BRUNSWICK — Three days before the start of the Lewiston High School girls lacrosse season, Skip Capone was named the new coach of the Blue Devils, who were coming off a 10-2 season last year.

Yes, he had weeks of practice, and he refused to use the changes at the top and the countless practices inside the gym as reasons for his team’s season-opening 9-5 Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference setback to Brunswick on Tuesday.

“The girls have bought in and have worked hard,” said Capone, whose 0-1 squad will try to get into the win column on Thursday at home against rival Edward Little. “We have a great staff, good thought process. We are in a good spot and we’re going to get better. Brunswick will be one of the top eight, and I would think that we have a shot after our performance today.”

After a 2-2 deadlock in the first half, the Blue Devils trailed 5-4 with 9:19 remaining. But, Brunswick (1-0) went on a game-clinching four-goal spurt over the next 3:32 for a 9-4 lead.

“We played really well for about 55 minutes, with a five-minute burst where they came back and had a nice little run, and we got kind of flustered,” said Capone. “We are a little bit young in some spots. That is a good team and they took advantage of that run and scored some goals.”

“I reminded them about the dynasty that was here, and I believe because the girls worked so hard together on defense and frustrated Lewiston, we were able to get this win,” said Brunswick coach Steph Fisher, whose squad will look for its second win on Thursday at home against Cony. “I saw them grow. Coming off of last year where we won just three games, most of my team was nervous about this and knew this game was going to set the tone for the year.”

The run

Lewiston netminder Sam Cote (10 saves) made a big save on a free-position shot by Angelica Boyle to keep her team within two goals, 5-3.

At the other end of the field, the Blue Devils made it a one-goal game as Jessica Cote slipped a shot past Brunswick goaltender EmaLeigh Aschbrenner to cut the deficit to one.

The key run for Brunswick began after Grace Rabinowitz won the ensuing draw control to give the hosts possession. Sydney Anderson found some room and scored to restore Brunswick’s lead to two, 6-4.

A pair of goals from Anna McMillan and a tally by Rabinowitz followed to make for a five-goal game.

“That four-goal streak showed them that they are a better team from last year and that they can do this,” said Fisher.

“We are so happy, and it showed how well we work together,” added McMillan, who led the Dragons with three goals and two assists. “This game is important because it shows how much we try and work together.”

In the first half, both goaltenders made their presence felt. Aschbrenner had 10 saves, including four free-position saves during a stretch where neither team found the back of the net for 17 minutes. Sam Cote had six saves in the opening half, with Lewiston holding a 15-10 shots advantage.

“We had some great looks, three or four free positions where we got nothing, and we just have to finish, especially in a close game,” said Capone.

McMillan started the scoring with an unassisted goal, but Jessica Cote answered two minutes later to forge a 1-1 tie. Lewiston claimed its only leads of the game with 2:42 left until halftime when Sierra Thistlewaite bounced a shot off the stick of Aschbrenner for a 2-1 advantage. The Dragons responded with 53 ticks left on the clock as Rabinowitz grabbed a loose ball before darting the length of the field for the tying goal.

A pair of goals by Boyle gave the hosts a 4-2 lead less than four minutes into the second half, with Laurianne Murphy scoring her first of two goals with 17:01 left to get the Blue Devils to 4-3.

Lewiston defenders Morgan Eliasen, Erika Thibault (two steals, two caused turnovers), Shaima Naji (eight caused turnovers) and Nora Schlax were solid, while Brunswick defensemen Natalie Grant, Charlotte Duncan, Sasha Hampton, Anna Ferdinand and Shannah Duffy were strong.

Rabinowitz led the Dragons with seven ground balls, while Sarah Judd had four ground balls and three forced turnovers, and Caley Nicholson five ground balls.

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