AUBURN — Freshman forward Greta Tod said she usually doesn’t “score much.”

But Tod’s third-quarter goal ended up becoming the game-winner, allowing North Yarmouth Academy/Waynflete to slip away with a 1-0 victory and hand St. Dominic Academy its first loss of the season in a Class C South field hockey clash on Thursday.

Tod’s goal came off an Emily Kalinich assist with 53 seconds left in the third quarter — and this is the second time she has scored a game-winner for someone who doesn’t score much.

“Basically, my teammate Emily dribbled it far past the defenders and she put it right toward the post and I just hit in,” Tod said. “Actually, it is my second (game-winning goal).” 

Tod certainly impressed Panthers (8-4) coach Annika King.

“Greta did an amazing job keeping the momentum going forward because it was really a team effort from the back of the field all the way up,” King said. “Emily carried that ball, forced it up front and Greta was there to finish it off. It was an amazing team effort.”

It was also a tale of two halves, with the Saints (11-1) dominating the first half and missing out on a handful of opportunities to score.

What frustrated the Saints to no end was North Yarmouth/Waynflete goalie Elliana Howerton-Lynch, who made 19 saves. She was under siege the entire first half and then made several other keys save in the second to preserve the Panthers’ one-goal lead. 

“Yes, I was (under siege),” Howerton-Lynch said. “I think I blacked out. St. Dom’s is a great team. We played them twice before. It didn’t go our way so this game had a lot riding on it. 

“We’ve been practicing really hard and we’ve worked on our communication a lot and everything fell into place. We just trusted each other and trusted ourselves and it went our way.”

“Elly did amazing in cage,” King said. “She was eager for every single ball. She was confident in every move she was making. She trusted her instincts and she was flawless in there today.”

The Panthers were a different a team in the second half and started hammering away at the Saints’ net.

NYA/Waynflete’s persistence paid off in the waning seconds of the third quarter, with Tod finding an opening to slip the ball past St. Dom’s netminder Pilar Hewey (three saves). 

“It was (a surprise), but they are working so hard for this game and it just goes to show that what we’ve been working on in practice was just exactly needed for today’s game,” King said.

The fourth quarter featured the Panthers trying to hold on to the lead while the Saints desperately tried to tie it or win the game.

“While I think it was good St. Dom’s field hockey, I don’t think it was our best,” St. Dom’s coach Abigail Bowie said. “I told the girls that if this is the only game we lose this season, you know what, we still get (to go after) a state title, and they shouldn’t hang their heads too much.”

Thursday’s game was the regular-season finale for St. Dom’s.

Bowie said losing on Senior Day wasn’t fun, but she said her Saints put in an “awesome effort.”

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