NEWPORT, Maine — Nokomis High School of Newport senior back Taylor Shaw said she was “exhausted” and didn’t want her Eastern Maine Class B quarterfinal against Camden Hills to go to penalty corners after playing 76 minutes, including two eight-minute sudden-death overtimes.
She made sure it didn’t.
Shaw finished off a brilliant rush by scoring with 3:16 left in the second overtime to enable her top-seeded Warriors to survive a scare from youthful eighth seed Camden Hills 2-1 on Thursday.
Nokomis improved to 15-0 and will host No. 5 Belfast, 8-7 and a 2-1 winner over Oceanside of Rockland-Thomaston, in Saturday’s semifinals.
Camden Hills, which has just two seniors, finished at 5-10.
Shaw won a 50-50 battle for the ball eight yards outside the circle and put on a burst of speed before muscling past a pair of defenders to break free. She then fired a low shot past the right leg of helpless Windjammer junior Desi Dodd.
“It’s all a blur,” said Shaw, younger sister of University of Maine field hockey standout Marissa Shaw. “I just pushed the ball up. Coach [ Katie Thompson] told us not to lift our sticks because [Camden’s defenders] were picking us off. Their defense played really well.
“The goalie stepped out at me a little bit. Her feet were shuffling. I put it to her right,” said Shaw, whose goal was her first of the season in a countable game.
“I came out a little too far on that one,” said junior Dodd, who turned in a superb 13-save performance.
Nokomis outshot Camden Hills 32-3 and had a 35-2 edge in penalty corners, but Dodd continually frustrated the Warriors with a number of top-notch saves.
The Windjammers also did an effective job clearing balls out of their circle, especially in the second half.
They stunned the Warriors by taking a lead against the run of play with 13:58 remaining in regulation when Willow Grinnell received the ball from speedy fellow sophomore Emily Daggett and flipped a quick shot back against the grain that evaded the left pad of Nokomis ’keeper Kendra Underhill.
Thompson called a timeout and told her players their season would end if they couldn’t produce an equalizer.
And senior right wing Drew Graves responded to tie it up 4:57 later by converting her own rebound.
“I really didn’t want our season to end,” said Graves. “So Olivia [Brown] and I were putting the pressure on. I took a shot and [Dodd] saved it. But I got lucky. I had my stick down, the ball came back to me and I put it between her legs.”
Thompson said her team has rallied from one-goal deficits this season and that was beneficial.
“Part of our conversation during the timeout was that we’ve been here before, we know what it’s like and we know we can come back. Just having that experience during the regular season helped us a lot. It got our intensity up,” said Thompson.
The Windjammers hadn’t allowed more than two goals in any of their previous six games.
“Our defense is tough,” said first-year Camden Hills coach Lindsey Clement. “I’ve heard quite a few coaches say our defense is the best they’ve seen and today was proof of that.”
Daggett, Dodd, forward Addie Bragg and back Molly Davee were singled out for their performances by Clement.
Junior sweeper Kamryn Foss anchored Nokomis’ defense with some timely interventions to disrupt occasional Camden Hills counter attacks.
Shaw and junior midfielders Mikayla Charters and Kirsten Costedio were among the other standouts for Nokomis. Underhill finished with two saves.