The key to Scarborough’s success in boys’ lacrosse just might be the worst-kept secret around. As with most championship programs – and the Red Storm have won the last four Class A state titles – Scarborough balances a knack for living in the moment and preparing for the future.
That balance was on display Thursday when Scarborough rolled to a 14-2 victory over Portland in an SMAA match at Fitzpatrick Stadium.
Those living in the moment included many of Scarborough’s 15 seniors, a number of whom as underclassmen had to wait their turn for varsity minutes. Midfielder Chris Cyr collected three goals, and Christian Neelon and Cam Loiselle each scored twice. Austin Doody and Matt Murphy also scored.
In a nod to the future, juniors Nathan Howard and Braeden Kane also scored.
And sophomores Cameron Nigro, Cam Jepson and freshman Sam Neugebauer made the most of their numerous shifts, generating offense and each adding a goal.
“We’re trying to get our Nos. 2s and 3s (on the depth chart) plenty of runs,” Neelon said. “We want them to get repetitions in games, in case someone goes down the kid behind him can fill the spot. And it’s how you keep the program strong, working kids in.”
Scarborough built a 3-0 lead in a five-minute span midway through the first quarter, with Cyr scoring twice.
“They were giving me the alley on the dodges so I moved left and had a little room to shoot,” Cyr said.
“They weren’t sending their slide too quick so we had to take advantage of that.”
Neelon put the game away with a goal in transition with 3:57 left in the first.
“We spend about half our practices working on four-on-threes and six-on-fives,” Neelon said. “When I saw (Cyr) coming up field, I immediately crashed in. The defender slid to him, (Cyr) saw I was open, I caught the pass, looked and put it in.”
Until that point, Scarborough had marched up the field and worked the ball around the hard-working but overmatched Bulldogs.
“We’re just asking our guys to give as much effort as possible and try to outwork them,” said Portland Coach Mike DiFusco. “(Scarborough) showed up from the get-go. Once they put a couple in, they got into a groove and did a great job of (defending) all day. A tough loss but we’ll move on.”
Portland goalie Nate Martin made 17 saves on 31 shots on goal. Counterpart Jordan Flannery stopped 10 of 12 shots on goal before Isaac Rico came in late.
Connor Bruce ended the shutout, slipping behind the Scarborough defense and breaking in one-on-one with Flannery for a goal with 1:01 left in the third to make it 10-1. Brady Green’s goal with 4:28 left in the game made it 11-2.
“We’re making strides,” Scarborough Coach Joe Hezlep said. “Our biggest issue so far has been finishing plays and today we were able to put a few nice passes together and put the ball in the back of the net. As long as we’re doing the things we need to do to get better, we see that as a victory.”