PORTLAND – Caroline L’Heureux scored her second goal of the game with 23 seconds remaining in the first overtime Wednesday to lift Sanford to a 3-2 victory against Cheverus in a Southern Maine Activities Association field hockey regular-season finale.

The victory carried Sanford (12-1-2) past the Stags (12-2) and into second place in the final Western Class A Heal point standings.

L’Heureux’s winner came on the heels of a couple of good scoring chances by Cheverus.

It also represented Sanford’s only chance of overtime.

“The ball got caught in (the goalkeeper’s) pads a little bit and I was kind of watching it come out because I know I can’t hit her,” said L’Heureux.

“Then the second it hit the ground, I just used all my anger and shot it and it went in.”

The goal capped a game in which each team took their turns pressuring the other in waves.

Sanford scored the only goal of the first half when L’Heureux finished off a three-way passing play after 19 minutes.

The goal clearly gave momentum to Sanford, which followed with several additional scoring chances only to be turned aside by Cheverus goalkeeper Libby DesRuisseaux.

The half ended with Sanford ahead, 1-0.

The Stags took their turn as the offensive catalyst early in the second half and were rewarded 3:49 in when Emily Rodrigue scored to tie the game at 1-1.

Cheverus continued to pressure and grabbed a one-goal lead halfway through the half when Ali Saxton started and finished a corner.

Saxton played the ball to Brooke Flaherty but Sanford goalkeeper Sarah Stanley stopped her shot. The rebound found Saxton, who delivered the go-ahead goal.

“I felt at the beginning they started to control the game but then we had it in our offensive end most of the half,” said L’Heureux

“But then once we were up 1-0, it was just like at Scarborough (a 2-2 tie on Sept. 14) when we were winning 2-0, they gained control back. So we knew that we had to gain momentum or it was going to be over.”

The offensive pendulum swung quickly back to Sanford only three minutes later when Libby Griffin made it 2-2 to set the stage for overtime.

“I thought we were very lucky to come out of that first half being only down one,” said Cheverus Coach Amy McMullin. “And I thought in overtime we played great. We just had that one breakdown.

“We had way more chances in overtime we just didn’t convert. That’s something to focus on and learn from.”

“This is the type of game you want just before the tournament,” said Sanford Coach Diana Walker.

“You don’t want a game where you are going to score all kinds of goals. You want a game that you have to work for because this is the type of game that we’re going to have (from now on).”