SACO — It’s been eight years in the making, but the Biddeford girls’ lacrosse program has finally earned a win against its biggest rival.

The Tigers outscored Thornton Academy 8-4 in the second half Wednesday to pick up a 13-9 win.

“This is very big. We came in here thinking it was going to be good competition, but we didn’t really have our heads up to think that we were going to actually beat them because all the other years we got defeated,” said Biddeford junior Paige Laverriere, who finished with six goals.

Biddeford Coach Caitlin Albert said her team has lacked confidence in the past against Thornton.

“A lot of these girls had never beat TA in a sport,” said Albert. “It really was all mental. I think the fact that they realize that they can do it, now we can set the bar even higher.”

Biddeford jumped out to a 2-0 lead early on a pair of Laverriere goals, but Thornton answered with goals from Adeline Paradis and Hannah McAlary to tie it at 2-2 with 14:25 left in the first half.

The Trojans took their first lead on a goal from Alana Pettaway, but Laverriere responded with her third goal of the game.

After Thornton regained the lead when Pettaway scored with 8:31 left in the half, Laverriere got her fourth goal.

Biddeford then went ahead 5-4 lead with just 1:38 remaining in the half on a goal by Hailey Allen, but Thornton tied it when Cat Henaire found the back of the cage with 38 seconds left in the half.

Thornton Coach Craig Agreste thought the Tigers set the tone in the first half.

“Listen, they outplayed us … in the first half, they won every loose ball,” Agreste said.

The teams continued to trade goals for much of the second half.

Henaire put the Trojans in front, but Biddeford tied it again on a goal by Abby Allen. Henaire responded with one of her four second-half goals.

Biddeford then got goals just 15 seconds apart from Serena Speight and Peyton McKeown to take an 8-7 lead.

Henaire pulled Thornton even with 7:57 left, but Biddeford scored three straight goals from Grace Boisvert, Allen and Laverriere to take control.

Henaire’s fifth goal of the game with 4:51 remaining cut the deficit to 11-9, but McKeown and Laverriere scored in the final three minutes for Biddeford.

Biddeford goalie Ella McKenzie finished with 12 saves.

“They played harder than us in the first half. Second half, we started playing better, but it was too late. They set the tone early on and they deserved the win,” said Agreste.

Laverriere believes the Tigers (5-1) are heading in the right direction.

“I think we’re way better than last year, and I think we’re just going to keep going up from here,” Laverriere said.

Albert agreed.

“It’s the best that it’s ever been,” Albert said of the program’s status. “If we use all of our resources – and we have a bunch of talented players – we can push pretty far in the Class B playoffs if we want to and if we have that strong senior leadership.”

Agreste is hoping the loss to Biddeford will be a wake-up call for the Trojans (2-3).

“Ultimately, it’s a bad loss because we’re not playing well. We’re not playing good lacrosse and we’ve got to look in the mirror and we have to improve,” Agreste said.