Lewiston’s Sasha LeClair took the first shot-on-goal of the game three minutes in, but Eagles (6-0) goalie Sydni Collier was right there to make the save. At the other end of the field a minute later, India Languet didn’t miss, taking a feed from Ally Turner and beating Blue Devils (6-1) goalie Kaylyn Labonte.

There was a lull in scoring for the next eight minutes, but much of that time was spent with the Eagles possessing the ball. When Lewiston had the ball, a swarming Messalonskee defense was right in the ball-handler’s back pocket.

“We can’t spend 75-percent of the time on defense,” Lewiston coach Skip Capone said. “We turned the ball over. Credit them, but a lot of it was unforced errors on us.”

The Eagles’ defense spanned the length of the field, and began to pressure as soon as the Blue Devils scooped up the ball.

“If my attackers can re-defend and cause a turnover high in the zone, then it saves us having to play defense,” Eagles coach Ashley Pullen said. “So it makes a lot of sense.”

Turner re-booted the Messalonskee offense just over 12 minutes in, scoring on from free position. Two minutes later Lewiston’s Morgan Eliasen — who Capone called probably our best girl on defense — was sent off with a yellow card and the Eagles took advantage, scoring twice on the man-up. Lauren Pickett scored near the left post, then Turner took control of the ball off the ensuing draw and ran in for a goal from the right side 15 seconds later.

Capone called a timeout with his team down 4-0, but even that couldn’t stop Messalonskee’s momentum. Lydia Dexter scored a pair of goals less than three minutes apart, then Pickett capped off the first-half scoring just over a minute later.

“We knew we wanted to come out strong,” Pullen said. “We know Lewiston is always a tough opponent. If you can maybe catch them on their heels at the beginning of the game, I think once we scored a few I think momentum definitely was in our favor there.”

“Give credit to Messalonskee. They’re a very, very good team,” Capone said. “And we probably played our first half of the season, in all phases.”

The second half saw a much more evenly-matched contest, but that didn’t translate to enough offense for Lewiston to make a comeback. Eliasen ended the shutout just under 10 minutes in, and Christine Chasse fed Kristina Blais for another goal five minutes later.

Nathalie St. Pierre scored the Eagles’ lone second-half goal off a pass from Jenna Nash.

“We challenged the girls at halftime, and in the second half we were a different team. We transitioned the ball,” Capone said. “We made a couple of adjustments at halftime, and the kids just basically figured it out.”

While Capone liked his team’s improvement after halftime, Pullen’s view on her team’s second half performance wasn’t as positive.

“I wasn’t thrilled. We were humbled a little bit in the second half,” Pullen said. “We’ll make some adjustments and make sure that next time we play them that we put together a solid 50 minutes of lacrosse instead of just 25.”

The teams will meet again in two weeks, and the rematch could help decide playoff seeding in Class A North.

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