Class A South Girl Lax Semifinals: Amsden, Hawks Check Thornton

In Photos: (go to: http://www.seacoastonline.com/sports/20170610/class-south-girl-lax-semifinals-amsden-hawks-check-thornton

CAPTION

Marshwood’s Marin Smith, left, and Paige Singer go after a loose ball with Thornton’s Amanda Cyr during Saturday’s Class A South semifinal game in South Berwick, Maine. [Mike Whaley/Fosters.com]

CAPTION

Marshwood goalie Skyler Amsden, left, corrals a loose ball in front of the net as Makenna Janes provides support during Saturday’s Class A South semifinal game in South Berwick, Maine. [Mike Whaley/Fosters.com]

CAPTION

Marshwood’s Paige Singer, back, reaches for a loose ball along with Thornton’s Adeline Paradis. [Mike Whaley/Fosters.com]

CAPTION

Marshwood’s Marin Smith, center, is tightly defended by Thornton’s Catherine Henaire, left, and Adeline Paradis. [Mike Whaley/Fosters.com]

CAPTION

Marshwood’s Zoe Janetos, center, scored her team’s first goal as she gets the ball past TA goalie Dana Sirois (20). [Mike Whaley/Fosters.

CAPTION

Marshwood’s Marin Smith, left, and Paige Singer go after a loose ball with Thornton’s Amanda Cyr during Saturday’s Class A South semifinal game in South Berwick, Maine. [Mike Whaley/Fosters.com]

CAPTION

Marshwood goalie Skyler Amsden, left, corrals a loose ball in front of the net as Makenna Janes provides support during Saturday’s Class A South semifinal game in South Berwick, Maine. [Mike Whaley/Fosters.com]

By Dan Doyon / sports@seacoastlonline.com Jun 10, 2017

 

SOUTH BERWICK, Maine — Bernie Marvin has developed a blueprint on how to beat Thornton Academy throughout the years.

It worked again for his Marshwood High School girls lacrosse team.

With discipline and junior goalie Skyler Amsden as the backbone, No. 2 Marshwood methodically plotted its way to a third straight Southern Maine Class A championship berth with a 4-3 victory over the third-seeded Golden Trojans in Saturday afternoon’s regional semifinal.

“Turnovers against a team like this will kill you. When you play a team like this, it’s about limiting your mistakes and not trying to do anything fancy,” Marvin said. “While we didn’t play flawless, they played to about as close to flawless as they could.”

The game mirrored the 2015 regional semifinal when Marshwood won, 4-2, on its way to winning the Class A championship. The Hawks gained home-field advantage for this year’s matchup with a 7-5 victory over Thornton in last week’s regular season finale.

“They stuck to the game plan, because we score a lot of goals,” Marvin said. “But against a team like this, if you get running they’ll kill you. They have a good goalie and are well coached and we just couldn’t make mistakes, and we didn’t.”

Thornton’s Amanda Cyr sliced Marshwood’s lead to 4-3 with 45.6 seconds remaining, but Marin Smith won the ensuing draw and Paige Singer picked up the ground ball, allowing the Hawks to milk the rest of the clock.

Marshwood (11-3) advanced to Wednesday’s regional championship, where it meet top-seeded Massabesic (13-0) for the second straight year. Massabesic beat No. 5 Gorham, 4-1, on Saturday to advance.

“Thornton is a great defensive team, but we also pride ourselves on defense and we knew whoever made the least amount of mistakes would win, and whoever recovered faster from their mistakes would win,” Singer said. “I think that’s why we won the game today.”

There were still 25 minutes left to be played, but Marshwood may have won the game in the first half after Zoe Janetos beat Thornton goalie Dana Sirois nearly nine minutes into the game to give the Hawks a 1-0 lead.

Thornton (10-4) controlled possession for the majority of the opening half, but the Hawks made four steals deep in their own end. Amsden — who boasts a regional best save percentage of 69 percent — made five of her seven saves in the first half, including three off free position shots.

“We’re known to feel it out in the first half, maybe make some mistakes and comeback out in the second half,” Amsden said, “but we were ready for this game. I think I have the best defense in the state. It’s hard for teams to get off uncontested shots.”

Singer scored off a free-position shot with 2.6 seconds left in the first half to give Marshwood a 2-0 halftime lead.

“Our defense played a ridiculously good first half,” Singer said. “Skyler made a great save, I got it in the clear and I knew we had a few seconds left and I had the best shot.”

“Last time we played them, the game was pretty much identical,” Thornton coach Craig Agreste said. “They capitalized on opportunities and we just weren’t able to. Credit to them. We had good looks, they made great saves and great defensive plays.”

After Alana Pettway put Thornton on the board two minutes into the second half, Reagan Nichols countered to give Marshwod a 3-1 lead. Cyr cut the deficit to 3-2 with 16:11 remaining.

The Hawks spread the field in an effort to chew time off the clock, and Lucy Albers found a hole and charged the ball past Spirois to give Marshwood a 4-2 cushion with 4:25 left on the clock.

“I knew I wanted that goal and I knew we needed it,” Albers said. “I was in a good position and I knew this was going to be it. I felt good about it.”

And yet another Thornton roadblock has been dodged.

“We really worked on our defense and the girls followed the plan,” Marvin said. “I thought the midfielders did a good job of dropping back on their cuts — and then we’ve got Skyler.”

Comments are closed