MT. ARARAT HIGH SCHOOL’S Sara Berry (2, top photo) looks for someone to pass to while pressured by Brunswick’s Annie Kelly (3), while in the bottom photo, Brunswick’s Jen Machin (7) closes in on Mt. Ararat defender Maggie Bouchard during second half Eastern Maine Class A girls high school lacrosse action at Brunswick on Saturday. The Dragons claimed a 9-5 victory and will host Cheverus in the Eastern A final on Wednesday.

MT. ARARAT HIGH SCHOOL’S Sara Berry (2, top photo) looks for someone to pass to while pressured by Brunswick’s Annie Kelly (3), while in the bottom photo, Brunswick’s Jen Machin (7) closes in on Mt. Ararat defender Maggie Bouchard during second half Eastern Maine Class A girls high school lacrosse action at Brunswick on Saturday. The Dragons claimed a 9-5 victory and will host Cheverus in the Eastern A final on Wednesday.

BRUNSWICK — Down 4-3 at the half on Saturday, the Brunswick High School girls lacrosse team faced the possibility of losing twice on its home field against rival and fifth-seeded Mt. Ararat this season, having dropped a 9-8 decision to the Eagles on May 24.

 

 

However, the top-seeded Dragons had other ideas in this Eastern Maine Class A semifinal contest, dominating the second half for a 9-5 victory.

Brunswick improved to 13-1 and will host No. 6 Cheverus (9-5 after a 10-9 victory over No. 7 Messalonskee) on Wednesday in the Eastern A final.

One change Brunswick made was on draw controls. Suzannah Smith took the majority, with normal draw control stalwart Dakota Foster trying to scoop up the groundballs. Though both teams claimed eight draw controls, the Dragons caused immediate turnovers, leading to transition offense.

“We emphasized that the game was going to be won in the midfield, and that we had to battle and win the ball back, which we did right from the get-go,” said Brunswick coach Beth Caputi, who announced last week she will leave coaching after this season. “I let the girls run the game today. I was like a player chiming in during a timeout.”

“Our offense was a little bit slower today, and I thought Brunswick played hard and really wanted it,” said Mt. Ararat coach Sam Chard, whose Eagles finished 9-5. “They showed a lot more emotion and played with a lot more heart today.”

Brunswick pressure

The Dragons began the second half quickly, setting up shop inside the Mt. Ararat zone. Smith found some room, but her shot hit the post to keep the Eagles in front. But, moments later Smith received a pass from Caroline Wild before depositing a shot past Mt. Ararat goaltender Bailey Sullivan to tie the game.

Brunswick kept coming, but Sullivan stood tall to keep the game even with six consecutive saves and a little bit of luck as Foster hit the post.

“We hit a couple posts and had some sweet doorstep shots, and you have to go low on the goaltender, but Bailey (Sullivan) played very well to keep the game close,” said Caputi.

Sullivan, who had 13 saves, was unable to stop the next two Brunswick shots, as Foster scored twice to give the Dragons a 6-4 lead with 12:52 remaining.

“We realized we needed to shoot more often and put more pressure on them,” said Brunswick midfielder Annie Kelly. “We played well in the first half, but just wasn’t taking the shots. For this game we decided to forget the past and just focus on playing a lacrosse game against Mt. Ararat.”

A Mt. Ararat timeout failed to slow the Dragons, who made it 7-4 when Kelly scored her third goal with 7:46 left.

The Eagles received a goal from Cat Johnson two minutes later, but Brunswick finished the contest off with a goal each from Corinne O’Connor and Wild.

Back-and-forth scrap

The first half was a backand forth scrap. Brunswick jumped on top 2-0, with Foster and Kelly picking up one goal apiece.

But, the Eagles bounced right back. Haley Michaud converted a pass from Johnson to get Mt. Ararat on the board, and Rowley Jones took a feed from Carly Raymond and beat Brunswick netminder Molly Herman 27 seconds later to tie the game.

Kelly put Brunswick ahead momentarily, with Mt. Ararat’s Rebecca Schuman and Raymond scoring in the final two minutes of the opening frame for a 4-3 Eagles lead at the break. Herman and Sullivan were stellar in the opening 25 minutes, with Herman turning aside six shots and her counterpart five.

“Molly made some great saves, and we gave a lot of shots away,” said Chard. “When Molly makes a save, she starts them on transition. That is what they do. Once we started turning the ball over and taking a poor selection of shots, we were in trouble. Brunswick just played a great game.”

“I thought our transition game was terrific,” added Caputi. “In the first half, Mt. Ararat took a lot away from us at the top. They did a good job on defense. Rowley Jones was plucking the ball out of the air on the draw, and Cat Johnson was all over the place. Mt. Ararat really brought it to us.”

Brunswick held a 17-5 shot advantage in the second half to finish with a 25-15 edge. Herman had nine saves, while Wild dished out three assists, and O’Connor and Smith two each.


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