WATERBORO — Sudden death can be a cruel way to end a game or season. But it also can be an exhilarating finish.

Alexis Foglio scored with 9.4 seconds left in the first sudden-death overtime Wednesday as top-ranked Massabesic High defeated second-ranked Thornton Academy 6-5 in the Western Class A girls’ lacrosse final.

Foglio’s goal gave the Mustangs (14-1) their second consecutive regional title and set up a rematch with Cheverus in the Class A state championship game at Portland’s Fitzpatrick Stadium.

Cheverus won last year, 8-7. “We were hoping for this,” said Foglio. Coach Brooks Bowen added, “We’re hoping for a different outcome this year.”

In an exceptionally well-played game, both teams controlled portions. As Bowen asked, “Wasn’t that a great game?”

It was. Massabesic was down 2-0 early and 2-1 at the half. Then it took a 5-2 lead, the final goal coming from Karlie Pike with 4:49 remaining.

But the Trojans stunned the Mustangs with three goals in a 36-second span – the first by Katie McCrum, the final two by Carly McKenna – to make it 5-5 with 3:13 left in regulation.

It stayed that way through two three-minute overtimes despite both teams having chances. Then the Mustangs struck in sudden death.

Massabesic controlled the play throughout, holding for one shot. After Massabesic’s Rayne Whitten missed the net with a close shot, Bowen called a timeout with 1:08 left.

As the clock ran down, Pike had the ball behind the goal. She lofted a high pass way out to Foglio, who caught it with her stick, spun and raced in. Her shot went low to the short side, just inside the post, to end it.

“Our fans and our parents are so supportive,” said Pike. “It really helps our mind-set and we do this for them.”

Pike said the winner wasn’t a set play.

“It was real nerve-racking,” she said. “I saw (Foglio) over the top and I just passed it and hoped she did her thing.”

Foglio said the Mustangs tried a set play earlier that was broken up. So during the timeout, she said Bowen told the players, “‘Do what we do, just go play. We get out there and we play.’ We know each other pretty well and (Pike) sees everything from behind there.”

Bowen said the ball was in the right player’s hands. “She’s pretty elusive once she has the ball,” he said.

“She’s got good feet, she’s got good movement. What we really like about her is she always finds an open spot.”

It was a tough loss for the Trojans, who were limited to playing on the outside by Massabesic’s defense in overtime.

“The girls battled,” said Trojans Coach Craig Agreste. “They played good defense. We did, too. They just played it for a little bit longer. They won that last round.”