BRUNSWICK – Annie Kelly scored six goals and Dakota Foster added five as top-seeded Brunswick shook off a slow start and knocked off No. 6 Cheverus 14-3 in the Eastern Class A girls’ lacrosse final Wednesday.

Both teams struggled on offense in the early going, with the top-ranked Dragons (11-3) leading 3-1 more than 20 minutes into the game. Kelly, Foster and Suzannah Smith scored the first three goals for Brunswick, and Alex Logan answered for the sixth-ranked Stags (5-10).

“We’d never played them,” said Foster, “so we had no idea what to expect. We knew they had a good team because they’d beaten (No. 2) Cony and (No. 3) Messalonskee to get here.”

Kelly, whose six goals were a season high, added, “We had to warm up to how they played and then adjust, and I think we were a little flat after so much excitement for the Mt. Ararat game (a 13-12 rivalry nailbiter).”

Foster converted a turnaround off a feed from Caroline Wild (three assists) with two minutes left in the half, and Kelly converted a free possession seven seconds before halftime to give the Dragons a 5-1 lead.

“At halftime we talked about really needing to work on possessing the ball,” said Foster. “And one of our captains said to play like it was the last 25 minutes of our life. Being so close to a state championship game, we just really wanted it.”

Corinne O’Connor tallied in the opening minute of the second half for Brunswick before Kelly and Cheverus’ Elyse Caiazzo converted free possessions.

A Logan goal off another free possession pulled the Stags to within 7-3 with 15 minutes remaining, but Brunswick scored the last seven goals — three each by Foster and Kelly, and a coast-to-coast effort by Liz Faulkner.

“Once we started getting control, we just used our plays,” said Kelly, “and we had some great assists.”

“I think it was total jitters,” Brunswick Coach Beth Caputi said of the early sloppy play. “But we showed good patience with our attack, and the kids really showed their smarts. We had three or four goals off our third option, so they were seeing when something wasn’t working and adjusting.

“And I thought our defense played great,” she added. “Kelsie Jenquine was awesome in the crease.”

The loss ended a surprising run by Cheverus, which was 1-9 before winning its last two regular-season games to make the playoffs.

“You saw the spirit on our bench right up to the buzzer,” said Cheverus Coach Jamie Chamberlain, “and that’s how they’ve been all year. Even when we only had one win, they all stuck together and supported each other, and that’s how we got this far. It was a real nice run for us.”