“She did it earlier in the season,” Oak Hill senior defender Lexi Fuller said. “Before the game, I looked at her and I said, ‘Zoe, do it again. You got it,’ and she did it.”

Buteau scores game-winning goals. It’s what she does.

The sophomore came through in Oak Hill’s biggest moment, scoring with 5:57 remaining in overtime to give the Raiders a 3-2 win over St. Dominic Academy in the Class C South field hockey regional final Wednesday at Massabesic High School.

Oak Hill advances to its second straight Class C state championship game, where the Raiders will face MCI on Saturday.

Buteau scored the game-winner in the Raiders’ double-overtime victory over Winthrop earlier this season.

“She’s been, really, our go-to girl in the middle of the field,” Oak Hill coach Betsy Gilbert said. “She’s a sophomore, but she’s a rock-solid athlete.”

The Raiders were 178 seconds from losing Wednesday’s regional final. St. Dom’s broke the halftime tie 21:08 into the second half when, on a penalty corner, Callie Samson sent the ball to Kylie Leavitt, who hit it to Paige Cote, who fired the ball into the goal for a 2-1 advantage.

The Saints held onto that lead for the next 18 minutes.

“You could see them starting to panic a little bit,” Gilbert said. “But they really came back and then they were solid, they were fighting and fighting and fighting.

“The thing is about this team is they are 100 percent heart. They didn’t give up. When we were down, they kept battling back.”

The Raiders were on the offensive attack most of the second half, but the Saints’ smothering defense wasn’t allowing many comfortable scoring attempts, and St. Dom’s goalie Abby Slonina stuffed the few shots Oak Hill did take.

“I think we were panicking for a little bit, but our coach really helped us by saying that we needed to calm down and just focus on getting the ball across the field and into the cage,” Oak Hill junior forward Maegan Sheehy said.

Finally, with three minutes left in the game — and in the Raiders’ season — that happened. Desirae Dumais calmly attacked, then tapped a pass across the middle, right in front of the goal, to set up Maegan Sheehy for the tying goal.

“I wasn’t really covered up at the time, so I just called for the ball, and the rest of the team just really helped me just get the ball over there, and I just sent it in,” Sheehy said.

Then came overtime, with a much more spacious seven-on-seven format. St. Dom’s made the first move, but couldn’t capitalize. Then Oak Hill had its chance. Lexi Faucher passed upfield to Buteau, who took it from there.

“Lexi Faucher just passed it to me, I got it, I was just looking to the sides, and I was like, ‘OK, so I’m going to shoot it,’ and it just went in,” Buteau said. “And I was just really thrilled. I didn’t think it was going to go in, but it went in. I was so happy.

“It’s so emotional. You want to cry. I just couldn’t cry, because I didn’t have anything in me.”

St. Dom’s (13-3-1) also took a lead in the first half when Samson scored on a penalty corner. The Saints didn’t have the quantity of shots that Oak Hill had, but they made quality of the attempts they did have, scoring on two of their six corners in the game.

“We knew coming in, it was going to be a close game, evenly matched,” St. Dom’s coach Brian Kay said. “We had opportunities, they had opportunities.”

Twelve minutes after St. Dom’s took their first lead, Erika Hannigan set up Buteau for a goal that made it 1-1. Well, Buteau got credit, but Abigail Asselin was right there on the play as well.

“Me and Abby went for it, and we just got it in,” Buteau said. “I guess I had more of an impact on it because my stick was in front of hers, she was just giving me a little boost, I guess.”

The Raiders entered Wednesday’s game having allowed only six goals. St. Dom’s is the first team to score multiple goals on Oak Hill this season. That put the Raiders in an uncommon position, but not one that made them uncomfortable.

“It wasn’t weird. They worked for it and they were a really good team,” Fuller said.

Gilbert credited the defense for carrying the Raiders while the offense was sputtering.

“Our defense is just amazing,” Gilbert said. “They were able to shut them down when our upfront was a little bit weak going on. Our defense was really strong.”

Oak Hill (16-1) and MCI (15-2) are meeting for the second straight season in the Class C state final. The Huskies won last year’s title game, 2-0.

Gilbert needed to pause to control her emotions before talking about the Raiders making it back to the championship game.

“This really meant a lot to them,” Gilbert said. “They have worked really hard. We were in states last year, and we lost, and that was the biggest defeat and hurt, and these girls really wanted to get back and redeem themselves. So they have worked extremely hard to get here.”


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