Orono’s Zoe Swanson and Winthrop’s Gia Francis chase a ball Saturday at Kents Hill School in Readfield. (Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal)

READFIELD — Any of Winthrop’s offensive players can strike at anytime. Saturday was no exception, as four different players found the cage in the Ramblers’ 4-0 victory over Orono in a Class C North field hockey semifinal at Kents Hill School.

“Bri Baxter and Lindsay Letourneau, they aren’t usually scorers for us,” Winthrop coach Jessica Merrill said. “To see them step up when they did, when we had an injury, it was great. It’s exactly what we have been preaching. We have multiple threats on this team, anyone on the front line can put it in.”

The No. 1 seeded Ramblers (15-1) will move on to the regional final against Dexter at Thomas College in Waterville on Tuesday.

For the No. 5 seeded Orono (9-7), the regional semifinal was a new experience.

“We don’t have a lot of playoff exposure, in terms of experience with our older kids,” Orono coach Breianna Tocci said. “This is the first year we won a playoff game, so playing this kind of energy, this kind of defense against a team like this is tough when you haven’t seen it before.”

Katie Perkins gave the Ramblers a 1-0 lead with 16:14 remaining in the first half when she put home a Hanna Caprara pass from distance.

“We came out with intensity. We were going to the ball and doing what we do well,” Perkins said. “It all came together, and we played like a team, when we need to going forward.”

With about 5:30 remaining in the opening half, Bryana Baxter put Winthrop up 2-0.

In the second half, Riley Andre did her best in the Red Riots’ cage, making six of her nine saves. Tocci believes Andre’s performance Saturday help in the next few years.

“She has come a long way. She’s only a sophomore,” Tocci said. “I am really excited what she does the next couple of years.”

Andre’s counterpart in Winthrop’s goal, Alicia Bridges, made three saves to preserve the shutout.

Andre’s performance keeping the Ramblers offense at bay forced Merrill to call a timeout.

The often fiery coach lit a fire under team, and Letourneau scored midway through the half to make it 3-0, with Perkins setting her up. Perkins found Letourneau sitting on the post waiting for a tip.

With 11:40 to play, Moriah Hajduk capped the scoring.

“Regardless of the score, we need to play like us. I didn’t think we were doing that,” Merrill said. “It’s good to light a fire in them to keep playing the way we do. We don’t need to get complacent

“Yeah, I can get fiery when I need to. … It’s good to see them respond when I need them to. It’s good they know I can call them on it, they are going to take it and go with it.”

Winthrop’s Moriah Hajduk goes for the ball Saturday at Kents Hill School in Readfield. (Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal)

The Winthrop Ramblers celebrate their 4-0 victory over Orono on Saturday at Kents Hill School in Readfield. (Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal)

Winthrop’s Lindsay Letourneau, left, gets congratulated by teammate Katie Perkins after Letourneau scored a second-half goal against Orono on Saturday at Kents Hill School in Readfield. (Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal)

Orono’s Audrey Smith, left, and Winthrop’s Moriah Hajduk battle for a ball Saturday at Kents Hill School in Readfield. (Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal)


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