Madison Drain has never been afraid of a challenge.

As the younger sister to three brothers, Drain learned how to hold her own.

As a freshman and sophomore on talented Massabesic High lacrosse teams, she quickly made her presence known as a two-way player.

This year, as a junior midfielder, Drain stepped into a bigger leadership role as the Mustangs won the Class A title with a convincing 13-4 victory against Messalonskee. Drain and Massabesic finished the task they felt they had let slip away in a 7-6 overtime loss to the Eagles in the 2016 title game.

“My team gave me so much confidence this year and I knew that someone else could get the job done,” Drain said. “My coaches told me, when you need to, you can go for it, but when you don’t, you need to step back and control the pace. It’s a very fast-paced game, but if you take a second and read your options, the decisions become very simple.”

Sometimes those decisions were simply to take charge, like when Drain scored twice in a matter of seconds – winning the draw to herself in between – to end any drama in the state final.

Drain’s 40 goals, 25 assists and 41 ground balls, combined with her impact at the defensive end, make her our pick as Maine Sunday Telegram Player of the Year.

“To me, the most dominant player in our league all-around is Drain, at both ends of the field,” said Thornton Academy Coach Craig Agreste. “After we played Massabesic, I felt we had an answer for everything they wanted to do except for her.”

Drain’s ability to bother opposing players, read defenses and cause turnovers helped Massabesic limit opponents to just 3.1 goals per game.

“I personally love playing defense,” Drain said. “You can’t be that physical in the sport, but you can be close and kind of mentally make contact.”

“Everybody knows about Madi’s offensive prowess,” said Massabesic Coach Brooks Bowen, “but on the defensive side of the ball she’s equally important. She controls the tempo of the game. She’s just a very smart lacrosse player. I’m glad I don’t have to coach against her.”

Drain is expected to be one of 10 seniors and 19 returning varsity players in 2018.

“The mindset going into next year is knowing what we can do and what we have, and just hopefully getting back out there to the states again,” she said.

TELEGRAM ALL-STATE TEAM

Gretchen Barbera, Yarmouth senior, defense: A repeat All-Telegram choice who will play next at Allegheny College, she was a consistently solid defender who ran the defense, caused turnovers and secured ground balls.

Sydney Bell, Falmouth senior, midfield: A fierce competitor and a returning All-Telegram pick who will be playing next year at Trinity College, Bell scored 41 goals with 15 assists and was also one of the state’s best on draws.

Madison Drain, Massabesic junior, midfield: The Telegram Player of the Year scored 40 goals, with 25 assists and 41 ground balls, and was a defensive force and a draw-control specialist, leading her team to a 16-0 record and the Class A title.

Gabby Fogg, Kennebunk senior, midfield: An all-conference player and her team’s MVP, Fogg was one of several Rams who filled bigger roles this season and were pivotal to the team’s repeat Class B championship. She finished with 22 goals, five assists and 28 draw controls.

Caroline Gastonguay, St. Dominic junior, midfield: In the Saints’ second varsity season, Gastonguay had 81 goals and 24 assists. She also had 51 ground balls, 45 caused turnovers and won 95 draws while impressing veteran WMC coaches.

Mary Kate Gunville, Yarmouth senior, goalkeeper: A four-year starter and first-team all-WMC pick, Gunville had a calm confidence that spread to her teammates. She stopped 65 percent of the shots she faced.

Allie Lawlor, York senior, midfield: A first-team WMC choice who will play field hockey and lacrosse at Endicott College, Lawlor had 38 goals with 17 assists as York’s top offensive threat. She also caused 33 turnovers, scooped 54 ground balls and had 62 draw controls.

Paige LeBlanc, Thornton Academy senior, midfield: A two-time first-team SMAA pick, LeBlanc was the top two-way player and handled the draws for the Golden Trojans. She was also the team’s second-leading scorer with 28 goals and eight assists.

Maran Oakman, Kennebunk senior, defense: A key member on the Rams’ consecutive Class B championship teams, Oakman’s ability to read opposing offenses allowed her to knock down 26 passes. Her speed and athletic ability often was pivotal in transition and clearing situations. She will play next at Assumption College.

Morgan Pike, Massabesic junior, attack: The Mustangs’ overall points leader scored 36 goals and dished out 31 assists, and added 22 ground balls for the Class A champions.

Eva Then, Yarmouth junior, midfield: A hard-working two-way player, she scored 35 goals with 16 assists while controlling the offense for the Class B North champion. She was also a key target on the draw circle.

Ally Turner, Messalonskee junior, midfield: A repeat All-Telegram selection, Turner led the Eagles to their third straight Class A North title, and set school records with 85 goals, 120 points and 116 winning draws.

Coach of the Year

Annie Barker, Kennebunk: A repeat selection, Barker earned the award in 2016 for keeping a heavily favored veteran squad hungry and focused. This year the Rams had to replace the majority of their scoring, but they peaked at the right time to win a second straight Class B title.

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

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Twitter: SteveCCraig