WATERVILLE — The Winthrop field hockey team won its C South quarterfinal matchup, but the Ramblers weren’t thrilled with their performance. For the regional semifinals, they wanted to come out even better, and even faster.

Mission accomplished. Lauren Wood, Julia Letourneau and Bella Littler scored first-half goals, and No. 1 Winthrop continued its season-long roll with a 3-0 victory over No. 5 Hall-Dale at Thomas College on Saturday.

Winthrop (16-0) has outscored opponents 102-4 this season. It also won the Mountain Valley Conference title, a 4-0 victory over Mountain Valley.

“The biggest thing is how pleased the girls were with their performance,” Ramblers coach Sharon Coulton said. “We didn’t feel that we played to our very top level in the previous game (a 4-0 win over Maranacook), and they came out and they did it today.”

Three shots found the cage, but countless others either buzzed by the Hall-Dale goal or just missed being put on net as Winthrop constantly pressured the Bulldogs (4-10-2), particularly in the first half. The Ramblers finished with 14 corners, nine coming before halftime, and consistently had Hall-Dale on the ropes with a transition game sparked by a group including Madeline Wagner, Autumn Gerry, Littler and Maddie Perkins.

“Our team was here today, and we played really strong,” said Perkins, a senior captain. “We can change from offense to defense so quickly. So if we’re dribbling and lose the ball, we’re back on it and we get the ball back. We also have so many people that can score on our team, so that makes us dangerous.”

That was on display early. With 3:36 left in the first quarter, Wood finished off a feed from Perkins to get the Ramblers out to a 1-0 lead.

“It felt awesome to get it going,” Wood said. “She just crossed it perfectly right behind their players, and I was just right there and tipped it in. … I’ve been working at not swinging at it all season. Just having it tip off my stick.”

In the second quarter, Winthrop went up two when a shot bounced over to the left side and Letourneau knocked in the loose ball with 10:35 left. Hall-Dale got its first corner with 8:49 left, but Winthrop’s lightning-quick transition struck again as Wagner got possession and started a Rambler counter-attack that was finished off by Littler with 8:27 to go.

That last score, Coulton said, was a product of practice.

“One of our goals when we defend a corner is to try to get a fast break off of it,” she said.

For all their dominance, Winthrop didn’t get on the board in the second half, and Hall-Dale coach Angela Corbin said she was happy with the way her team responded to the early deficit.

“Honestly, for us, the most difficult part of playing Winthrop is the mental piece,” she said. “We go into it already worried about losing. Skill for skill, we turned it on in the second half. They didn’t get any goals in the second half, and we had some opportunities. At that point it was too late, though.”

The Bulldogs nearly got on the board with just under seven minutes to play when Averi Baker sent the ball into the circle and it bounced around and went out before Ava Corbin could hit it in. In the final minute, Kiley Rolfe had a chance to redirect in a ball in mid-air, but couldn’t gain control.

“Overall, our record wasn’t phenomenal. We were right there, though,” said Corbin, whose team lost five games by one goal. “We just didn’t always get the lucky bounce. But this group is highly skilled, and they always put the effort in. It was a great season.”

Winthrop’s run continues, and the next step will be a matchup with Lisbon for a spot in the Class C final for the fourth straight postseason.

“We’ve had a great season,” Perkins said. “(We were) not really expected to have a good season, with all the new players and all the players that we lost. But we showed up to play today, and we played so good.”

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