By Al Pike firstname.lastname@example.org June 15. 2016
Marshwood’s Kathryn Fagan, left, and Paige Singer try to hold back the tears after the Hawks’ 7-6 loss to Massabesic in the Class A South final Wednesday in South Berwick. Al Pike/Fosters.com
SOUTH BERWICK, Maine — It came down to turnovers and draw controls.
The Marshwood High School girls lacrosse team had too many of one and not enough of the other. As a result, the Hawks’ season ended with a 7-6 loss to Massabesic in the championship game of the Class A South playoffs.
Josie Ring’s only goal with 1:37 left snapped a tie and stood up as the game-winner. The Mustangs won the ensuing draw and killed the clock as the Hawks desperately tried to pry the ball loose.
“Our unforced turnovers were our downfall,” said Marshwood coach Bernie Marvin. “It’s the most we’ve had in any game.”
Trailing 6-4 late in the second half, top-seeded Marshwood (13-2) scored twice two minutes apart on goals by Hannah Costin and Reagan Nichols to pull even.
The comeback gave the Hawks visions of the regular-season matchup between the clubs when Marshwood rallied from a three-goal deficit in the second half to hand the Mustangs their only loss.
“The kids were pumped,” Marvin said. “They knew we needed that draw, but we didn’t come up with it.”
However, history did not repeat itself as Massabesic played keepaway over the final 90 seconds to earn a trip to Saturday’s state championship game at Portland’s Fitzpatrick Stadium.
“We came out of it and they got one pass ahead of us,” Marvin said of the stall. “They’re very athletic and very fast. They can all handle the ball.”
While the top-seeded Hawks’ bid for back-to-back titles fell short, the No. 2 Mustangs improved to 14-1 with their 14th straight win.
Costin finished with two goals and two assists for Marshwood while Massabesic’s Madison Drain had a game-high four goals, including three in the second half, the last coming on a free position that gave the visitors a 6-4 lead with 5:13 remaining.
Maquila DiMastrantonio scored twice for the Mustangs, and took most of the draws.
“She got every single draw,” Nichols said. “It’s tough. She’s a very good player. We just panicked sometimes when we got the ball.”
“We’ve been pretty good in the draw circle all season,” said Massabesic coach Brooks Bowen. “If you’re not it’s a tough game to be successful at.”
Nichols scored twice and Smith had a goal and an assist. Costin set up Smith for the game’s first goal and scored the second one after scooping up a ground ball and beating the defense.
The goals came 50 seconds apart and gave the Hawks a 2-0 lead less than five minutes into the game.
Massabesic scored three unanswered goals to go up 3-2 at halftime. The Mustangs took their first lead when Drain connected on a free position with 1:39 left in the first half after the Hawks were called for a penalty.
Goalie Skyler Amsden kept Marshwood in the game early in the second half with several key stops, including one on a free position. The sophomore finished with 11 saves.
“It was a game of insane magnitude, and they’re very good,” she said, “but our defense worked incredibly hard today and made it possible for me to get some of the saves I did make.”
Marshwood’s Abby Rowe made it 3-3 with 18:13 to go, but Drain scored twice in less than a minute and the Mustangs led by two with 13:52 left.
Massabesic was up 6-4 when the Hawks struck for two quick goals, making for a tense last three minutes.
“It’s a disappointment,” Nichols said. “We stepped up a lot. I don’t think too many people expected us to be here today.”