WESTBROOK — Scoring chances were at a premium Saturday in a Class A South field hockey prelim between eighth-ranked Westbrook and No. 9 Deering.

Westbrook was held to two shots, but Delaney Derrig, a senior captain for the Blue Blazes, made her only shot count. Derrig took a pass from fellow captain Lindsay Hildreth and sent it into the bottom right corner of the cage just over 12 minutes into the contest, lifting Westbrook to a 1-0 victory.

“She’s been the go-to kid,” Westbrook Coach Beth Murphy said of Derrig. “She’s a scrappy, scrappy kid, and when you put her in that circle, she’s going to battle with the best of them. She does have an eye for the ball and she’s not afraid with the ball. You can’t teach that. If it’s anywhere near her, she’s going to be the first one to get to it.”

The win sends the Blue Blazes (8-7) to a regional quarterfinal Tuesday at No. 1 Cheverus, which beat Westbrook in overtime during the regular season.

Cam LaPierre, Alisha Aube, Avery Tucker and Olivia Grosso led a Westbrook defense that held the Rams (6-9) without a shot until nine minutes into the second half.

“Give a lot of credit to our backs; those four have really just stepped it up the last couple weeks,” said Murphy. “Your defense is what wins you games. Obviously you have to score, but if you can hold them you’ll win games, and that’s what (our backs) did.”

Westbrook avenged a 1-0 loss to Deering early in the season.

“I knew it was going to be a really tough game coming in. They’re really talented,” said Deering Coach Liz Koharian. “It was the same way when we played in the regular season, but we were able to get the goal in that one.

“I didn’t expect this to be high scoring.”

Freshman goalie Kim Goddard made two saves for the shutout. On Deering’s first shot – a hard blast from the top of the circle – Goddard expertly used her pad to drive the ball off target. With just over five minutes remaining, Goddard turned away another prime scoring chance, batting the ball out of midair with her pad after a penalty corner.

“She’s had some clears in the air and she’s not afraid to go after it,” said Murphy. “You can’t teach that either. She’s working at it, but she’s going to be an All-State goalie before she leaves Westbrook High School.”

The Rams earned their third straight playoff berth, thanks in large part to a group of 12 seniors.

“I’m so proud of them,” said Koharian. “I came in when they were freshmen, so this was my first graduating class that I’ve had for four years and have been able to see progress to this level. Some of them have played in three playoff games.

“This senior class really helped turn the program around.”

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