PORTLAND – When they met in the regular season, Portland had to rally to a 14-12 victory against Lewiston.

This time Portland, the defending Class A champion, was ready.

Kevin Nielsen had two goals and three assists as unbeaten, top-seeded Portland beat fifth-ranked Lewiston 9-5 in an Eastern Class A boys’ lacrosse semifinal Saturday night at Fitzpatrick Stadium.

The Bulldogs, advancing to a regional final for the fourth time in five seasons, will be at home for the final Wednesday against third-seeded Messalonskee.

“We were kind of a surprise to them the first time we played them,” Lewiston Coach Bill Bodwell said. “(Now) they know what we’re about, and they were better prepared for us this time.”

The entire Portland team got a chance to see the Devils beat Deering 3-0 in the quarterfinals Wednesday night.

“We had a long time to prepare for them,” Portland Coach Eric Begonia said.

“We had the benefit of going crosstown and watching them play. We made some adjustments and we played really well defensively.”

The Bulldogs used a new defensive scheme that held Lewiston in check for much of the game.

“Portland didn’t play us behind the net (defensively),” Bodwell said. “That was probably a good coaching move, and we didn’t make the right adjustments.”

“They beat us hard coming behind the goal the first game, and we wanted to switch up and play above the goal-line extended,” Begonia said. “When we did that, it made them adjust what they do.”

The Bulldogs (13-0) held a 6-2 halftime lead but couldn’t pull further ahead.

“One thing for sure about Lewiston (is) they’re never going to give up,” Begonia said. “They’re going to keep fighting right to the bitter end.”

Portland held a 21-16 edge in shots on goal.

Caleb Kenney, Jason Knight and Seamus Kilbride each scored two goals for Portland. Bronson Guimond also had a goal.

For Lewiston (7-7), Sam Cloutier scored two goals. Curtis Robinson scored a goal and had two assists.

Erik Tiner and Elliot Chicoine also had goals.

Jessie Leeman of Lewiston and Ryan Jurgelevich of Portland each made 12 saves.

 

Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at:

[email protected]