When it seemed like the Portland girls’ lacrosse team was finding its groove early in the second half Saturday in a Class A North semifinal against Cheverus, Isabella Booth made sure the Bulldogs’ momentum didn’t last long.

Booth notched three goals in the first nine minutes of the second half, and Cheverus pulled away for a 13-8 victory.

Booth’s most timely goals came right after Portland’s Isabella More forced a turnover in front of Cheverus’ goal, then scooped up the loose ball and fired it home to cut the Stags’ lead to 9-5 with 19 minutes left. Booth answered twice in a span of 1:21.

“What was going through my head was that we had to have higher intensity than they did,” Booth said. “That’s when you feel the adrenalin rushing through you, and you just want it.”

The second-seeded Stags (9-4) will take a seven-game winning streak into the regional final Wednesday against No. 1 Falmouth.

“I felt relief, yes, but I also felt like we can’t let up,” Booth said of her goals that gave Cheverus an 11-5 advantage with 16 minutes left. “We had to keep going.”

The third-seeded Bulldogs (10-4) jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first seven minutes, with goals from Annika More – Isabella’s sister – and Chloe Kilbride. Aisling Flaherty, who finished with four goals for Cheverus, scored twice to tie the score before Zoe Mazur gave the Stags’ their first lead.

Isabella More tied it a minute and a half later with the first of her three goals.

“The thing that really factored into our success today was that nobody got down on each other,” Cheverus Coach Bill Fenton said. “Everybody was up, everybody makes everybody look good. That’s one of our mottos: Make your teammates look good.”

Cheverus got four straight goals, all of which had assists, for a 7-3 halftime lead. Terryn MacDonald scored from Flaherty, Flaherty scored from MacDonald, Mackenzie Johnston scored from Flaherty and – with 27 seconds left – Margaret Keating scored from Mazur.

Isabella More cut into the deficit 1:32 into the second half, but Molly Flaherty answered for Cheverus 20 seconds later. Booth made it 9-4 before Isabella More made the kind of play that could unnerve an opposing team, capitalizing on a defensive error.

“We were all frustrated and like, ‘Why did we let that happen,’ but we just stayed positive and didn’t really get on each other,” Aisling Flaherty said. “We just continued working and picking each other up.”

Annesley Black and Aisling Flaherty assisted on Booth’s two quick goals. Annika More scored for Portland off the faceoff after the second goal, but Johnston and Aisling Flaherty extended the Stags’ lead to 13-6 with 7:15 left.

Elena Clifford and Hazel Praught each added a goal for the Bulldogs. Portland goalie Abby Krieckhaus made four of her six saves in the last three minutes.

“We got beat down the stretch, but I appreciate that they worked hard until the end,” Portland Coach Beth Broderick said. “Cheverus is a very good team; I think they’re peaking at a great point in the season.”

Taylor Vortherms can be contacted at 791-6417 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: TaylorVortherms

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