Final lax teams ousted in regional finals
The Morse girls' lacrosse team made it somewhere it had never been before, while the Brunswick boys were hoping to go somewhere they had been many times, but both teams' title dreams were dashed last week in the regional final round of the playoffs.
The Shipbuilders went 7-5 in the regular season and wound up fourth in Eastern B. Morse downed No. 5 Camden Hills, 17-10, in the quarterfinals, then earned the program's biggest win to date with a 9-8 overtime triumph over top-ranked Gardiner in the semifinals on standout Sadia Crosby's goal.
That seismic win sent the Shipbuilders to Yarmouth face the third-ranked Clippers last Wednesday in the Eastern B Final. The game was actually played at North Yarmouth Academy, as Yarmouth's turf field is undergoing renovation.
For a half, Morse gave the Clippers everything they could handle and more and was within a single goal, 9-8, late, before Yarmouth scored twice to take an 11-8 lead to the break. In that stretch, due to yellow cards, Morse played with a man advantage for several minutes, but couldn't take advantage.
The second half was a different story, as the Shipbuilders defense couldn't slow the Clippers and Morse's offense dried up. It all added up to a 22-9 Clippers' win, thanks in large part to eight goals from Grace O'Donnell. The Shipbuilders were led by Crosby, who scored four times.
"We got it to 9-8 and we couldn't get the equalizer," lamented longtime Morse coach Linda Levesque. "They took time off the clock and got two quick ones and it was 11-8 at half. We had too many turnovers. At least half of their goals in the first half were off turnovers, because we couldn't clear. Draws were even. Shots were close. I think we surprised them with our intensity, but the two halves were like night and day. Yarmouth's bigger and more skilled."
The Shipbuilders finished 9-6.
"This was a magical season we've had," Levesque said. "This is the farthest we've been. I feel like we're in the neighborhood. Our goal was to get better every day and we did. The seniors' goal was to get to the second round and we got to the third. They set the bar high."
Morse hopes to build on this year's success and make a run deep into June again in 2014.
"We have a good core group of kids coming back," Levesque said. "We're putting in turf. We won't be missing any practices next year. The youth program's kicking in. We have great kids coming up."
The Dragons boys, the other remaining team, also fell in the regional final Wednesday, in more agonizing fashion.
After an 11-1 regular season, Brunswick earned the top seed in Eastern A and after a quarterfinal round bye, the Dragons downed No. 5 Messalonskee, 12-9, to earn a regional final date with No. 2 Cheverus, which eliminated Brunswick again.
The Dragons led much of the way and were up, 6-3, at halftime, but the Stags roared back with six straight goals in the third period to lead, 9-6. Then, it was Brunswick's turn to get off the deck and it rallied to tie, 9-9, but Cheverus got a goal with just under two minutes to play and held on for the 10-9 triumph, ending the Dragons' season at 12-2.