WATERVILLE — Top-ranked Messalonskee, the defending state champion, recovered from an early deficit and took charge in the second half Wednesday to defeat eighth-seeded Portland 14-12 in a Class A North girls’ lacrosse quarterfinal at Thomas College.

The Eagles (12-1) came back from an early 4-1 deficit to put away the stubborn Bulldogs (4-9) and earn a semifinal game Saturday at home against fourth-seeded Cheverus (6-7).

Lauren Pickett (five goals), Ally Turner (four goals) and Lydia Dexter (four goals) led Messalonskee. Kaitlyn Smith also scored.

Messalonskee led 9-7 at halftime, then scored the first four goals of the second half.

Messalonskee’s Kaitlyn Smith moves the ball up field past Portland’s Caitriona Moran during the first half. Staff photo by Jeff Pouland

But the Bulldogs, who missed the playoffs last season, responded with four unanswered goals, three from Caitriona Moran, to pull within 13-11 with 11 minutes to play.

“We’re a young team so we’ve got a lot of (offensive) options because we’re still growing,” Portland Coach Beth Broderick said. “We don’t have that one superstar. We’ve got a lot of folks who are happy to move the ball around and look at the goal. We had a lot of guys score today, which was great.”

A Dexter goal with eight minutes to play was enough to put the game away, even with a late Portland goal from Kierstead.

Moran and Isabella More led the Bulldogs with three goals each.

“We’ve got a lot of freshmen who contributed today, a couple key sophomores and a handful of juniors. So I think next year looks really good for us,” Broderick said.

MARSHWOOD 15, SOUTH PORTLAND 4: Marin Smith had six goals and two assists for the second-seeded Hawks (11-3), who opened a 9-3 halftime lead and advanced past the seventh-ranked Red Riots (5-9) in a Class A South quarterfinal at South Berwick.

Luci Albers had four goals and two assists for Marshwood, Paige Singer added two goals and an assist, and Olivia Melton scored twice.

Kaya Backman scored twice for South Portland. Jenna Leckie had a goal and an assist, and Paige Fleming also scored.

Skyler Amsden had three saves for the Hawks, who will be home against third-seeded Thornton Academy in the semifinals at 1 p.m. Saturday.

ST. DOMINIC 15, BOOTHBAY REGION 5: Caroline Gastonguay had eight goals and two assists as the fifth-seeded Saints (10-2) cruised past the fourth-ranked Seahawks (7-5) in a Class B North quarterfinal at Boothbay Harbor.

Rileigh Stebbins and Mia-Angelina Leslie each added two goals for the Saints, who led 9-2 at halftime. Jackie McLoon and Syndey Meader each scored twice for Boothbay.

St. Dominic will be at top-ranked Yarmouth (13-0) in the semifinals Saturday.

CHEVERUS 18, GARDINER/HALL-DALE 8: Brooke McElman finished with five goals and two assists for the fourth-seeded Stags (6-7), who pulled away after a tight first half to defeat the fifth-ranked Tigers (4-9) in a Class A North quarterfinal at Portland.

Mackenzie Johnston had four goals for Cheverus, Aisling Flaherty added three goals and four assists, and Kathryn Griffiths chipped in with three goals.

Evelyn Hinkley led Gardiner with four goals. Lauren Chadwick added three.

Maeve McGarrity stopped eight shots for the Stags. Madyson Smith turned aside 12 shots for the Tigers.

Cheverus will be at top-ranked Messalonskee (12-1) in a semifinal Saturday.

THORNTON ACADEMY 10, BONNY EAGLE 3: Hannah McAlary and Paige LeBlanc each scored three goals as the third-seeded Trojans (10-3) fended off the sixth-ranked Scots (6-7) in a Class A South semifinal at Standish.

Thornton will be at second-seeded Marshwood (10-3) in the semifinals at 1 p.m. Saturday.

MASSABESIC 13, SCARBOROUGH 3: Morgan Pike scored four goals, and Madison Drain had three goals and three assists as the top-ranked Mustangs (13-0) downed the eighth-seeded Red Storm (3-10) in a Class A South quarterfinal at Waterboro.

Massabesic will be home against fifth-seeded Gorham (8-5) in the semifinals Saturday.

YARMOUTH 20, WINSLOW 2: Meredith Lane scored five goals and Margaret Elder added three as top-ranked Yarmouth (13-0) rolled to a Class B North quarterfinal victory at home against Winslow (7-7).

Yarmouth will be home against St. Dominic (10-2) in the semifinals Saturday.

OCEANSIDE 14, CONY 5: Jillian Brooks had five goals and two assists as the third-seeded Mariners (11-2) beat sixth-ranked Cony (6-7) in a Class B North quarterfinal at Rockland.

MORSE 10, FREEPORT 9: Paige Daigle scored three goals, including the winner with 1:03 remaining in overtime, to lift the second-seeded Shipbuilders (11-2) over the seventh-ranked Falcons (4-9) in a Class B North quarterfinal at Bath.

Morse will be home against third-seeded Oceanside (11-2) in the semifinals at 5 p.m. Friday.

GORHAM 8, BIDDEFORD 7: Marina Pappalardo scored three goals as the fifth-seeded Rams (8-5) edged the fourth-seeded Tigers (9-4) in a Class A South quarterfinal at Biddeford.

Hayley Keefe added two goals for the Rams, who will be at top-seeded Massabesic (13-0) in the semifinals Saturday.

SOFTBALL

NOBLE 6, MAINE GIRLS’ ACADEMY/FALMOUTH 5: The fifth-seeded Knights (12-5) scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to oust the 12th-seeded Lions (7-10) in a Class A South prelim at North Berwick.

Trailing 5-2 in the seventh, Raegan Kelly of Noble hit a two-run single and Marisa Cipola scored on an errant throw to make it 5-5. Jordan Boucher then hit a walk-off infield single to score Kelly.

GRAY-NEW GLOUCESTER 4, YORK 3: Alison Martell struck out 10 and scored the go-ahead run in the fifth inning to lead the sixth-seeded Patriots (11-6) over the 11th-ranked Wildcats (5-12) in a Class B South prelim at Gray.

Gray-New Gloucester will be at third-seeded Freyburg Academy (13-3) in a quarterfinal at 3 p.m. Thursday.

MASSABESIC 16, BIDDEFORD 5: Lacey Bean drove in three runs as the sixth-seeded Mustangs (12-5) scored eight times in the third inning and beat the 11th-seeded Tigers (7-10) in a Class A South prelim at Waterboro.

Massabesic moves on to face third-seeded Thornton Academy (13-3) in the quarterfinals at 2:30 p.m. Thursday.