North Yarmouth Academy freshman Hannah Twombly plays the ball away from Lisbon senior Chase Collier as senior Savannah Shaw looks on during the Greyhounds’ 3-1 win in Wednesday’s Class C South quarterfinal.

Daryn Slover / Sun Journal photos.

NYA sophomore Caroline Gepfert battles Lisbon junior Savannah Czechalski for possession.

LISBON—Outside of family and friends, no one will be happier when Lisbon senior Chase Collier graduates next spring than the North Yarmouth Academy field hockey team.

That’s because for the second year in a row, Collier sent the Panthers packing from the postseason.

A year after scoring a dramatic double overtime goal to eliminate NYA in the semifinals, Collier proved to be too much to handle again in Wednesday afternoon’s Class C South quarterfinal.

The host Greyhounds scored first, in the 20th minute, when sophomore Peyton Gosselin scored on a rebound of a Collier shot, but early in the second half, sophomore Amber Rose scored to pull the Panthers even.

Enter Collier.

With 23:22 remaining in regulation, on a penalty corner, Collier scored to put Lisbon ahead to stay and 58 seconds later, she scored again on a penalty corner to open the game up.

The Greyhounds defense slammed the door from there and prevailed, 3-1.

Lisbon improved to 10-5, advanced to meet top-ranked Oak Hill (14-1) in the semifinals this weekend and ended NYA’s season at 7-6-2 in the process.

“I think it was a well played game, but Lisbon just converted their corners,” said Panthers’ first-year coach Wendy Polstein. “(Chase) has a great shot.”

No strangers

The teams don’t play in the regular season, but had met in five of the past eight postseasons with the Greyhounds holding a 3-2 lead (see sidebar, below). Last year, Lisbon won, 2-1, in double overtime, at NYA in the semifinals, when Collier scored on a breakaway.

After getting to the regional final in 2015, the Greyhounds started 4-1 this fall, but went just 5-4 the rest of the way and wound up 9-5, good for fourth in Class C South.

The Panthers under new coach Wendy Polstein, started 4-0-2, then lost five of their final eight games to wind up 7-5-2 and fifth.

Tuesday, on a gorgeous, summer-like afternoon (74 degrees at the start), NYA hung tough, but couldn’t spring the upset.

The Panthers had the disadvantage of playing without their starting goalie, freshman Eliza Tod, who missed the game due to illness. Tuesday, freshman Maya Davis volunteered to step in.

“It was her first time ever playing goalie,” Panthers coach Wendy Polstein said. “That’s not always the easiest thing to do in a playoff game.”

NYA got the first good scoring chance, as on a penalty corner, sophomore Katie Larson sent a shot on goal, but Lisbon junior goalie Mikayla Harnden made the save and a rebound was cleared.

The Greyhounds carried play most of the rest of the half, but it took them awhile to rattle the cage.

Lisbon’s first shot came in the eighth minute, but on a rush, sophomore Sydney Plourde shot wide.

After the Panthers cleared the ball during a Greyhounds’ scrum, Plourde was denied by Davis and Davis made successive saves on bids from Collier and junior Savannah Czechalski.

With 10:16 to play in the half, Lisbon broke through, as after Davis denied Collier, Gosselin banged home the rebound to make it 1-0.

“It was definitely important for us to come out strong instead of flat,” Collier said. “Some games we come out flat and we play better in the second half, but we knew really had to play strong in the first half to get score first.”

The Greyhounds enjoyed a 3-1 edge in shots and a 2-1 advantage in corners in the first 30 minutes.

In the second half, NYA appeared to wrest momentum back, but Lisbon had the last laugh.

With 26:40 to play, Rose got to a ball in circle and whacked it into the cage to tie the score, 1-1.

The Panthers’ joy was short-lived, however, as the Greyhounds went back on the attack and earned a penalty corner.

After going 0-for-2 in the first half, Lisbon found the target this time, as with 23:22 showing, Collier inserted the ball, got it back and rocketed a shot past Davis just inside the far post for a 2-1 lead.

The Greyhounds got the ball back, earned another corner and with 22:24 remaining, Collier redirected a blast from senior Bree Daigle into the cage to make it 3-1.

“I just kind of saw both the balls and I just kind of slammed them in,” Collier said. “Nothing special about it, I just knew that we really had to get a couple more goals in there to really secure our spot to go into the next round of the playoffs.”

NYA refused to go quietly and had some good looks late.

With 5:05 to play, the Panthers earned their first penalty corner of the half, but Lisbon junior defender Shelby Cyr swept the ball away. NYA got another corner, but it was cleared.

With just under a minute to go, senior Kiersten Marr rushed in and looked to cut the deficit to one, but her rush was broken up and a rebound was denied Harnden.

That did it and the Greyhounds were able to celebrate their 3-1 victory.

“Once they poked that (tying goal) in, I think it was actually good for us to, kind of (say), ‘All right, now we need to clamp down and mean serious business,'” Lisbon coach Julie Petrie said.

The Greyhounds got five saves from Harnden and had a 5-3 advantage in penalty corners (converting two).

Lisbon lost to Oak Hill 3-0 and 5-0 this season, but hopes the third time will be the charm.

“It’s go big or go home and we always say that together,” Petrie said. “We just talk about there’s no room for error in the playoffs. We use last year as an example. We were the eight seed and people counted us out. You just give it everything you’ve got and you’ve got to expect that from every single team you play, because that’s what it’s going to be.”

Learning experience

NYA was outshot, 8-6, but got five saves from Davis, who played valiantly.

“Playing without our goalie showed our enthusiasm and grit,” Polstein said. “We had to figure it out last night and Maya stepped up and did great. The whole team did.”

The Panthers played with four freshmen and four eighth graders this season, but were competitive throughout and wound up with a winning record for the 14th consecutive year.

“As a whole, I think the season was great,” Polstein said. “I’m proud of how it went. The girls were a pleasure. They showed great sportsmanship. We did fantastic, considering our low numbers.”

NYA graduates only two players, but captains Marr and Savannah Shaw will be missed. Those who return will be battle tested, despite their youth.

“Savannah and Kiersten were great captains,” Polstein said. “This team will be a great group because so many are coming back. This year was a good experience for them. The eighth graders played a big role.”

Sun Journal assistant sports editor Lee Horton contributed to this story.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

Previous NYA-Lisbon playoff results

2015 Western C semifinal
Lisbon 2 @ NYA 1 (2 OT) 

2013 Western C Final
NYA 2 Lisbon 1 (3 PC)

2012 Western C Final
Lisbon 1 NYA 0 

2011 Western C semifinal
NYA 1 Lisbon 0 (3 PC) 

2008 Western C quarterfinal
NYA 6 Lisbon 0 

Previous NYA stories

Season Preview

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NYA 1 Freeport 1

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