LEWISTON — A couple of clutch goals and a pair of equally crucial saves put the exclamation point on a Messalonskee comeback Tuesday.

The Eagles girls’ lacrosse team was down at the half but rallied to force overtime at McDuffie Field at Bates College. Though Lewiston had numerous chances late in regulation and in the extra sessions, it was Messalonskee that prevailed in an 8-7 victory to end the regular season.

“We have to convert at the end,” Lewiston coach Skip Capone said. “We had some great opportunities that we got ourselves. I’m proud of our kids. They battled. That’s a real good team. That’s the third time in a row that we’ve taken them to overtime.”

Lewiston lost to the Eagles 10-9 in overtime earlier in the season. It was a Lauren Pickett goal that tied the game late in regulation Tuesday. Then she scored the only goal in overtime. Meanwhile, goalie Sydni Collier made a couple of key saves in overtime to preserve the lead.  A couple came off free positions.

“It’s a tough spot to be in when it’s overtime and there’s only a minute left and they’re taking the shots that can tie the game,” Collier said. “We practice those every day. We’re taking shots all the time. “

Lewiston got three goals from Emily Brochu and two from Dacia Bail. Lauren Lecompte and Kristina Blais each had a goal and an assist. The win secures Messalonkee (11-1) atop Eastern A. Lewiston (8-4) was seeded third but still waiting for other scores to determine the final standings. The quarterfinals are scheduled for Wednesday, June 10.

“They’ve come a long way,” Capone said of his team. “I’ve got four or five girls that have been playing lacrosse for just two years. They battled. They learned. They played hard. They’re athletic. We can run. We did that in the second half, but we didn’t  convert. In this game, you have to.”

Lewiston finished the opening half with five straight goals to build a 6-2 lead. Brochu and Bail had a pair and Lecompte had one for the advantage at the half.

The Eagles came out strong in the second half and began chipping away at the lead.

“I think it was just all in our heads,” Pickett said. “We knew that we could do it from the start. We just needed to get going.”

Messalonskee turned the momentum with two goals in 45 seconds to open the second half. That had Lewiston on its heels. Nathalie St. Pierre, who finished with three goals, scored a pair early in the second and Ally Turner added another to get the Eagles within 6-5. 

“We got ourselves in trouble,” Capone said. “We turned the ball over a little bit early in the second half and forced a couple of things. That gave them a little bit of momentum. We just struggled. Sometimes we have moments like that, periods of time where we turn the ball over a little bit. Sometimes our passing and throwing skills aren’t right on. Those are things we need to clean up.”

Lewiston got a Brochu goal off an Ally Frechette pass with 10:42 left, but India Languet scored with 5:45 left. Then Pickett tied the game with 2:22 remaining in regulation. She had a free position and Lewiston was down a player because of a penalty.

“I was a little nervous shooting, to be honest,” Pickett said. “I just knew that I could do it, and I just shot it.”

Lewiston had opportunity to break the tie with a final possession. Lecompte made a nice save of a ball headed out of bounds. Frechette then spun around in front for a bid that was wide.

In overtime, Pickett had another free position just 40 seconds into the first three-minute session. She scored to give the Eagles the lead. 

“I try to mix it up and try to go somewhere different,” Pickett said. “Their goalie was pretty good.”

Lewiston had possession for much of the second three-minute overtime period but couldn’t get one past Collier. Lewiston had a couple of free positions from Hailey Lebel and Blais. The best shot came from Blais that Collier stopped with her stick on a high shot.

“I’m not going to say I got lucky on that one,” Collier said. “That was a spot I felt comfortable with. I was ready for her to shoot there.”

Though the Blue Devils came up short, Lewiston had a solid defensive game down the stretch and did a nice job forcing turnovers to create the offensive chances it had.

“The kids played their butts off,” Capone said. “They played really hard. They never gave up. We were down by a goal and we got the ball back three or four different times and had a few free positions at the end. We can’t ask for the kids to do more than that. Their goalie made two great saves. You tip your hat to them and say, ‘Next time, we hope we get them.'”

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