GARDINER – Sadia Crosby of Morse spun away from one defender, bounced off a second and eluded a third Friday before scoring the most important goal in school history.

It gave the fourth-seeded Shipbuilders a 9-8 triple-overtime victory against top-ranked Gardiner in the Eastern Class B girls’ lacrosse semifinals.

“It was basically all adrenaline,” Crosby said. “I don’t even remember it. I definitely thought about passing, but when it’s sudden death like that, you’ve just got to do it.”

Morse (9-5), which had never advanced past the quarterfinals, will meet No. 3 Yarmouth. The Clippers defeated Freeport in the Western Maine final.

Gardiner (10-4) rebounded from a one-win season a year ago.

Crosby’s goal capped a comeback that coincided with Gardiner losing Ally Day, who left with less than a minute left in regulation after receiving a second yellow card for a dangerous follow-through on a shot on goal.

“She’s the focal point of our offense,” Gardiner Coach Andy Haskell said. “When we lost her, it kind of gave them some momentum.”

The Tigers led 7-5 when Day left. The Shipbuilders tied it on two quick goals by freshman Maddy Olsen, the first on a free-position shot 15 feet in front of Gardiner goalie Maddie Cutler with 44 seconds left. Olsen took the ensuing faceoff and broke in for another score to make it 7-7 with 37 seconds left.

“We’re two-thirds freshmen and sophomores,” Morse Coach Linda Levesque said.

With the Tigers a player down, the teams played two three-minute overtimes before going to sudden death.

Sophie Sreden gave the Shipbuilders their first lead with a solo effort with 1:24 left in the first overtime. Emma Hickey tied it 26 seconds later when she bounced a shot off Morse goalie Cat Sener (10 saves) and it trickled into the goal.

The Tigers controlled the first half and built a 5-1 lead, with Day and Julie Krause each scoring twice. Day, who attracted a crowd of defenders each time she touched the ball, finished with three goals.

“Everything runs through her and Brooke Davis,” Levesque said. “We didn’t do anything different with our defense other than try not to even let her get the ball.”

The Shipbuilders carried play most of the second half. They drew within 6-5 on four straight goals from Ruth Nadeau. It might have been more if not for Cutler, who recorded 10 of her 15 saves in the second half and overtime.

“She was outstanding,” Haskell said. “The defense played fantastic. We let up one goal in the first half and we had a few breakdowns in the second half.”

Gary Hawkins can be contacted at 621-5638 or at:

ghawkins@centralmaine.com