“Who’s exhausted?”

Most Greyhounds raised a right arm, confessing that they didn’t have much left to give at the end of Wednesday’s game against Winthrop.


No, great is more like it, if you’re a Lisbon fan. Mallory Fairbanks’ goal with 10:34 remaining in regulation gave the Greyhounds a 1-0 win over the Ramblers, cementing a Class C South playoff berth.

That’s a fox-in-the-henhouse situation, considering that the Greyhounds (4-9) have reached the regional final the past three years, winning it twice.

This is a much younger Lisbon team, with less depth, but wins over the No. 2 team in the West, St. Dom’s, and now the No. 3 team in the East show that the knack lingers for getting it done in close games. The Greyhounds played hungry and feasted accordingly.

“It was a big deal, because we needed to make it into playoffs, and winning the game really secured our spot,” junior Chase Collier said. “It definitely boosted our confidence, as well.”

Collier chalked up the assist on the game-winning goal, using her speed to beat Winthrop’s defense to the far right corner.

Her centering pass sailed waist-high through the circle and directly in front of the cage, where freshman Fairbanks tipped it past Winthrop goalkeeper Corinna Coulton.

“I just went for it,” Fairbanks said.

The Greyhounds had to wait out an anxious moment to learn that Fairbanks wouldn’t be called for a high stick.

“They’re taught to put every stick on the ball and play through the whistle,” Petrie said.

Sometimes giving up the first goal is the wake-up call a higher-ranked home team needs. Instead, it seemingly steeled Lisbon’s resolve to put away the game.

Winthrop (7-5-1) mustered only two shots on goal in the second half, each of them early. The Ramblers couldn’t cash in on any of six penalty corners after intermission.

“It’s kind of like my Jekyll and Hyde team,” Winthrop coach Jessica Merrill. “We’re either on or we’re not, and when we’re not, we can tell pretty early, and it gets in the girls’ heads.”

Mikaylia Harnden made six stops to secure Lisbon’s fourth shutout of the season. Emily Brewer delivered a key defensive save behind her early in the first half, sweeping away a rebound to keep Winthrop off the board.

The Greyhounds, who have dropped six one-goal games, also overcame the loss of Sydney Plourde just before the half. Plourde was taken to the hospital to close a gash on her chin, caused by an inadvertent high stick.

“I’m very proud of them. We pushed through a lot of walls today,” Petrie said. “We don’t have a lot of subs. We had an injury. They dug deep. It feels nice to get over the hump of close games. It’s frustrating because we’ve been right there in so many games. They needed that confidence.”

Moriah Hajduk and Maddy Thomas were stars defensively along with Coulton (seven saves) for the Ramblers.

Thomas was one of six seniors playing in her final regular-season home game.

“There are a lot of emotions with that. I think a lot of them were taxed before the game even started,” Merrill said. “We knew going into it that (Lisbon) needed our Heal Points and that we needed to bring the intensity to match theirs, and we didn’t.”

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