Lewiston’s Ceci Miller fires the ball into Portland’s goal for the sixth goal of the game during Wednesday’s playoff game. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

LEWISTON — The fourth-seeded Lewiston Blue Devils used an overwhelming first half of possession and goals to win 9-6 against fifth-seeded Portland and advance in the Class A North girls lacrosse playoffs.

Lewiston scored the final four goals of the half to stretch its lead to 8-3 heading into halftime in a half in which the Blue Devils held all the momentum.

Shauna Leblanc scored first for Lewiston just 3:29 into the game, followed by Charlotte Gastonguay’s first of four first-half goals just 63 seconds later to give Lewiston a quick 2-0 lead. Gastonguay finished with five goals in the game.

In the first five minutes the Portland Bulldogs rarely touched the ball thanks to a patient offense by the Blue Devils. With 18:48 left in the first half, Portland’s Chelsea Dana scored to cut the deficit to 2-1 before her teammate Elizabeth Littell tied the game with 13:58 left in the half.

Portland had some momentum but Lewiston’s Rebecca Lussier and Gastonguay scored back-to-back goals to take a 4-2 lead with 11:33 to play.

Portland’s Jane Marvin scored off a drive to the net from the right side of the net and a late spin move to pull Portland within one before Lewiston stepped on the gas.

In the final 8:16, Lewiston got two more goals from Gastonguay and one each from Ceci Miller and Brie Dube.

I think the offense we run lets us get confidence and lets us read the defense better,” Lewiston coach Tracey Blaisdell said. “We are looking to wait for that perfect pass and it’s something the kids really had to practice to do. Another thing was we had to hustle for the ground balls. Today we won the ground balls and we dug in in marking and we made sure we were marking players and it makes a huge difference.”

In the second half, Portland’s Zoe Cheever scored with 20:50 remaining in the game to make it 8-4. Gastonguay answered later with a goal off a free shot to make it 9-4 with 13:37 left to play before Portland’s Lauren Gerber scored back-to-back goals within 44 seconds of each other to drag the Bulldogs within 9-6 with 12:23 left in the match.

We finally had a stretch where we could practice and that’s what we worked on was set pieces,” Blaisdell said. “Credit to Portland, they turned it up a notch and we couldn’t underestimate them at all. They adjusted. The kids even said they turned it up a notch.”

Portland kept the pressure applied and Lewiston fended off waves of attacks, but held possession for the last few minutes and let the clock run empty for the quarterfinal victory.

Portland’s Bobby Villani and Lewiston’s Brianna Dube jostle for control of the ball during Wednesday’s playoff game. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

Lewiston’s Charlotte Gastonguay fires the ball into Portland’s goal for the second goal of the game during Wednesday’s playoff game. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal


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