KENNEBUNK — As the days get shorter, every game takes on added significance.

So you can understand why Beth Murphy, Westbrook High’s field hockey coach, reacted the way she did after her Blazes edged Kennebunk 1-0 in overtime Monday afternoon.

“This was a huge game in my eyes,” she said. “That’s a real good team. This is how you’ve got to win in the playoffs.”

Katie Berry scored with 1:49 left in overtime — about three minutes after Westbrook goalie Maryssa Arsenault made a jaw-dropping stick save — to lift the Blazes to the victory.

Westbrook (6-2) entered the game as the 10th seed in Western Class A. Kennebunk (5-5) was seventh.

“This is one of our biggest wins of the year, easily,” said Ally Lemay, a junior forward who assisted the winning goal.

“We all wanted it,” said Arsenault. “We put all of our effort into it.”

That Westbrook won showed how dangerous overtime can be. Or, more precisely, how dangerous one chance in overtime can be.

Kennebunk, which was outshot 9-3 in regulation (along with a 13-1 deficit in penalty corners), dominated the opening five minutes of the eight-minute, seven-on-seven overtime. But Arsenault made five saves in that stretch, none bigger than the one she stopped off the stick of Cheyenne Knox.

On the second of Kennebunk’s four overtime penalty corners, Knox somehow got free in the middle of the circle and sent a hard shot toward what seemed to be an empty corner.

But Arsenault stuck out her stick to her right and deflected the shot away.

“I was very nervous,” said Arsenault. “I just lunged and dropped down. Lizzie Conley (Westbrook’s goalie two years ago) talked to me just before (overtime) and she said just get down, put your stick down and it will deflect it.

“And it did.”

Minutes later, with Kennebunk pressing, the ball bounced out to midfield, where it was collected by Lemay on the left. She dodged two Kennebunk defenders — “I just pushed the ball as hard as I could,” she said — and passed to Berry in the middle of the circle. The sophomore spun around and whacked the ball inside the right post.

“At first I thought someone was on me,” said Berry. “Then I realized no one was there, so I took a shot as hard as I could.”

“They dominated,” said Murphy, of Kennebunk. “But that’s overtime. You get that one lucky ball out, that’s what it’s going to take.”

It was obviously a disappointing loss for the Rams, who were shut out for the fourth time. They have four games remaining, three against teams in the top four.

“We have some big games, so we have to turn it around,” said Rams Coach Kayla Hinkley. “Now we have to make up our minds what kind of finish we want.”

For Murphy, this year’s success has been a pleasant surprise.

“It’s a new group and for them to believe in themselves, that they can compete with anyone, that’s tough to do,” said Murphy. “I only have three returners. They were successful at the JV level. But the biggest piece is the chemistry.

“It’s one of the best groups I’ve ever had. They all get along, they care about each other. And they don’t care who scores. There’s no ego.”

Staff Writer Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at: [email protected]

Twitter: MikeLowePPH