TOPSHAM — Brunswick put its transition game into high gear to roll to a 17-2 victory against Mt. Ararat in a season-opening Eastern Class A boys’ lacrosse game Tuesday night.
“Obviously it’s the first game of the season and there were a lot of mistakes here and there, but I think the kids played awesome in regards to transition and moving the ball,” Brunswick Coach Don Glover said.
A major change in substitution procedures for high school boys’ lacrosse took effect this spring, and the move is encouraging a faster pace of play. For stoppages of play due to an out-of-bounds ball, a horn is no longer sounded to allow time for substitutions.
Instead players may substitute on the fly as they can during normal play.
“We’ve been kind of working with the kids just to play fast-break (lacrosse). Let’s get up fast. Let’s move the ball with your head up,” Glover said. “We’re blessed to have a good group of athletes who also have lacrosse skills and IQ.”
The Dragons, who went 12-2 last season and got as far as the regional semifinals, opened an 8-0 lead after less than 19 minutes.
“We were a little slow in figuring stuff out and they were ready to go, and that was a huge difference-maker in the game,” Mt. Ararat Coach Matt Haskell said. “We’re a little banged-up and a little short-handed right now, but Brunswick played fantastic. They were super quick on the restarts. It seemed they were always a step ahead of us.”
Eleven players figured in the scoring for Brunswick.
Rene Yost and Owen Ginty each had three goals. Lucas McCue, Kyle Woodruff and Josh Clark scored two goals each. Tyler Hillis, Ian Schlosser, Ricky Klatt and Joe Coulombe each had one. T.J. Sullivan had three assists and Ryan Black added an assist.
Kyle Lussier and Jack Mickles scored for the Eagles, who went 9-4 a year ago and advanced to the regional quarterfinals.
“We have a young squad and we’re on the real steep end of our learning curve right now,” Haskell said.
“It’s tough to draw Brunswick in the first round but you add (the game) to your film, you learn from it and get ready for the next game.”
Goalie Logan Ouellette, a sophomore who served primarily as a backup last season, made five saves to anchor a young Brunswick defense.
“It was good to see them in their first game as a unit play cohesively and get the good help from the adjacent slides,” Grover said.
The Dragons forced 23 turnovers and turned a significant number of them into fast-break goals.
“One of our goals was to possess (the ball) and we weren’t able to do that with them,” Haskell said. “(Brunswick) possessed the ball extremely well and we did not. We had a tough time generating offense.”
The Dragons held a 31-18 edge in shots.
Schlosser, in his first game handling faceoffs for the varsity on a regular basis, won 9 of 11 draws in the first half to help stake Brunswick to an early 8-1 lead.
“He’s a master at the craft,” Glover said, “and, as a junior, we’re kind of letting him go and seeing what he can do with it.”
CORRECTION: This story was updated at 2:12 p.m. on April 23 to correct the score.