SACO — The message from Westbrook High’s field hockey co-head coaches, Beth Murphy and Theresa Hendrix, to their players before the playoffs was simple: We didn’t come this far, just to come this far.

And the Blazes have taken it to heart.

Sixth-ranked Westbrook ended a long state championship appearance drought Tuesday night, defeating fourth-ranked Biddeford 2-0 in the Class A South title game at Hill Stadium. The victory lifted the Blazes (13-4) to their first state title game since 1980.

“I have so many emotions running through my mind right now,” said senior midfielder Maddison LeBeau, who scored a goal in the second half. “It’s so awesome. We’re a family and we earned it.”

Westbrook will play Skowhegan, making its 17th consecutive appearance in the Class A state title game, in the finals Saturday at Falmouth High. Biddeford finished 14-3.

Westbrook got a first-half breakaway goal from Avery Tucker and LeBeau’s goal off a penalty corner in the second half. But it was the Blazes’ defense that carried this night.

Biddeford didn’t get a shot on goal until 10:08 remained in the game – a reverse chip by Abby Allen on which Westbrook goalie Kim Goddard made a spectacular blocker save – and only had three in the game.

The Blazes changed their defensive alignment the last two games and that has made a huge difference. Biddeford defeated Westbrook 4-3 in overtime in the regular season.

“Biddeford’s always a team that’s going to go hard,” said Hendrix. “Their forwards are fast. We knew we were going to have to beat them to the ball. We put the extra defender back (either Ariana St. Clair or Madalene Herbert), which was different from when we played them before, and I really think that helped us secure it out back.”

Biddeford Coach Caitlin Albert certainly saw the difference. “They shut down our highest scoring players,” she said. “They really closed in on us.”

And Westbrook left the offense to its top scorers. Tucker, who had the winner in double overtime in the semifinals, scored her breakaway goal with 3:28 left in the first half.

She took a lead pass from Morgan LeBeau, got around two Tigers defenders and, as Biddeford goalie Taylor Wildes came out to challenge her, went to her left and sniped a low shot into the right corner.

“Right when I got the ball I knew that I had to do, sort of, what I do best,” said Tucker. “And that was to get it in the goal.”

It stayed that way until Maddison LeBeau took a nifty push pass from Abby Symbol and one-timed it into the goal with 13:19 left.

Then it was up to the defense.

“We knew we couldn’t stop fighting, ever,” said senior defender Camryn LaPierre. “We knew we had to play to the end of the game. We knew how fast they could score.”

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

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