WATERBORO – With the game tied at 6 and riding the high of Massabesic’s first successful draw of the second half, Alyssa Gilman worked a give-and-go with Rayne Whitten. Gilman got the ball back and looked up.
She was one-on-one with Kennebunk goalie Lizzie Stockbridge.
“It was just like we’ve always been taught,” Gilman said. “Just shoot for the left hip. It went in and I was like, ‘I just scored the winning goal.”‘
That she did.
Gilman’s second goal of the game, with 3:51 remaining, lifted Massabesic to a 7-6 victory over rival Kennebunk in the Western Class A girls’ lacrosse final Wednesday night.
The goal couldn’t have come at a better time for the second-seeded Mustangs (12-3), who led a 5-2 halftime lead slip away.
The teams traded goals to start the second half before the No. 4 Rams scored three straight to tie it at 6 on Kyra Schwartzman’s goal with 5:20 left.
“This is just so amazing,” Gilman said. “We’ve never gotten this far in my whole career. We just want to keep the energy from this game going.”
Gilman’s goal was the first real attempt the Mustangs manufactured after taking a 6-3 lead, coming off Whitten’s first successful draw of the half.
“It wasn’t the start we wanted,” Kennebunk Coach Annie Barker said. “Our attackmen tried to do it all themselves in the first half, and you can’t do that against the caliber of a team like Massabesic.
“We told them to play together, be patient, and we started to get our looks. But playing from behind we never were able to settle into our game.”
On the strength of the second half, Kennebunk finished with an edge in draws (10-4), ground balls (14-10) and shots (16-14). Massabesic held a statistical edge only in saves, where senior Krysten Forrester had eight to Stockbridge’s seven.
Forrester made three saves on shots from free positions and forced two Kennebunk shots to ring off a post.
“We’ve never gotten this far, so I just had to stay focused for my team,” Forrester said. “These games are always back-and-forth (including an 8-7 overtime win for Kennebunk on May 14). You just have to block everything else out and focus on what’s in front of you.”
The Mustangs built a 5-0 lead in the first half on Whitten’s two goals around Gilman’s first. Heather Everett and Jackie Guillemette also scored for Massabesic.
Kennebunk’s Rose Bryant scored two of her team-high three goals before the half to cut the lead to 5-2.
“I thought our defense did a good job, and (Stockbridge) had a good game,” Barker said. “It was really anybody’s game, and this time it went to them.”
Now the Mustangs face Cheverus.
“(Thursday) in practice we’re going to have to use the emotion of this win to move forward,” Massabesic Coach Brooks Bowen said. “Cheverus is a great team, and the girls are excited to see what we can do.”