Hampden— The Winthrop Ramblers needed Alyssa Arsenault to play like a senior. That is exactly what the sophomore did on Tuesday afternoon. Arsenault made seven saves on 15 shots to lead the Ramblers to a 1-0 victory in the Eastern Maine championship game over the Dexter Tigers. It is the first Eastern Maine title for Winthrop since 1989.
The Dexter Tigers best chance in the first half came with 13:00 minutes remaining They took four shots on Arsenault in a 10 second span. The Tigers dominated the game but were shutout thanks to Arsenault and solid defense.
“Alyssa (Arsenault) was pumped for this. We haven’t had this kind of pressure. It was something a little new,” said Winthrop coach Sharon Coulter. “Defense came up big. We have two seniors. They play back their on defense. Two juniors Shauna Carlson and Jessica Scott have been starters since they were freshmen. They have a lot of experience on defense. They came up big today.”
Arsenault added, “I am always nervous when they come down that is just natural instinct. Defense did so good this game. Everyone did so good.We played so good as a team. We passed well. We stopped almost every ball. We played so good as a team.”
The only goal of the game when Lauren Kaiser put one past Maicee Gustin with 9:35 remaining in the second half. Gustin kicked out the first shot by Kaiser. The ball bounced out to Mary Claire Blanchard who passed it to Kaiser.
“We have been practicing deflections into the goal,” Kaiser said. “Mary (Claire Blanchard) got the ball and crossed it across the cage. I managed to get my stick onto it and tip it into the near post.”
The Tigers did not go without chances down the stretch. The best chance came with 2:15 remaining. That is when a Dexter shot got by Arsenault Scott was set up right in front of the goal. She blocked it away with her foot. That set up a penalty stroke for the Tigers. The attempt by Sarah Eastman went wide left of Arsenault.
Dexter took 12 corners including nine in the second half. Three of those came in the final three minutes and one came as time expired. The Tigers could not get anything by the stingy Winthrop defense.
“It is the first team we played that had good corner defense,” said Dexter coach Kristy Veazie. “They got the ball, put it on there stick and carried it. That is what we should of been doing.”
Winthrop (13-2-2) will play NYA in the state championship game on Saturday, October 29th at Yarmouth high school.
Dexter finishes the season with a 15-2 record.