Sally Cloutier, the Cheverus High field hockey coach, saw the ball go to Avery Tucker of Westbrook at midfield about 40 seconds into overtime Friday night and had one thought:

“We’re in trouble.”

She knows what can happen when a top offensive player like Tucker gets the ball in the open field in seven-on-seven overtime. The game can end quickly.

And that’s what Tucker did.

She scored her second goal of the game 53 seconds into overtime to lift Westbrook to a 3-2 victory over top-ranked Cheverus in a Class A South game at Fitzpatrick Stadium.

Tucker got the ball at midfield, dribbled up the left wing, then cut into the circle between two defenders before unleashing a hard drive inside the right post.

“I just knew I had to shoot it as hard as I could,” said Tucker, who got Westbrook’s first goal.

This was a marvelously played game between two of the best teams in the region.

Westbrook, ranked seventh, improved to 9-1 – and should get a huge boost in the Heal point standings – while the Stags dropped to 8-2.

They were evenly matched, with Westbrook having a slight edge in shots (10-8) and penalty corners (15-11).

“I really think it was anybody’s game,” said Cloutier. “We were really well matched. They played great. We fought hard. I’m proud of my girls.”

Cheverus had the early edge, scoring just 2:22 into the game on a Lucia Pompeo goal. But Westbrook didn’t wilt under Cheverus’ pressure.

“We’re a family, and I feel like we all wanted this win and we work as a team,” said Maddison LeBeau, a midfielder who stood out for the Blazes. “We definitely won as a team.”

Westbrook began to take control midway through the first half and went ahead on goals by Tucker (with 12:09 left on a rebound) and Maddie Herbert (4:27 left, assisted by Alexis Witham on a penalty corner).

It stayed that way until the Stags tied it with 8:09 remaining when Bella Booth scored on a penalty corner, assisted by Hannah Abbott.

The Stags seized momentum after that, but Kim Goddard of Westbrook made a huge save off Pompeo with 2:40 remaining and Camryn LaPierre stopped a couple of other Cheverus rushes with good defensive plays.

In overtime, the plan for Westbrook was simple:

“We had the other girls in there who were strong defenders and our goal was to get the ball to (Tucker) and let her do her thing,” said Theresa Hendrix, the co-head coach of the Blazes. “And she did.”

Now the Blazes, whose only loss is to unbeaten Scarborough, have a signature victory. Westbrook plays Kennebunk, Massabesic and Biddeford in its next three games – all teams ranked in the top five.

They know this win can provide much-needed confidence in the upcoming weeks and playoffs.

“I feel the games where you blow out teams aren’t going to prepare you for a semifinal or state game,” said Tucker. “It’s games like these that are going to get you ready.”

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

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Twitter: MikeLowePPH