Jennifer Smith wide of the goal as the game slipped into penalty corners.

After 46 minutes of field hockey, Lisbon held an 18-7 shots advantage and a 19-4 edge in penalty corners.

In the penalty corner round, Nicholson and Bubar cleared Dirigo’s first two chances, while Dolloff stopped Cutler on a long shot.

Charest had to make a stop on a Brooke Holmquist chance in the second round of corners, and Lisbon earned a penalty stroke, but Nicholson’s high shot hit the crossbar and deflected away.

After Charest made an easy stop on Lueders, the Greyhounds put the game away, their eighth opportunity in penalty corners.


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