WATERVILLE — Begin with the end in mind.

That’s what Messalonskee girls’ lacrosse coach Ashley Pullen stressed from day one to her team.

The Eagles avoided the end Wednesday night, defeating Lewiston 9-4 in the Class A North regional girls’ lacrosse final to advance to the state championship game Saturday against Massabesic.

From the start, Messalonskee showed its quickness and strength on offense, while also exuding patience, waiting for the right play. The Eagles got on the board first four minutes into the game with a cutting run that started at midfield from sophomore Ally Turner, who ran by six defenders en route to goal.

“Before the game we talked about executing a full-field defense, which we did a great job of, and just being patient on the attack,” Pullen said. “We know that Lewiston is a very strong team defensively and so we worked on some things we wanted to do to be able to attack against them and we executed them really well.”

After her goal, Turner then set up her midfield teammate Lydia Dexter on her first of four goals on the night. Their height and strength played a big role in the outcome of the game.

“Height and size is a big advantage and we are very blessed in that department,” Pullen said of her team.

Turnovers and fouls happened early and often for Lewiston, creating set pieces and more possessions for the Eagles throughout the game.

“They’re a very, very good team,” Lewiston coach Skip Capone said. “We knew going in we couldn’t make a lot of mistakes. We made a few of them and they took advantage.”

Senior midfielder Nathalie St. Pierre scored the third goal of the game for Messalonskee off of a set piece in front of net, cutting to the goal and ripping the shot past Lewiston senior goalie Monica Field, who had four saves on the night.

“We try to make it as hectic as possible so it’s hard for the defense,” St. Pierre said.

Lewiston got on the board fourteen minutes in off the stick of freshman forward Christine Chasse, who scored off of a set piece of her own. Just two minutes later, however, St. Pierre added her second goal of the game, and by halftime the Eagles led the Blue Devils 5-1.

Some teams would have rolled over in the second half when down by four goals. The Blue Devils are not one of those teams.

“That’s what this program is built on,” Capone said. “We never quit, we play hard for the whole fifty minutes and play until the very end … Our kids don’t quit, they did a great job.”

One standout player in the second half for Lewiston was senior captain Olivia Bergeron, who controlled the midfield with her passes and long runs from midfield into the attacking-third, adding a goal to Lewiston’s tally.

The play of the Eagles’ midfield was the difference, though. 

The Eagles will move on to face Massabesic High School in the Class A state championship game Saturday at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland, a game that has been a goal for Pullen and her team since the beginning of the season.

“We have seen them play,” Pullen said. “I think they’re beatable, they’re a strong team, but it’s going to be a very well-fought battle, and I’m excited.”

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