Desiree Wante, far left, and her Poland Regional High School teammates celebrate after Autumn Willis’ goal put the Knights up 1-0 against Greely in Poland on Wednesday. 

POLAND — Coming into the season, Poland coach Kayla Royer told her team there would be a time when she would hand the corner play calling duties to the players during the game, particularly in the second half.

With the season on line in the Knights’ Class B South quarterfinal contest against No. 6-seeded Greely, she just did that.

The move paid off for Royer and No. 3 Poland, which rallied with two goals in the final 10 minutes of regulation to upend the Rangers, 3-2.

Brianna Doucette scored both goals for the Knights in the second half on penalty corner attempts.

“I figured they were seeing what Greely’s defense was doing and how they are reacting to it,” Royer said. “I thought they had a better idea. I mean, we practice having them call the corners in practice. We have them practice calling corners usually in the second half of the game we usually play in. It showed.”

Sydney Meredith-Pickett made it 2-1 Greely with 18:25 to play when her shot sneaked through bodies and legs into the cage. It was her second goal of the game. On the play, Hannah Perfetti picked up her second assist of the afternoon.

Meredith-Pickett and Perfetti have had chemistry for a few years now.

“They know where each other are and they play really well together. They have a lot of experience together,” Greely coach Becki Belmore said.

Poland’s defenders contested the call, saying the ball hit a player on its way to the net. Royer didn’t ask an official for an explanation.

That placid demeanor is what her team needed, and it responded. After a timeout with 13:25 remaining, the Knights controlled play. Four minutes later, Morgan Broussard found Doucette, who tied the game at 2-2.

“Her calmness really helps us stay calm,” Doucette said.

Doucette notched the game-winner with fewer than five minutes to play.

“First of all, I thought we picked it up when we called the timeout,” Doucette said. “We talked about what we needed to improve on to get there and we did exactly that. I think we all came together as a team at the end and really picked it up.”

After the goal, Greely (7-7-1) couldn’t mount much offensive pressure. The Rangers’ best chance came with 2:35 remaining, coming out of a timeout.

“That was probably the last chance I had to do it,” Belmore said. “Just to rally them a little more and pump them up a bit and pick up the intensity.”

Poland took a 1-0 lead early when Autumn Willis found the back of the cage 12:46 into the game. Meredith-Pickett scored her first goal of the game with 7:55 remaining in the opening 30 minutes.

Ashton Sturtevant made two saves for Poland in the victory, while Kylie Rogers stopped three shots for Greely.

The Knights will travel down to Yarmouth to take on the No. 2 seeded Clippers in a regional semifinal contest on Friday at 4 p.m.

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Madison Wante, left, of Poland Regional High School interrupts Delia Knox’s momentum during Wednesday’s match up against Greely in Poland on Wednesday. 

Higera Nawass of Poland Regional High School sends the ball down the field during Wednesday’s game against Greely. 

Brianna Doucette of Poland Regional High School sends the ball down the field during Wednesday’s game against Greely. 

Madison Wante, left, of Poland Regional High School defends Maddy Perfetti of Greely in Poland on Wednesday. 

Autumn Willis, center, of Poland Regional High School hustles down field as her teammate, Brianna Doucette dribbles the ball against Greely in Poland on Wednesday. 


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