GORHAM — A year ago, Scarborough dropped an overtime battle against Gorham to open the boys’ lacrosse season. Sam Neugebauer made sure the Red Storm would start 2017 with a better result.
The senior attack used a relentless offensive showing to lead the defending Class A state champions to a 15-9 win on the turf field at the University of Southern Maine on Saturday afternoon.
“The toughest part about him is he’s just non-stop,” Gorham Coach Dan Soule said of Neugebauer. “His motor never stops. He shoots in some tough situation where most guys aren’t able to shoot from. He can be played well one-on-one and still manages to get shots off. He’s good at what he does.”
Neugebauer, a four-year starter, was an offensive dynamo throughout as he racked up seven goals despite being the main focus of the Rams’ defense.
“When he’s on, he’s tough,” said Scarborough Coach Joe Hezlep. “(Gorham goalie) Carter Landry is absolutely one of the best goalies in the state and he was all over Sam today. I think out of Sam’s seven goals, four of them he got a piece of and three had direct contact and bounced into the short side of the net. Carter was all over it, but when Sam is getting the ball to the net he can make a coach look very smart.”
“Sometimes it’s luck,” said Neugebauer, “and sometimes you just shoot it and score. Today was a lucky day for me. Carter had a good game, so I’ll take some of those bounces.”
Marco Manfra chipped in with three goals, and Scarborough also got goals from Mason Parks, Marc Guerette, Cam Thibault and Andrew Granzier.
Dom Lorello, Alex York and Brady Rioux each scored twice in defeat, while Chris Tucker, Cam Wright and Jake Dupuis added a goal apiece.
Scarborough keeper Dominic Joy anchored the defensive effort.
“He tells us what to do and where to be,” said Neugebauer. “He’s a captain for a reason, and his role back there is huge.”
“In the first quarter, we were unorganized and unsure of where we were going,” said Hezlep. “We were really able to clean that up because of our goalie. He quarterbacked things there and helped get us under control, because he really understands who should be the first help guy, who should be the second help guy. If we were to get beat, we would know where the help was coming from, and that really slowed down some of their opportunities.”
The Red Storm, who beat Gorham in last year’s Class A South final, jumped out to an early 3-0 lead and carried a 9-6 advantage into the halftime break. They settled in after halftime, opening up a 15-7 lead.
“We knew this was our first game and we just wanted to come in ready,” said Neugebauer. “During practices, we’ve definitely picked up the pace, and we kind of rode that momentum into today and were feeling strong.
“Last (year’s opener) was kind of a shot in the chest, but today we feel great. This is a heck of a win for us.”
Correction: This story was updated at 6:39 p.m. Monday April 17, 2017 to correct the name of the Scarborough keeper.