LEWISTON — Leave it to a cross-town rivalry to fire up Lewiston and Edward Little in a highly-contested  field hockey game under the lights on Thursday.

Both teams took turns dominating the action before the Blue Devils (5-1) had the final say with a 3-2 victory.

Lewiston field hockey coach Jenessa Talarico made it clear why this game was so important to the team.

“I told the seniors, ‘This is your last game on this field — ever.’” Talarico said. “You need to go out there and play with your hearts if you want your last game to count. I think they did. I think they really gave a lot of effort in that last quarter.”

It appeared the match was heading for a tie, but senior forward Charlotte Gastonguay had other plans. She took an Abby Chartier feed and slapped into the cage with 10:32 left in the game. From there, the Red Eddies stepped it up, but the Devils refused to yield and held on to that 3-2 lead.

Lewiston junior midfielder CeCi Miller noted the exhilaration of Lewiston’s win.

“EL — it’s a rival,” Miller said. “We always play harder at our EL games. We really wanted to beat them. I think we really stepped it up today. We have a good team this year and our seniors are really good and we really want to play well with them before they leave. 

“I think, tonight, we played really hard. We played well as a team. We played a good team and it was fun, too. But we played good against EL and got that win tonight.”

After a scoreless first quarter, both teams kept pressuring each other, but EL scored first. With 4:33 left in the second quarter, senior midfielder Courtney Larson punched in the goal using an assist by junior midfielder Caroline Audette.

But less than three minutes later, Blue Devils senior forward Emma Begin scored an unassisted equalizer, leaving both teams tied at 1-1 heading to the half.

“It easy to give up when you are down, and we were down most of the game,” Talarico said. “They kept giving effort, giving effort, and that is all you can ask for is 100 percent.”

The third quarter featured another round of one-upmanship that resulted in a 2-2 tie.

Edward Little scored first, an unassisted goal by senior forward Hannah Smith with 1:38 left in the third quarter. But not to be outdone, Lewiston junior forward Kelsey Westleigh tied the game again, scoring off a Gastonguay assist.

“Honestly, I think we passed really well to each other,” Edward Little coach Kim Joler said. “They covered each other really well. I mean, they were pushing and working really hard.”

Then, in the fourth quarter, Gastonguay settled the matter with her game-winner.

Lewiston goalie CeCe Landry (seven saves) and EL netminder Elise Syphers (14) took a lot heat, but both showed they were up to the task with some eye-opening kick saves.

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