Boys’ Lacrosse – Press Herald Thu, 23 Nov 2017 09:00:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Scarborough High promotes assistant as head coach of boys’ lacrosse team Tue, 22 Aug 2017 14:58:38 +0000 SCARBOROUGH — Assistant coach Zac Barrett has been hired as the head coach of the Scarborough High boys’ lacrosse team, the school announced Tuesday.

Barrett’s association with lacrosse in Scarborough as both a player and coach in Scarborough dates to 1996. Most recently he was the offensive coordinator under Joe Hezlep, who retired after the 2017 season. Scarborough won six state titles in Hezlep’s 10 seasons.

Barrett was part of five state championship teams and was named US Lacrosse-Maine Assistant Coach of the Year in 2012.

]]> 0 Tue, 22 Aug 2017 10:58:38 +0000
Boys’ lacrosse player of the year: Christian Glover, Brunswick Sun, 09 Jul 2017 08:00:00 +0000 Long-stick midfielder.

It’s the lacrosse term for the fourth player with a long pole on the field – the one who runs on when the other team has the ball to play defense, hopefully causes a turnover, and then hustles off the field in favor of a better offensive midfielder toting an easier to maneuver short stick.

Unless the long-stick midfielder is Christian Glover of Brunswick, that is. Then he stays on the field, wields his 6-foot pole like a giant conductor’s baton and directs the Dragons’ offense all the way to the Class A championship.

“There’s not many that can play that hybrid role,” said Thornton Academy Coach Ryan Hersey.

In Maine’s high school ranks, there’s only one. Glover scored 41 goals and added 26 assists while leading his team to a fourth straight Class A North title and its second state championship in three years. That’s why he was an easy choice as Maine Sunday Telegram Player of the Year.

In an 18-17 overtime win against Scarborough in the Class A championship game, Glover was off the field for just three minutes. He scored three goals and continued to maintain the long-stick midfielder’s primary purpose of harassing opposing offensive players.

“He carried us in a lot of regards,” said Don Glover, his father and the Brunswick coach.

“I definitely bring a different style to the position than most LSMs,” said Christian Glover. “For me, it’s finding that balance of when to actually come off the field to get that rest that I will need later in the game. On defense, I still want to get that solid stop and push the ball up the field.”

In his four state-final appearances, Glover came out on top as a sophomore and a senior.

“I took the first three for granted. It’s got like an annual event feel to it,” Christian said. “Then I realized there are incredible teams in this state that have never made it to the state game.

“This year it was a lot more personal. It’s an amazing opportunity that few people get to experience, and it was amazing to experience it four times.”

A two-time All-American and two-time All-Telegram selection, Glover intends to spend a postgraduate year at Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire.

He believes playing long-stick midfield in his hybrid style, both at Phillips Exeter and then in college, is in his future.

“I’d like to hope so. I think it will be,” he said.


Mat Anderson, Gorham senior, defense: Regarded by several coaches as the top defender in the SMAA, the two-time first-team league pick had 113 ground balls and 52 takeaways, and also had three goals and two assists.

Ben Ekedahl, Cape Elizabeth senior, defense: A shutdown defender with good feet and reach, the repeat All-Telegram pick forced 40 turnovers, scooped 69 ground balls and was a key on clearing plays.

Christian Glover, Brunswick senior, long-stick midfielder: A repeat All-Telegram choice, Glover is the Player of the Year for leading Brunswick to the Class A title as a hybrid who could be a defensive stopper but also had the offensive skills to score 41 goals with 26 assists.

Brendan Hickey, Falmouth junior, defense: Hickey is also a repeat All-Telegram pick. He used positioning, strength and smarts to shut down top scorers, was a valuable option in the clearing game, and caused 57 turnovers with 74 ground balls, and added four goals and four assists.

Carter Landry, Gorham senior, goalkeeper: A repeat All-Telegram and first-team SMAA pick, Landry’s .716 save percentage was better than last year as he made 164 saves with a 4.63 goals-against average. Active outside the crease, he forced 14 turnovers, and had 33 ground balls and an assist.

Sam Neugebauer, Scarborough senior, attack: A repeat All-Telegram choice, the hard-working attack improved his one-on-one ability and topped 60 goals for the second straight season with 64 goals and 12 assists for the Class A South champ.

Riley Reed, Falmouth sophomore, long-stick midfielder: A ball-seeking specialist with the speed to stick with top players and move the ball in transition, he forced 64 turnovers, and had 79 ground balls with a goal and two assists.

Nate Richards, Deering senior, midfield: A four-year varsity player and three-year starter, Richards was instrumental in helping the Rams improve each season, from 3-9 as a freshman to 8-4 this year, when he scored 50 goals with 26 assists and added 61 ground balls. He scored 143 career goals, with at least one in 45 of 47 games.

Jack Scribner, Falmouth senior, attack: A creative offensive threat, the repeat All-Telegram choice scored 49 goals with 35 assists while helping the Yachtsmen (12-2) advance to the Class B South final.

Cole Spencer, Cape Elizabeth senior, faceoff specialist: Spencer won 70 percent of his faceoffs, giving the Class B state champion one more edge over most teams.

Connor Thoreck, Cape Elizabeth senior, midfield: A true two-way player, Thoreck had one of the top outside shots in the state. He scored four goals in Cape Elizabeth’s win against Yarmouth in the Class B state final, and finished with 29 goals and 12 assists.

Owen Thoreck, Cape Elizabeth senior, attack: A powerful presence both in the attack and as a defender after a save or turnover, the two-time All-American scored 45 goals with 22 assists as Cape Elizabeth reclaimed the Class B championship.

Coach of the Year

Ryan Hersey, Thornton Academy: Hersey revamped his offense and switched to an up-tempo attack to make the best use of a deep, athletic team, and the move paid dividends with an 11-1 record in the regular season and a trip to the Class A South final.

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

Twitter: SteveCCraig

]]> 0 addition to being one of the leaders of Brunswick's defense from his position as a long-stick midfielder, Christian Glover also compiled 41 goals and 26 assists, including three goals against Scarborough in the Class A state championship game.Sat, 08 Jul 2017 18:13:46 +0000
Boys lacrosse 2017 Telegram All-State team Sun, 09 Jul 2017 08:00:00 +0000 Mat Anderson, Gorham senior, defense: Regarded by several coaches as the top defender in the SMAA, the two-time first-team league pick had 113 ground balls and 52 takeaways, and also had three goals and two assists.

Ben Ekedahl, Cape Elizabeth senior, defense: A shutdown defender with good feet and reach, the repeat All-Telegram pick forced 40 turnovers, scooped 69 ground balls and was a key on clearing plays.

Christian Glover, Brunswick senior, long-stick midfielder: A repeat All-Telegram choice, Glover is the Player of the Year for leading Brunswick to the Class A title as a hybrid who could be a defensive stopper but also had the offensive skills to score 41 goals with 26 assists.

Brendan Hickey, Falmouth junior, defense: Hickey is also a repeat All-Telegram pick. He used positioning, strength and smarts to shut down top scorers, was a valuable option in the clearing game, and caused 57 turnovers with 74 ground balls, and added four goals and four assists.

Carter Landry, Gorham senior, goalkeeper: A repeat All-Telegram and first-team SMAA pick, Landry’s .716 save percentage was better than last year as he made 164 saves with a 4.63 goals-against average. Active outside the crease, he forced 14 turnovers, and had 33 ground balls and an assist.

Sam Neugebauer, Scarborough senior, attack: A repeat All-Telegram choice, the hard-working attack improved his one-on-one ability and topped 60 goals for the second straight season with 64 goals and 12 assists for the Class A South champ.

Riley Reed, Falmouth sophomore, long-stick midfielder: A ball-seeking specialist with the speed to stick with top players and move the ball in transition, he forced 64 turnovers, and had 79 ground balls with a goal and two assists.

Nate Richards, Deering senior, midfield: A four-year varsity player and three-year starter, Richards was instrumental in helping the Rams improve each season, from 3-9 as a freshman to 8-4 this year, when he scored 50 goals with 26 assists and added 61 ground balls. He scored 143 career goals, with at least one in 45 of 47 games.

Jack Scribner, Falmouth senior, attack: A creative offensive threat, the repeat All-Telegram choice scored 49 goals with 35 assists while helping the Yachtsmen (12-2) advance to the Class B South final.

Cole Spencer, Cape Elizabeth senior, faceoff specialist: Spencer won 70 percent of his faceoffs, giving the Class B state champion one more edge over most teams.

Connor Thoreck, Cape Elizabeth senior, midfield: A true two-way player, Thoreck had one of the top outside shots in the state. He scored four goals in Cape Elizabeth’s win against Yarmouth in the Class B state final, and finished with 29 goals and 12 assists.

Owen Thoreck, Cape Elizabeth senior, attack: A powerful presence both in the attack and as a defender after a save or turnover, the two-time All-American scored 45 goals with 22 assists as Cape Elizabeth reclaimed the Class B championship.

Coach of the Year

Ryan Hersey, Thornton Academy: Hersey revamped his offense and switched to an up-tempo attack to make the best use of a deep, athletic team, and the move paid dividends with an 11-1 record in the regular season and a trip to the Class A South final.

– Steve Craig

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Lacrosse coaches say schedules based on strength of program would level the playing field Tue, 20 Jun 2017 08:00:00 +0000 The last game of the 2017 boys’ lacrosse season was exactly what players, coaches and fans love to see – exciting, competitive and complete with a thrilling finish as Brunswick beat Scarborough 18-17 to win the Class A championship on Josh Dorr’s overtime goal.

That type of game was exceedingly rare this season. The average margin of victory ranged from 9.7 goals per game in contests involving Class A South teams to 5.8 for Class B North. Class A North had a goal differential of 8.1, and Class B South’s average margin was 9.2.

“This season is probably the worst I’ve ever seen,” said Scarborough Coach Joe Hezlep, who is stepping down after guiding the Red Storm to six state championships in 10 years.

A total of 67 games involving Class A teams (including crossovers with Class B) were decided by 10 or more goals. Just 38 games ended with a margin of five goals or fewer.

That’s why a group of concerned coaches, headed by Cape Elizabeth’s Ben Raymond, is proposing a three-tier, statewide schedule based on strength of program, rather than enrollment or conference affiliation.

“Lopsided games are no good for either team,” Raymond wrote in his appeal to fellow coaches. “We all, as coaches, want competitive games, we want what is best for our student athletes and what is best for lacrosse overall.”

The mismatches were not quite as frequent in Class B South (33 blowouts, 29 close games), but some were exceedingly one-sided. Cape beat Waynflete 22-0. Falmouth beat Lake Region 20-0 and York 27-1.

“One thing about lacrosse, there’s probably no sport crueler for a team that’s not as strong,” said Cheverus Coach Bill Bodwell. “It’s a possession game. (In) lacrosse, when you get scored on, you may not see the ball the rest of the game if you can’t win a faceoff.”

Raymond’s plan would increase the number of competitive regular-season games. It would not impact the MPA’s plan to expand boys’ and girls’ lacrosse to three classes in 2018. Schools would still qualify for playoffs based on Heal points and then play in the Class A, B or C tournaments based on enrollment, unless they petition to play in a higher class.

Right now, the scheduling proposal is only for boys’ lacrosse.

“It’s at a very initial stage,” said Cape Elizabeth Athletic Director Jeff Thoreck. “The athletic directors need education on this issue.”

In Raymond’s plan, Tier 1 would include seven teams: Cape Elizabeth, Falmouth, Scarborough, Brunswick, Cheverus, South Portland and Thornton Academy. A Class C school based on enrollment, Cape has won 11 state titles in the 20-year history of the MPA sanctioning the sport. Brunswick, which plans to be in Class B next season based on its enrollment, has played in four straight Class A title games, winning two. The other five teams are Class A schools.

Tier 2 would be another seven-team cluster of Yarmouth, Greely, Gorham, Deering, Kennebunk, Lewiston and Messalonskee.

Tier 1 and 2 teams would play each other on a limited basis.

The rest of the teams in the proposal are divided into Tier 3 South (15 teams) and Tier 3 North (16 teams). Each is a combination of Class A, B and C teams.

“Scheduling all comes down to what the athletic directors and the conferences are willing to give us,” said Brunswick Coach Don Glover. Brunswick is in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference. The other main conferences are the Southwestern Maine Activities Association and the Western Maine Conference.

“To say we need a statewide schedule is all well and good, but we have to get it sold to all the conferences,” Glover said. “Four years ago, they tried something like that and boxed out the KVAC teams. We were the orphan league.”

Currently, teams play a 12-game schedule with two crossover games that are designed to create quality matchups.

For powerhouses like Cape and Falmouth, both expected to be in Class A next year, the tiered system would give them more quality opponents. When Cape wasn’t playing Falmouth this season, it outscored opponents by 13.5 goals per game.

The proposal would also help middle-of-the-road teams like Massabesic. A Class A team, Massabesic finished 7-6 this season, with an 18-7 loss to South Portland in a Class A South quarterfinal. Five of its losses were by 10 or more goals. The Mustangs also posted wins by scores of 20-3 and 18-8.

“I think it’s necessary,” said Massabesic Coach Steve Gallo. “For us, there were only two truly competitive games the entire season. We were either the hammer or the nail in every game.”

Class B North, where most of the teams are newer programs on relatively even footing, was the one division with more close games than lopsided contests in 2017. But when it came to the playoffs, traditional power Yarmouth, which went 8-6 in the regular season against a difficult schedule, cruised to its fifth straight regional title. Yarmouth won three regional playoff games by a combined score of 41-5, including a 13-2 win against previously unbeaten Gardiner in the final.

“Lacrosse has always done well in towns that have money. It’s no different this year,” Bodwell said. “I don’t think enrollment has anything to do with strength in lacrosse.

“The days of Gardiner competing against Yarmouth are over in most sports, and I think it comes down to resources and money.”

The idea of a state-wide, tiered schedule does have precedent; hockey is set up in a similar fashion. On a smaller scale, the WMC has had a tiered soccer schedule for years.

“The guys want a revolutionary schedule to go out. Could it be the best schedule ever? It could be,” Glover said. “But the people who have to buy it are the athletic directors.”

Thoreck said if a fully tiered schedule can’t be implemented, the discussion could at least lead to more crossover games.

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

Twitter: SteveCCraig

]]> 0, ME - JUNE 17: Cape Elizabeth players huddle around head coach Ben Raymond during a timeout in the Class B Boys Lacrosse State Championship game. (Staff photo by Derek Davis/Staff Photographer)Tue, 20 Jun 2017 09:59:51 +0000
Boys’ lacrosse: Brunswick knocks off Scarborough in overtime to win Class A crown Sun, 18 Jun 2017 00:24:59 +0000 Josh Dorr had already saved the Brunswick High boys’ lacrosse from defeat in Saturday night’s Class A state championship game, scoring a tying goal with 10 seconds left in regulation.

Then in overtime – where the first goal wins – he saw the chance he needed. A Scarborough defender turned his head to take a peek at Aiden Glover, who had the ball behind the net manned by Dominic Joy.

“When I saw the back of his head I just made a mad dash and luckily put it in past that great (goalkeeper),” Dorr said. “That keep almost made that save. I think it hit some pipe, maybe his back, maybe his stick but the refs luckily saw that it hit the net.”

Dorr’s goal with 2:47 left in the four-minute overtime gave Brunswick an 18-17 win, set off a mad-dash celebration, completed the Dragons’ perfect 16-0 season and dethroned Scarborough (12-3), which had beaten Brunswick 18-10 in last season’s final.

Brunswick was appearing in its fourth straight title game, having lost to South Portland in 2014 and before beating South Portland in 2015.

“I just didn’t want to go home on that bus with a loss again,” Dorr said. “I’ve done it twice on this field and as a senior group we didn’t want to go down. We couldn’t let that happen.”

Dorr’s winning goal produced the fifth lead change in a game that also saw eight ties.

“We knew this was going to be a fast-break basketball game with high scoring and the ebbs and flows of two and three goals,” said Brunswick Coach Don Glover, who shared the win with his three sons, assistant coach Cam, senior defender Christian and Aiden, a sophomore attack.

Scarborough rallied from a three-goal deficit in the fourth quarter to take the lead with 1:46 remaining on Sam Neugebauer’s sixth goal, only to have Dorr tie it again when he curled around the net and beat Joy with a quick shot.

Dorr scored five goals and added two assists. Aiden Glover had four goals and two assists and Christian Glover and Max Gramins each scored three goals.

Andrew Eno (two goals) and Henry Doherty (goal) also contributed.

Christian Jensen won 26 of the 38 faceoffs for Brunswick. Like several of the 13 Brunswick seniors, Jensen was on the Dragons’ undefeated championship football team in the fall.

“Playing football was just an awesome feeling and we just really wanted one more,” Jensen said. “We had a great season and we have an awesome senior class, so we really wanted to go out on a win.”

Despite Jensen’s ability to gain possession, Scarborough led 5-3 after a quarter and 10-8 at the half with eight of the goals coming from its attack trio of Neugebauer, Marc Guerette (five goals) and Marco Manfra (three goals, two assists).

The Dragons dominated the third quarter, scoring all five goals to take a 13-10 lead. Aiden Glover and Dorr each scored twice and Gramins had one as the Dragons found open shooting space. Five key saves from Joy (17 for the game) kept the lead from being larger.

Guerette’s third goal in the fourth quarter tied the game 16-16 with 2:14 left. Red Storm faceoff man Nick Quartararo, who battled Jensen relentlessly, won the next faceoff to set up Neugebauer’s go-ahead goal.

“Really all you can ever do is put yourself in a position to have a chance and we sure did that,” said retiring Scarborough Coach Joe Hezlep.

In 10 seasons at Scarborough, Hezlep, 35, won six state championships (2008, 2010-13 and 2016).

Hezlep told his team he was retiring after the final regular-season game. A former president of the Maine Youth Lacrosse Association, Hezlep is the director of operations for a growing Portland real estate company. He plans to continue to coach lacrosse at the club level and be an assistant football coach.

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

Twitter: SteveCCraig

]]> 0's Andrew Eno (13), celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against Scarborough in the Class A boys' lacrosse state championship game Saturday at Fitzpatrick Stadium. Brunswick won in overtime, 18-17. (Staff photo by Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer)Sat, 17 Jun 2017 21:55:28 +0000
Boys’ lacrosse: Capers beat Clippers for Class B state title Sat, 17 Jun 2017 18:22:16 +0000 Cape Elizabeth junior Finn Raymond knew it was time to step up.

Yarmouth had closed to within three goals in the Class B boys’ lacrosse state championship game. The underdog Clippers were focused on Cape’s other top scoring threats. Plus, it was a good time to get his dad, Cape Elizabeth Coach Ben Raymond, an early Father’s Day present.

In quick succession, Raymond made mirror-image moves from behind Yarmouth’s net to score a pair of fourth-quarter goals, providing the boost the Capers needed to pull away for a 16-7 victory Saturday.

“It’s definitely the best gift I can give him. It’s his favorite thing,” said Raymond, who finished with four goals. “I gave it to him two years ago. Couldn’t give it to him last year, but made it up to him this year.”

“It’s probably because he didn’t want to buy me a card,” quipped Ben Raymond. “I would rather have him play as well as he did today. He was one of the key reasons that we were successful. He had a good first quarter, and then in the fourth quarter when we needed to put some distance between us, he did just that.”

Cape Elizabeth (14-1) won its fourth state title in five years and 11th in the 20 years of MPA-sanctioned play. Cape won three straight from 2013-15 but was dethroned in 2016 in the South final by eventual champ Falmouth.

“A year ago, since that Falmouth loss, we’ve been waiting, waiting for that chance to play Falmouth again in the (regional final) and a chance to bring the state championship back to our town,” said faceoff specialist Cole Spencer, one of 13 Cape seniors.

Yarmouth (9-7) lost in the state championship game for the fifth straight season, falling into an early five-goal deficit for a second straight year.

After a taut 6-5 win against Falmouth in the regional final, the Capers came out sharp, opening a 5-0 lead after one quarter on two goals from Raymond, two from Owen Thoreck and one from Owen’s twin brother, Connor.

Yarmouth was outscored 33-4 in two regular-season losses to Cape Elizabeth but played even with the Capers in the second quarter and outscored them 3-1 in the third quarter to cut the lead to 8-5.

Remi LeBlanc had three goals and two assists for Yarmouth, which in the middle two quarters reduced its midfield turnovers and finally started taking shots. Yarmouth’s first shot resulted in a goal by LeBlanc with 6:55 left in the second quarter.

Cape killed off two penalties early in the fourth quarter, both coming with a three-goal lead.

“There were two man-up situations that really could have turned the tide of the game,” said Yarmouth Coach David Pearl.

Then Raymond scored on nearly identical moves from behind the goal, first popping out to the right of Yarmouth goalie Spencer King (11 saves) and then scoring from his left with 8:22 remaining to put Cape ahead 10-6.

Raymond had room to work in part because Yarmouth committed a long-stick defender to midfielder Connor Thoreck and was also focused on top scoring threats Owen Thoreck (two goals) and Tate Perkins (one goal, one assist)

“They just wouldn’t slide,” said Connor Thoreck of Yarmouth’s defensive strategy. “We just have wonderful coaches who can figure out stuff like that pretty quickly, and we really, really appreciate that.”

Cape reasserted its control of the midfield. The Capers caused 23 Yarmouth turnovers (compared to 13 for Cape), which helped lead to a 36-18 edge in shots. Eleven of Yarmouth’s shots came in the third quarter.

After Raymond’s two goals early in the fourth, Thoreck scored two of his four goals in the next four minutes. Cape pushed the lead to 14-6 on a goal by Jeb Boeschenstein (two goals).

]]> 0 Thoreck of Cape Elizabeth is hit by Spencer King, left, and Jake Rogers and Patrick Mallett of Yarmouth as he scores in the first quarter of the Class B boys' lacrosse state championship game Saturday at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland. The Capers won, 16-7, for their fourth title in five years.Sat, 17 Jun 2017 21:59:41 +0000
Lacrosse state championship schedule revised Thu, 15 Jun 2017 15:44:34 +0000 The schedule for Saturday’s state championship lacrosse games at Portland’s Fitzpatrick Stadium has been revised to accommodate Yarmouth High’s presence in both the boys’ and girls’ Class B games.

The Class B games now will be in the morning session. The Yarmouth girls will play defending champion Kennebunk at 10 a.m., with the Yarmouth boys facing Cape Elizabeth at 12:30 p.m.

In Class A, the defending champion Messalonskee girls will play Massabesic at 3:30 p.m., with the defending champion Scarborough boys facing Brunswick at 6 p.m.

Both Class A games and the Class B girls’ game are rematches of the 2016 title games.

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Boys’ lacrosse: Yarmouth extends reign in Class B North Thu, 15 Jun 2017 01:35:41 +0000 GARDINER — The disparity between lacrosse in central Maine and teams to the south remains significant.

The gap in talent, tradition and scheduling was displayed Wednesday night at Hoch Field, where sixth-seeded Yarmouth handled top-seeded and previously unbeaten Gardiner 13-2 in the Class B North championship game.

Yarmouth (9-6) advances to its fifth straight state championship game Saturday at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland, where it will face Cape Elizabeth. The Clippers have won four state titles, the last coming in 2009. Gardiner, which has played in three regional finals without a victory, finishes at 14-1.

That the Clippers lost six regular-season games is no surprise. They fell to Class A finalists Scarborough and Brunswick, and twice each to Class B South powers Falmouth and Cape Elizabeth, arguably the four best teams in the state.

“We’ve played the most difficult schedule of any team in the state of Maine,” Yarmouth Coach David Pearl said. “The tempo and the pace that our younger players are playing at, I think it’s paid off in their development. This whole team has really skyrocketed.”

The Clippers built a 6-0 lead in the first quarter, getting two goals from Silas Chapelli, and one each from Remi LeBlanc, Cooper May, Anders Corey and Henry Venden. Chapelli finished with three goals and Venden scored four.

“We’ve brought in a lot of freshmen who have contributed a lot, especially in the midfield,” Venden said. “We knew that transition for us was key, especially on defense. It mostly came down to us playing our game.”

After being outshot 16-0 in the first quarter, Gardiner regained its composure and matched Yarmouth’s four shots in a scoreless second quarter.

“We buried ourselves in a little hole,” Gardiner Coach K.C. Johnson said. “When we played our style of lacrosse, we did fine. When we play a pressing defense, we do well.

“Today we didn’t do a good job with our pressing defense.”

Gardiner trailed 7-0 in the third quarter before Connor Manter scooped up a ground ball and shoveled it past freshman goalie Spencer King. A minute and a half later, Manter fed a cutting Parker Hinkley from behind the net, and Hinkley cut the lead to 7-2.

Venden answered for Yarmouth, which dominated the final 12 minutes.

“We had a rough start (to the season),” said Bill Jacobs, who had a goal and six assists for Yarmouth, “but I think toward the middle of the season we kind of locked it in. I think our practices have gotten much faster and we’ve had a kind of different momentum.”

UPDATE: This story was corrected on June 16 at 10:20 a.m. to show that Yarmouth will play in its fifth consecutive state championship game.

]]> 0 May takes a shot against Gardiner goalie Noah Keene during Yarmouth's 13-2 win Wednesday.Fri, 16 Jun 2017 10:22:18 +0000
Boys’ lacrosse: Cape Elizabeth holds on, dethrones Falmouth Thu, 15 Jun 2017 01:06:02 +0000 CAPE ELIZABETH — Every second mattered in the final episode of the Cape Elizabeth vs. Falmouth boys’ lacrosse Class B regional final series.

For the ninth straight time, the two powers met in the regional final Wednesday night. In front of roughly 1,000 fans, the Capers secured a 6-5 win when Nick Farnham of Falmouth fired a man-up shot just inches wide of the goal as the clock expired.

“I saw the shot but boy, it was fast,” said Cape goalie Sam Price, who made 11 saves. “It took me a long time to process that we had won, probably until I was at the bottom of the (victory) pile.”

It’s possible the rivals will meet again in a regional final in 2018, but it won’t be in Class B. With the sport expanding to three classes for the first time, Falmouth will move up to Class A. Cape is expected to petition to also join Class A.

Cape (13-1), the top seed in the South, will take a 13-game winning streak into Saturday’s state championship against Yarmouth (9-6). Cape will be going for its 11th state title in its 15th championship-game appearance in the 20-year history of MPA-sanctioned lacrosse.

Cape beat Yarmouth twice by big margins this season.

Cape’s current winning streak started after consecutive losses to Falmouth when it blew leads at home in the 2016 regional final and this season’s home opener in a rainstorm.

“After that loss last year we had a good feeling we’d be back here and we’ve been thinking about it ever since, and we came out and played a great game,” said defender Ben Ekedahl.

Backed by seven first-half saves from Price, Cape took a 4-1 lead with Tate Perkins scoring the first two goals, and Connor Thoreck and Ben Carroll scoring once each.

Cape pushed the lead to 6-1 on third-period goals by Finn Raymond and Owen Thoreck.

Then Falmouth (12-2) began another comeback.

Jack Scribner and Tom Fitzgerald scored late in the third quarter, and goals from Lou Mainella and Farnham in the first 3:19 cut the margin to one.

Price followed with big saves on Henry Farnham (one goal) and Scribner. A hard one-bounce shot by Scribner caromed off the crossbar and ricocheted all the way to midfield with 1:35 to play.

“We played our offense but Sam Price had a great game,” said Falmouth Coach Dave Barton. “Best game I’ve seen him play. The shots weren’t falling.”

Cape’s defensive group of Ekedahl, Peyton Weatherbie and Gavin Spidle, with key help from long-stick middie Ethan Avantaggio, kept Falmouth from getting deep on Price.

“I think our defense played really well,” said Cape Coach Ben Raymond. “The last time we played them we held them to five and we thought if we could hold them to five we’d win the game. We didn’t know that we’d only get six but it worked out pretty well.”

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

Twitter: SteveCCraig

]]> 0, 14 Jun 2017 23:05:46 +0000
Boys’ lacrosse: It’s Brunswick again in Class A North Thu, 15 Jun 2017 00:33:49 +0000 BRUNSWICK — Top-seeded Brunswick beat No. 2 Lewiston for the fourth time this season Wednesday night to claim its fourth consecutive Class A North boys’ lacrosse title.

Aiden Glover, a sophomore attack, had five goals and two assists as the unbeaten Dragons cruised to a 14-8 win.

Brunswick (15-0) will play defending state champion Scarborough (12-2) in the state final at 10 a.m. Saturday at Fitzpatrick Stadium.

The Dragons never trailed, building leads of 5-2 after one quarter, 7-3 at halftime and 12-5 after three quarters.

“We’ve played them four times and they knew what we were throwing at them, and we knew how we had to execute,” said Christian Glover, a long-stick middie who had a goal and two assists while spearheading the defense. “Communication was really big, and our leaders stepped up.”

Brunswick defeated Lewiston 16-6 and 15-8 in two regular-season matchups, then recorded a 10-5 win in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference championship game.

“I think we played better against them each time,” said Lewiston Coach Ben Fournier. “We practiced a lot against the zone. We got a lot more looks even though we didn’t capitalize on them.”

Brunswick’s zone defense forced the Blue Devils (10-5) to shoot mostly from the perimeter.

“It was a little frustrating,” Fournier said. “We were getting our looks that we (coaches) saw on the sideline, but it’s not easy to see on the field.”

The Dragons used a zone defense in all of their games against the Devils.

“We traditionally are not a zone team,” Brunswick Coach Don Glover said. “I like to run and gun and go, but sometimes you’ve got to look at the strategy. (Lewiston is) skilled and they move well off the ball, so maybe you want to clog it up a little bit.”

Lewiston’s Roman Dennis, a senior middie, won 14 of 22 draws. He enabled the Devils to obtain possession of the ball the majority of the time following goals. A lot of those possessions ended with goalie Connor Pendergast stopping a shot from well outside the crease.

“For him as a sophomore to step into a game like he did was really big,” said Christian Glover, one the head coach’s two sons who play for the Dragons. “I think he can (handle) it, and he proved it today.”

Pendergast made 15 saves.

“Our guys executed well, and their goalie came up with (some) big saves,” Fournier said. “He definitely kept them ahead in the game.”

Max Gramins finished with four goals for the Dragons. Ben Palizay had a goal and two assists, Alex Eno chipped in with a goal and an assist, and Josh Dorr and Henry Doherty also scored.

Alex Rivet paced Lewiston with four goals. Pat Racine and Jayden Wilson each finished with a goal and an assist, Tanner Cortes and Sam Payne got the other goals, Gunnar Wade was credited with two assists, and Dennis and Garrett Poussard each had one assist.

]]> 0 Wed, 14 Jun 2017 22:23:34 +0000
Boys’ lacrosse: Scarborough turns back Thornton in Class A South final Thu, 15 Jun 2017 00:29:08 +0000 SCARBOROUGH — In its Class A South boys’ lacrosse semifinal against Gorham, Scarborough almost fell victim to an upset because it didn’t adjust when Gorham focused its defense on the Red Storm’s top scorer, Sam Neugebauer.

Scarborough Coach Joe Hezlep made changes for the regional final, anticipating the same strategy from Thornton Academy.

The adjustments paid off, as Marco Manfra pumped in a career-high nine goals to power top-seeded Scarborough to a 20-16 win and earn a return trip to the state championship game as the Red Storm try to win back-to-back titles.

Scarborough plays last year’s runner-up, Brunswick, at 10 a.m. Saturday at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland.

“Marco was really ready (today),” said Hezlep. “(Thornton) shut down (Neugebauer), like Gorham did. Against Gorham, we didn’t handle it very well. We made some adjustments and had some guys really step up and make some plays early. It got us off to a lead we absolutely needed.

“Marco, he’s kinda like our do-it-all guy. He doesn’t score a ton. He’s more of a distributor. But when (Neugebauer) isn’t able to throw the ball in the net, someone has to step up.”

Manfra, a junior attack, scored six times as the Red Storm (12-2) raced to a 7-0 advantage just 11:07 into the game. Four of the goals were in transition when Manfra was left open in front of the net.

Manfra left the game for 91/2 minutes in the third quarter because of a lower-body injury but came back at the start of the fourth.

“Man, we came out firing (in the first quarter),” said Manfra, who also recorded two assists. “We were really revved up to go and we were really ready for this game.”

Hezlep warned his team during a timeout with 4:50 left in the first quarter and the Red Storm leading 6-0 that the Trojans (13-2) would not give in easily. The regular-season meeting between the teams wound up an 18-17 Scarborough win.

Thornton cut the lead to 8-5 by the end of the first quarter and stayed within reach by outscoring the home team 3-0 in the third quarter for a 15-12 deficit. But a two-minute, locked-in penalty on Thornton helped give the momentum back to Scarborough.

Cam Thibault (three goals, one assist) and Neugebauer (two goals, one assist) scored in an 11-second span during the man advantage – the second goal coming with one second left on the penalty. That started a four-goal barrage in the first 2:12 of the fourth quarter as Scarborough pushed its lead to 19-12.

“We certainly didn’t get too many man-up looks today and we almost completely squandered that one,” said Hezlep. “But the guys wanted to get out there and get after it and make plays.”

Manfra capped the four-goal spurt and then added his ninth tally a little more than two minutes later for Scarborough’s biggest lead, 20-12, with 6:47 left.

“They killed us the whole first half in transition,” said Thornton Coach Ryan Hersey, whose team was trying to make it to its first state championship game. “We didn’t get back fast enough and we were leaving Marco wide open in front of the net. He had a field day there.”

“Eric Murray and (Reece Lagerquist) were doing a good job getting the ball up field and dumping it off to me and letting me do what I do best,” Manfra said. “They were doing their job and it was just clicking.”

Marc Guerette finished with four goals and two assists for Scarborough.

Wyatt LeBlanc (two goals, two assists), Noah Edborg (three goals, one assist), John Giroux (two goals, two assists) and C.J. LaBreck (three goals) led the Trojans.

]]> 0 Manfra scores one of his nine goals Wednesday during Scarborough's 20-16 win over Thornton Academy in the Class A South championship game Wednesday. (Staff photo by Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer)Wed, 14 Jun 2017 22:32:55 +0000
Boys’ lacrosse: Thornton gets past South Portland, 13-10 Sat, 10 Jun 2017 17:26:04 +0000 SACO — The Thornton Academy boys’ lacrosse team had a pretty simple assignment: Don’t lose to South Portland in the playoffs for the fourth straight year.

The second-seeded Trojans made sure, scoring five straight goals from the middle of the third quarter to the beginning of the fourth quarter to earn a 13-10 win Saturday in a Class A South semifinal. It was the ninth straight win for the Trojans (13-1), who will play top-ranked Scarborough for the regional championship on Wednesday. The Red Storm handed the Trojans their only loss of the season, 18-17 in overtime on May 2.

“For our seniors, we’ve got a couple boys (who have been) here for three years, (and) South Portland has ended their year every year,” Thornton Coach Ryan Hersey said. “We just said we can’t let our seniors go away with all four losses in playoffs against South Portland.”

The Red Riots (10-4) beat Thornton in the quarterfinals last year after victories in the semifinals the two previous seasons. But too many South Portland mistakes, dropped balls and the inability to contend with Thornton’s transition offense were too much this time.

“Its always a big battle between TA and SoPo in the playoffs,” South Portland Coach Tom Fiorini said. “It was a good game, a well-played game today. I am proud of my guys. … This year was their time. The ball rolled their way today. They played a good game today. My hat’s off to them.”

John Giroux led a third-quarter surge for Thornton immediately after a goal by South Portland’s Ross Myers brought the Red Riots to within 6-5 just 2:57 into the second half. Giroux scored from in close with 7:27 left in the quarter on a long cross-field pass from Thomas Levasseur, then got an unassisted goal 12 seconds later.

Noah Edborg, Giroux and Levasseur (four goals, one assist) scored to finish the 5-0 run and give Thornton its largest lead at 11-5.

David Fiorini converted for the Red Riots after deking a defender to end the surge.

“We were just going full speed and working through everyone on the team and getting it around (the offensive zone) and not stopping,” said Giroux, who finished with six goals and one assist.

A Fiorini goal started a run of four straight for the Red Riots, but Thornton answered when T.J. Pike (one goal, three assists) carried the ball from just inside midfield and passed to C.J. Labreck when the defense converged. Labreck’s shot beat South Portland goalie Quinn Watson (16 saves) for a 12-9 lead.

Less than two minutes later, with 2:25 remaining, Giroux scored again in transition.

“We won today with our transition offense,” Hersey said. “We out-transitioned them; we got probably 10 goals in transition, which was huge.”

Cooper Mehlhorn scored five goals for the Red Riots, but three of them were in the last half of the fourth quarter when his team trailed by four goals. Fiorini added two goals and three assists.

“We didn’t really focus on stopping (Mehlhorn),” Houde said. “We worked on bodying him up and keeping him in front (of the defense).”

Ean Patry made 11 saves for Thornton, many of them big ones early when the game was close.

]]> 0 Academy defenders Eli Arsenault (left) and Noah Edborg hold off South Portland's Caleb Rowland during Saturday's Class A South semifinal.Sat, 10 Jun 2017 23:11:02 +0000
Boys’ lacrosse: Cheverus, down by seven goals, rallies to top Deering Wed, 07 Jun 2017 23:49:18 +0000 Deering High senior Nate Richards could not imagine a better beginning to his Class A North boys’ lacrosse quarterfinal Wednesday.

The fifth-seeded Rams, who had lost by eight goals to No. 4 Cheverus in late April, scored on five of their first six shots. More than halfway through the second quarter they found themselves with a seven-goal cushion.

“We had it right there,” Richards said. “It was a blessing in dis–, well, it was a nightmare in disguise, really. You start to see kids (thinking), ‘Oh, we’re up by seven. We can pull our foot off the gas.’ ”

In a stunning turnaround, the Stags poured in four goals in the final 1:05 of the half and surged to a 15-12 victory Wednesday night. Cheverus (10-3) advanced to the regional semifinals Saturday against top-ranked Brunswick (14-0).

“I’ve never been down that much and come back,” said Cheverus Coach Bill Bodwell.

“It’s kind of neat to experience that at a young age and persevere. You don’t get a lot of opportunities in life to do that.”

Colby Anton gave Cheverus its first lead at 11-10 with 2:10 left in the third quarter and a Deering defender serving a penalty.

Anton finished with seven goals and the Stags went 5 of 5 on man-advantage opportunities, all but one in the second half.

Deering was 0 of 1 while a man up.

“We kept telling each other to stay in it because there was still some hope,” Anton said. “Then we just sparked and it all came together.”

Cheverus goalie Sean Walsh, who didn’t stop a shot in the first quarter, lit the fuse with three tough saves in the second quarter. Richards (five goals) and Omar Contreras (four goals, two assists) seemed to be scoring at will for Deering, and Rams goalie Tanner Nussinow (10 saves) made a point-blank save on an unguarded Michael Hatch.

“They came out ready to fight and we didn’t,” Walsh said. “We acknowledged that and said, ‘You know what, it’s our turn.’ ”

Max Coffin scored for Cheverus to make it 8-2 and the Stags killed off a one-minute roughing penalty largely because Walsh, after straying far from his crease, raced back to make a diving save on a seemingly open net.

Finn Cawley scored with just over a minute left to make it 8-3. Thirty seconds later, Coffin popped from behind the net to make it 8-4.

Matt Verrault, who helped Cheverus earn a 21-11 edge in faceoffs, regained possession. Hatch converted a man-up goal with 12.5 seconds left and Anton, improbably, flicked home a bouncing ball with 4.6 ticks remaining to make it 8-6.

“That really picked us up,” said Verrault, occasionally spelled on draws by Kevin Ly. “Those last three, four goals right before the half really kept our momentum into the second.”

Cheverus finally tied it at 9 but Nick James gave Deering its final lead at 10-9. Anton delivered three straight to make it 12-10 heading into the fourth and Cheverus maintained its lead to the end.

“Coaches usually make up stories,” in an attempt to overcome huge deficits, Bodwell said. “But now I’ve got one that’s actually factual.”

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH

]]> 0, ME - JUNE 7: Cheverus senior Matthew Verrault (6) catches a pass during their quarterfinal game against Deering High School. Cheverus came back from being down in the first half to win the game 15-12. (Staff photo by Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer)Thu, 08 Jun 2017 14:00:17 +0000
Boys’ lacrosse: Thornton breezes in quarterfinals Wed, 07 Jun 2017 01:25:56 +0000 SACO — There’s always a chance of overlooking an opponent when the next game is so important.

But the second-seeded Thornton Academy boys’ lacrosse team didn’t let that happen Tuesday with a 21-4 victory against seventh-ranked Bonny Eagle in a Class A South quarterfinal at Hill Stadium.

Now the Trojans (12-1) will wait to see if they get the game they really want – a semifinal against third-seeded South Portland (9-3) – the team that knocked them out of the postseason the past three seasons.

South Portland will be home Wednesday against sixth-ranked Massabesic.

Thornton beat the Red Riots 15-9 during the regular season – but also defeated the Red Riots last year beffore falling in the playoffs, 11-8.

“We kind of wanted to make a statement today,” said T.J. Pike, who had three goals and two assists in the first half for Thornton. “I’m not sure who we’re playing, Massabesic or SoPo, but we lost to SoPo … three years in a row. So we have a chip on our shoulder.

“Today we came out and wanted to prove that no one can play with us. We want (a championship). We want it bad.”

Trojans Coach Ryan Hersey hopes his team faces the best Class A has to offer, including the Red Riots.

“If we are going to do something special this year, we would like to go through all of the teams that have made it difficult for us in years past,” he said. “(South Portland) is definitely on our list. We don’t want to dodge them.”

Thornton came out quickly, with Jaden Wells (four goals) and Pike scoring in the opening 1:48. Bonny Eagle (3-10) made it 2-1 midway through the quarter on its second shot of the period and first on goal. But Thornton answered with four goals in the next four minutes to make it 6-1.

“It’s difficult with a 3-9 team going against an 11-1 team,” said Bonny Eagle Coach Andy Slefinger. “We tried to play to our strengths and not change anything. We ran with it and what we have is what we have. Clearly it didn’t work for us tonight.

“Our game plan was to limit their transition. We know they are an incredibly fast transition team, however at least half of their goals were clearly our mistakes.”

The Scots had a tough time penetrating the Trojans’ defense of Austin Meserve, Taylor Jipson, Wyatt LeBlanc, Cameron Houde and Eli Arsenault. They collected only eight shots in the first half and trailed, 18-1.

Samuel Edborg of Thornton won the first three faceoffs of the game en route to close to a 75 percent success rate.

“We really just emphasized not trying to do anything that was not going to help us moving forward,” Hersey said. “We were looking to move the ball offensively, get good open looks at the goal, and defensively look at making sure all the fundamentals are there, and putting good pressure on the ball.”

Noah Edborg led Thornton with five goals and one assist, and John Giroux chipped in with three goals and two assists

C.J. Labreck (one goals, two assists) and Jack Webb (two goals, one assist) had three-point games.

Bonny Eagle got goals from Tyler Williams, Johnathan Merrill, Anthony Breton and Tanner McClure.

]]> 0 was a familiar sight Tuesday at Hill Stadium in Saco – Thornton Academy celebrating after a goal. The Trojans built an 18-1 halftime lead and coasted to a 21-4 victory against Bonny Eagle in a Class A South boys' lacrosse quarterfinal.Tue, 06 Jun 2017 23:34:13 +0000
It’s the end of an era for Neugebauer brothers at Scarborough High Tue, 06 Jun 2017 08:00:00 +0000 SCARBOROUGH — For 11 consecutive years, a Neugebauer brother has played lacrosse for Scarborough High. The Red Storm have won six Class A championships in that time.

High-scoring senior attack Sam Neugebauer is the last of the Neugebauers – the best of the three, according to his brothers – and he hopes to go out the same way his brothers did, with a championship in his senior season.

“I always wanted to live up to the expectation of being better than my brothers,” said Neugebauer. “And it’s not just the last name. It’s all the people that have been there before you. There’s always an expectation with Scarborough lacrosse.”

After scoring 60 goals as a junior in Scarborough’s 2016 title run, including four each in the regional and state finals, Neugebauer is continuing to live up to expectations this spring.

Entering the playoffs, he has 56 goals (bringing his career total to 157) and 11 assists – for an average of 4.67 goals and 5.58 points per game. As the player who is guarded by the top defenseman of each opponent, he opens creases for teammates Marc Guerette (38 goals, 16 assists), Marco Manfra (20 goals, 21 assists in eight games) and Cam Thibault (20 goals, 11 assists).

Top-seeded Scarborough (10-2) will host Class A South semifinal Saturday against the winner of Wednesday’s quarterfinal between No. 5 Biddeford (7-5) and No. 4 Gorham (9-3).

Nick Neugebauer, an assistant coach at the University of New England, brought lacrosse to the family.

The oldest of Kyle and Bev’s three boys, Nick was an active eighth-grader who craved contact when he first picked up a lacrosse stick. That spring, he played middle school lacrosse and travel team baseball.

“By the end of eighth grade, I had stopped going to baseball,” said Nick Neugebauer, now 25.

A year later, Nick was on Scarborough’s 2007 varsity squad as a defensive midfielder. He was part of a state championship team as a sophomore in 2008 and captained the 2010 title team, scoring three goals in the championship game.

Ben Neugebauer, 21, is a private first class in the Army, stationed at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas. Ben played attack and made the varsity as a senior in 2013, when Scarborough won its fourth straight Class A title.

The next year, Sam was on the varsity roster.

Joe Hezlep has been Scarborough’s head coach for 10 seasons. His first year was Nick’s sophomore season. While he won’t miss trying to spell their last name – “Thank god. There’s very few times I’ve spelled it right,” he said – he will miss what the brothers have brought to the program.

“They’ve all meant a lot to the program and so has their family,” said Hezlep. “They’re kids that bring the lunch pail every day and do the little things that make a difference.”

As the youngest brother, Sam was exposed to lacrosse at an early age.

First, it was playing catch in the backyard. Then he began tagging along with Nick and playing against older, stronger players in men’s pickup games.

“He still plays tough, but he’s figured out the touch and the vision, and I’d like to think it’s from beating the crap out of him in the backyard,” Nick said. “Even at a young age, he’d get knocked down and he’d get right back up. He never shied from contact.”

Sam’s hard, accurate, left-handed shot made him an immediate scoring threat. He scored four goals against eventual state champ South Portland in his first start as a freshman.

“His freshman, sophomore years, he was more of a one-trick player,” said Nick Neugebauer. “He stood out on an island and let it fly.”

“That was a learning curve for me,” Sam agreed. “I could shoot. Yes, I could do that. But as the years went on, more defenders know who you are, and that’s when you’ve really got to learn new stuff.”

Neugebauer is still at his best when he’s catching and shooting quickly but has become more adept at breaking down a defender and getting to the goal.

“He’s really been able to take the ball and go one-on-one and not run himself into trouble and actually quarterback the offense a little bit,” Hezlep said.

Neugebauer will attend Bridgton Academy this fall, with the intent of playing college lacrosse the following year.

But first he has to finish the Neugebauer era at Scarborough, hoping to recapture the feeling of winning a state title.

“It was breathtaking; a great experience and a great feeling to be with the people that you love and to play the game that you love,” he said.

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

Twitter: SteveCCraig

]]> 0 his two older brothers, Sam Neugebauer became a state champion when he led Scarborough to a win over Brunswick in the 2016 Class A final. The Red Storm enter this year's playoffs as the No. 1 seed in Class A South.Mon, 05 Jun 2017 23:37:48 +0000
Boys’ lacrosse: Thornton Academy notches a 14-7 win over Gorham Wed, 31 May 2017 03:06:45 +0000 SACO — Thornton Academy wants to play as many playoff games at home as possible, and with that in mind, the Trojans played one of their strongest all-around games this season in a 14-7 boys’ lacrosse romp over Gorham on Tuesday.

In the last four years Thornton Academy has won when playing at home in the Class A South boys’ lacrosse playoffs. A loss Tuesday could have meant one fewer playoff game at Hill Stadium.

Instead the Trojans (10-1) remained second in the Heal point standings, with its only loss in overtime to top-ranked Scarborough. Thornton Academy’s final regular-season game is Thursday at Westbrook.

Gorham finished the regular season at 9-3 and appears to be locked in to the No. 4 seed.

Thornton’s top scorer Noah Edborg had five goals and one assist. Sophomores C.J. Labreck and Thomas Levasseur both added three goals.

“This win was very important. Like Coach said, the real season started tonight,” said Edborg. “If we lost we would have dropped all the way to (the fourth seed) and would have to play on a grass field (sooner). We don’t like doing that; we’d rather play on our turf.”

In a physical game that had a playoff feel, the Trojans battled back from an early 3-0 deficit to take a 5-4 lead at the half. They scored the first two of the third quarter and never led by fewer than two goals the rest of the way. In the fourth quarter the Trojans scored the first five goals to stretch the lead to 13-6.

“We try to play a quarter at a time and score the first goal of the quarter,” said Thornton Coach Ryan Hersey. “Besides the first quarter when we were down 3-1, we won every other quarter and scored the first goal in each quarter.

“Before they go out there they get in the right mindset to get that first one. What follows is habit of hard work.”

But the key to the win was not the offense, but defense, specifically two penalty kills.

First, the Trojans incurred a 3-minute illegal stick penalty to start the second quarter. Not only did the Rams fail to score and pad their 3-1 lead, but Thornton scored when Edborg picked up a loose ball, evaded one defender and bounced a shot past Gorham goalie Carter Landry (14 saves).

A one-minute penalty with 6:12 left in the game and a 10-6 lead could have changed the complexion but, again, the Rams came up empty.

Labreck was key when the Trojans were down a man as he used his speed to get the ball from defensive zone past midfield. Once in his offensive zone his elusiveness helped him drain precious time off the clock.

“(C.J.) went through five of their guys just to get it over midfield (on one penalty). And then he held on to it for another 45 seconds,” Hersey said. “He had a couple goals tonight but I think that was his best plays of the game.”

Gorham got five goals and two assists from Alex York. Chris Tucker had two goals and one assist and Jake Dupuis had three assists.

Rams Coach Dan Soule felt his team – one of the top offenses in the state – wasn’t able to execute as it normally does.

“When it came down to it, our offense didn’t give our defense much rest and it put a lot strain on us in third and fourth quarters,” said Soule. “If we ran our offense it could have given us more opportunities. But we didn’t and the result is what it is.”

Thornton put the game away with three goals in a 50-second span late in the final quarter, for a seven-goal cushion. Levasseur scored the final two, the last off a cross-crease pass from John Giroux.

Ean Patry made 11 saves for the Trojans.

]]> 0 Academy's John Giroux looks for an opening to the net as Gorham's Ryan Hamblen plays defense in Tuesday's boys' lacrosse game at Saco. The Trojans improved to 10-1 with a 14-7 victory.Wed, 31 May 2017 10:39:22 +0000
Boys’ lacrosse: Gorham rolls to victory over Windham Thu, 25 May 2017 02:34:00 +0000 GORHAM — Year after year, the Gorham High boys’ lacrosse team puts up more assists than normal in a sport that typically doesn’t have many.

The latest example came Wednesday night when the Rams assisted on 16 goals during a 19-2 rout of Windham.

Most of the goals began with a player behind the net finding an open cutter. The others came on transitions from defense. All were from within 10 feet of the goal.

“We’re a very unselfish team so when we see that cut we’re going to find it,” said Alex York, who finished with nine goals and seven assists. “Like I said, everyone knows their roles – the middies cut when they’re supposed to, everyone cuts when they’re supposed to, so we find them and they find the back of the net.”

Gorham improved to 8-2 and dropped Windham, which has alternated wins and losses all season, to 4-5.

Gorham Coach Dan Soule credited his team for sticking to the game plan.

Logan Heckman, left and Matt Hamel of Windham compete for the ball Wednesday night with Brady Rioux of Gorham during Gorham’s 19-2 victory in boys’ lacrosse. Staff photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette

“(On offense) we try be active, trying to move. Anytime we move, anytime we cut, we are going to get (scoring) opportunities,” he said. “With our settled offense, if we’re moving, we put pressure on (the defense).

“(Offensively), we played as a team, (we) ran through the offense and didn’t try to get creative.”

York opened the scoring 2:25 into the game when he connected from 2 feet after taking a pass from Jake Dupuis (2 goals, 6 assists).

Twenty-two seconds later, York scored again when Chris Tucker (4 goals, 2 assists) picked up an errant clearing pass at midfield and ran down the field before dishing a perfect pass to his teammate.

York was the distributor on the next two goals.

First, from behind the net, he hit a cutting Tucker with a pass 4:31 into the opening period for a 3-0 lead. Then he took a clear from Mat Anderson –who broke up a play in the defensive zone – and fed Dupuis.

Windham’s Elliott Benjamin, center and Logan Douglas try and block the shot of Gorham’s Jake Dupuis. Staff photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette

Dupuis finished the first-quarter scoring when he came out from behind the net, stopped and shot past Windham goalie Ben Elliott.

“I think one of the things they are very good at is movement,” Eagles Coach Pete Small said. “Coach Soule does very well teaching his kids to read the first (defensive) slide, (then) the second slide. They know when it’s coming and they know how to find that open guy. That’s what they did so well tonight – they saw when our second slide wasn’t coming and hit (a teammate) and scored.”

Windham broke its scoring drought 29 seconds into the second quarter. Tom Lekousi took a pass from Griffin MacVane and squeezed the ball between Carter Landry’s legs to make it 5-1.

The Rams, who led 11-1 at the half, scored the next 14 goals before allowing the final goal of the game to Tyler Woolston.

“Our whole year our motto has been to work for 48 minutes,” York said. “We’ve had some games we didn’t play well in the first period or maybe the fourth. Today I think we did great for (all) 48.”

Also scoring for Gorham were Brady Rioux (two goals) and Ben Nault. Landry only had to make two saves through three quarters as the Eagles only attempted 13 shots on the defense of Holden Edwards, Ryan Hamblen, Brady Rioux, Sam Burghardt and Peyton True.

]]> 0, 24 May 2017 22:38:35 +0000
Boys’ lacrosse: Deering outruns Massabesic Tue, 23 May 2017 03:31:29 +0000 WATERBORO — The Deering boys’ lacrosse team has followed a consistent pattern this season, either one-sided wins against weaker teams or one-sided losses to obviously better squads. None of the Rams’ games have been decided by fewer than eight goals.

The pattern continued Monday night against Massabesic.

Deering, which started the day ranked seventh in the Class A North Heal point standings, took advantage of some holes in Massabesic’s midfield and raced to a 20-8 victory.

“Today was a great opportunity for us to get some Heal points,” Rams Coach Jon Dubois said. “(Massabesic) was (4-3) coming into the game, so we knew it was an opportunity for us to move up in the standings if we could get a (win).”

Deering (6-4) jumped up to fifth place with two home games remaining against teams with losing records – Windham and Noble.

“We’re hoping that by having our last two games at home that it will springboard us into a little run into the playoffs,” Dubois added.

“We’re looking to get a home playoff game this year and hopefully that will make a difference in us getting a win and get into the second round. It’s been a couple years since we’ve gotten that deep.”

Deering jumped out quickly, building a 5-1 lead midway through the first quarter as Nate Richards (seven goals, two assists) and Omar Contreras (five goals) each scored twice.

The Mustangs (4-4) closed to within 5-3 at halftime on goals by Cameron Roy and Max Irons (two goals). But Massabesic’s leading scorer Ethan Ouellette (two goals), twisted his ankle on the Mustangs’ third goal. He missed the final 13 seconds of the first half and the entire third quarter.

Massabesic also played without starting midfielder Zion Mercado. Deering took advantage of the absence of Ouellette and Mercado to extend its lead to 11-4 after three quarters and continued to pull away in the fourth.

“On both sides of the ball, our middies couldn’t quite keep up,” Massabesic Coach Steve Gallo said. “We saw the inexperience and the lack of depth.

“I wasn’t fooling myself that our second line was gong to compete with theirs. But they have to do the basics, get back on fast breaks and not lose their man off the ball. They didn’t always do that, and that inexperience hurt us.”

Richards said that grabbing an early lead was important for Deering after recent big defeats to powerhouses Scarborough and South Portland.

“To put the game away early was big,” said Richards, a senior midfielder. “We don’t want to have teams stick around and make it a close game.

“Today was really a big confidence boost, coming out here after a few losses. We really worked as a team.”

Deering goalie Tanner Nussinow made 10 saves, including many from in close as the Mustangs worked the ball inside.

“You always need a goalie who is going to make those (key) saves, because it can be demoralizing to give up a soft one in a close game,” Gallo said. “If he would have given up some earlier goals, it could have made a difference.”

Payson Harvey scored three times for the Rams, and Zach Harvey added two goals and two assists.

]]> 0 Mon, 22 May 2017 23:33:54 +0000
What’s it take to be a good lacrosse goalie? Mon, 22 May 2017 08:00:00 +0000 GORHAM — Carter Landry flicks his right foot quickly toward the right post of the lacrosse goal. Without a flinch or hesitation, he deflects the hard rubber ball away from its intended target with his instep.

“I don’t even feel it anymore,” said Landry, the senior goalie for the Gorham High boys’ lacrosse team.

It takes a special combination of quickness, game awareness and disregard for pain to be a boys’ lacrosse goalie. It’s a position most players try to avoid, considering goalies wear less equipment than other players but are asked to step in front of shots fired from crazy angles and routinely traveling upward of 70 miles per hour.

“I give Carter a lot of credit for stepping in there,” said Gorham’s rugged senior defenseman, Mat Anderson. “Honestly, I’d probably be a little scared if I was in there. They’re just standing there and they’ll take the shots. You have to have another mindset if you’re going to play goalie.”

And teams with good goalies are usually good teams. That’s because in a position where a 60 percent save rate is considered excellent, good goalies stop the shots they’re supposed to and also make the occasional momentum-swinging tough save.

Landry, the Maine Sunday Telegram’s 2016 All-State goalie, is one of those game-changing goalies. Next year, he’ll be playing for Widener University, a solid Division III program in Chester, Pennsylvania. He started out as a midfielder in middle school and played goalie for the first time in an eighth grade end-of-season tournament when many players tried new positions for fun.


Very quickly, Gorham Coach Dan Soule saw in Landry the makings of a future goalie: quick hands and feet and a lack of fear.

“Hearing Coach Soule and other coaches say you could have a future with that, you could be pretty good, is something I like to hear,” Landry said.

By the third game of Landry’s freshman season, he was Gorham’s starting goalie. In his first start, he gave up 18 goals to Cheverus “and I think I made three saves.”

It was a blunt introduction to a fact of life for a lacrosse goalie: Good shooters in good positions will score and, sometimes, goals come in bunches.

“You’re gonna get scored on,” said Falmouth Coach Dave Barton, a former goalie. “You can learn from a shot that just went by you, but you have to be able to hit the reset button. There’s nothing you can do about the goal that’s already gone in.”

Landry was reminded of that fact in a season-opening 15-9 loss against defending Class A champ Scarborough. Several of the Red Storm’s goals glanced off Landry.

“It was a matter of three or four inches on some of them, and instead of being inside the near post they would have been saved,” Soule said.

“I just needed to remember to take it one stop, one shot, at a time,” Landry said.

Landry said he’s improved at stepping toward shots to reduce a shooting angle and using his whole body as a shield.

“A save’s a save, no matter if it hits you or goes right into your net,” said Landry, who has helped Gorham to an 8-2 start this season.


Goalies wear less equipment than other lacrosse players and considerably less than a hockey goalie or a baseball catcher. Shin pads like a catcher and even normal elbow pads slow and restrict movement. Lacrosse goalies make do with a helmet that has a throat protector, lacrosse gloves, a thin chest protector and a protective cup.

“It’s not as bad as you might think once you get in there and you get comfortable,” said Liam Tucker, a senior goalie for Falmouth (8-1) who was a key factor in the team’s run to the 2016 Class B title.


Goalies come in a variety of sizes. At 5-foot-8, Tucker is four inches shorter than Landry. He started playing the position in sixth grade as an emergency fill-in for an absent teammate. Tucker said he immediately liked the feeling of being the last line of defense with the ability to change the flow of a game.

“A lot of people think you just stick the unathletic kid in the net, or get the biggest kid and let him just get hit by a lot of shots,” said Bowdoin College assistant coach Max Silberlicht, a former goalie at Division I Hobart College. “I was more of a large parking cone who got hit a lot. But you have to be athletic as hell, and that’s something (Landry) has through the roof.”

“If you’re a smaller guy, you better play your angles well. If you’re a bigger guy, you better have quick hands and quick feet,” Silberlicht said.

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

Twitter: SteveCCraig

]]> 0 Landry, Gorham High's starting goalie since his freshman year, blocks a shot during a practice last week in Gorham. Landry plans to continue playing lacrosse next year at Widener University in Chester, Pennsylvania.Sun, 21 May 2017 20:18:41 +0000
Boys’ lacrosse: Thornton ups the tempo, collects a victory Sat, 20 May 2017 02:46:27 +0000 SACO — The Thornton Academy boys’ lacrosse team stresses an up-tempo style, looking to put as many shots on goal as possible and not worry about giving the ball back to the opposition.

The Golden Trojans’ coaching staff found little to complain about Friday night in an 18-6 rout of Biddeford at Hill Stadium.

Thornton (7-1) unleashed 58 shots but also controlled possession and limited the Tigers (5-4) to 24 shots.

Biddeford led 3-2 before the Trojans scored the final four goals of the first quarter for a 6-3 lead. Thornton then added all eight goals of the second quarter to put the game away with a 14-3 lead at halftime.

Biddeford’s Mitchell Farley falls to the turf while battling for the ball with Thornton’s Eli Arsenault during the first period. Staff photo by Gabe Souza

“I’m glad that once again, it showed that if we keep on sticking with pushing the ball and playing a high-intensity offense, that goals will come in bunches,” Thornton Coach Ryan Hersey said. “It’s a strategy Bates (College) is using and other colleges are using – push the ball and get as many shots on goal as possible, and not worry if you lose possession of the ball.”

Thornton made it 14 consecutive goals with the first two scores of the third quarter, opening a 16-3 advantage, before C.J. Thorne of Biddeford recorded his second of four goals.

The Tigers went 23 minutes, 28 seconds without scoring.

“I thought it was a good game (for us),” said Trojans attack Noah Edborg, who finished with five goals and two assists. “We played good together. We were just trying to come out fast and get goals in quick.

Thornton’s Taylor Jipson tries to elude the Biddeford defense while on attack. Staff photo by Gabe Souza

“I was not expecting a run like (that) at all. We’ve been used to close games recently.”

The Trojans grabbed control late in the first quarter when they scored four times in a 2:24 span.

Man-advantage goals 49 seconds apart by Wyatt LeBlanc (one goal, three assists) and Thomas Levasseur (three goals, two assists) started the run.

Biddeford was still in the game early, trailing by three goals to start the second quarter.

But five penalties – totaling six minutes – in the quarter resulted in four more man-advantage scores as the Trojans pulled away.

“This is a great rivalry, a fantastic rivalry,” Biddeford Coach Jason Martel said. “In the second quarter, (the) penalties got us.

Biddeford’s Mitchell Farley, center, looks for the ball as he’s sandwiched by two Thornton defenders, including Thomas Pike, at right, during the first period. Staff photo by Gabe Souza

“It’s hard to stay with a team like Thornton Academy when we spend so much time locked in the penalty box. I think we had five or six solid minutes in the second quarter in the penalty box, and it’s hard to play a man down.”

The Trojans scored four times in 4:44 at the end of the second quarter, with Edborg netting three goals, two of them from John Giroux (two goals, three assists). Giroux had the other, taking a pass from Edborg and finding the back of the net.

“I’ve played with (John) almost my whole life. Last year we started connecting more (offensively), and this year we are connecting a lot,” Edborg said.

Also recording multiple points for the Trojans were Jaden Wells (two goals), Thomas Pike (two goals), Jack Webb (one goal, one assist) and C.J. Labreck (two assists).

Ean Patry made nine saves as Taylor Jipson and Eli Arsenault played strong defense in front of him to limit Biddeford’s chances.

]]> 0 Houde of Thornton Academy attempts to evade a Biddeford defender Friday night during the first quarter of Thornton's 18-6 boys' lacrosse victory at Saco. The Trojans improved to 7-1 and dropped the Tigers to 5-4.Fri, 19 May 2017 22:56:55 +0000
Boys’ lacrosse: Cape Elizabeth routs South Portland Sat, 13 May 2017 01:56:44 +0000 CAPE ELIZABETH — A season-opening loss to Falmouth has proven beneficial to the Cape Elizabeth boys’ lacrosse team.

“That loss to Falmouth really hit us hard,” said Cape senior Owen Thoreck. “We started off and it was too much of one person doing their own thing. We really just ingrained it in practice, and Coach has been pushing all year that it has to be a team effort.”

The resulting team-oriented style the Capers have developed was on display throughout an impressive 16-2 win over South Portland on Friday night. Eight Capers scored, led by four goals apiece from Thoreck and Tate Perkins.

“That’s our thing this year,” said Thoreck. “We’re really focusing on the team aspect, that one more pass, the good looks, the open shot.

“We’ve focused on that a lot in practice and it pays off.”

Just over four and a half minutes into the opening quarter, Noah Bates cashed in for the first goal. From there, the Capers never looked back as they improved to 5-1.

Bates kick-started a first half outburst as Cape took a 10-1 lead into halftime.

Six players contributed to the first-half barrage. Perkins scored three goals, Kev Boeschenstein and Thoreck each chipped in with two, and Connor Thoreck and Finn Raymond each had one.

Owen Thoreck scored two more in the second half, while Perkins, Boeschenstein, Cole Spencer, Ben Ekedahl each added a single tally.

“When that many people score, it means we’re having more of our goals assisted,” said Cape Elizabeth Coach Ben Raymond. “Our dodgers are doing a better job of getting their heads up and finding where the slides coming, finding the open man, and then we’re finishing our shots.”

Spencer, the Capers’ faceoff specialist, was dominant in earning possession again for Cape Elizabeth following many of its goals.

“It’s a good benefit to have,” Raymond said. “He’s doing a great job. We’re getting more possessions out of his wins. He’s putting them in spots where only we can get them. He’s realizing when our wing men are shut off and then he’s putting it in a spot where only he can get it.”

“He’s unbelievable,” Owen Thoreck remarked about Spencer’s effort. “He’s a stud and he really pushes us. He gives us a ton of possessions.”

Sam Price turned away seven shots for Cape.

Cooper Mehlhorn and Jack Tierney scored for the Red Riots (4-2), whose only other loss was a 12-10 defeat against unbeaten Falmouth. South Portland goalie Quinn Watson made 18 saves.

“That was just a good, old-fashioned shellacking,” said South Portland Coach Tom Fiorini. “Cape showed up ready to play. Shame on me, my kids were not prepared. That’s it. They’re good and we were under-prepared. That’s on me.

“We should’ve given them a better game than that. It is what it is. We have a whole rest of the season, and we have a big game coming up against (Thornton Academy) and we’ve got to get ready for that. This one is in the dust and we’re going to get ready for TA.”

]]> 0 ELIZABETH, ME - MAY 12: Cape Elizabeth's David Hare looks for room to shoot while South Portland Sean Scott applies pressure. (Staff photo by Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer)Sat, 13 May 2017 18:27:45 +0000
Boys’ lacrosse: Wells displays maturity in victory Thu, 11 May 2017 01:20:32 +0000 WELLS — For two minutes late in a tie game Wednesday against Fryeburg Academy, the Wells High boys’ lacrosse team had possession in its offensive zone but came up empty.

Unfazed, midfielder Riley Dempsey intercepted a pass near midfield on the Raiders’ attempt to transition to offense, then found Courtland Austin near the goal.

Austin scored with 2:10 remaining – his third goal of the game – and the Warriors held on for a 10-9 victory.

Wells (5-1) defeated the Raiders (3-3) for the second time in a week.

“There is something amazing about Dempsey. … He can run up and down the field as many times as he needs to,” said Evan Whitten, who led the Warriors with four goals after scoring eight in the previous game against Fryeburg.

“If he’s told he needs to get it done, he will run up and down the field for you. And (Austin), he’s got a real good shot. He was wide open when (Dempsey) got him the ball and it worked out.”

Fryeburg had a chance to tie the game when it got possession with a little more than a minute remaining.

Caleb Bowles, who finished with one goal and one assist, drove to the net but Shawn Ouellette of the Warriors knocked the ball free.

Wells picked up the ball and ran out the clock.

In the 12-10 triumph against Fryeburg on May 3, the Warriors used a 5-2 advantage in the fourth quarter to complete a comeback.

The two wins over the Raiders is a trend that Wells Coach Don Whitten hasn’t seen from this group.

“I just think this team has persevered and has figured out over the last three years since we’ve been together how to finish,” Whitten said.

“That’s one of the things we weren’t good at. We would be in a close game and manage to give it away at the end. This team finally has put it together and finishes (strong), and comes up with these big wins.”

Fryeburg led 5-2 early in the second quarter but Wells got within 5-4 at halftime. After Caleb Eklund (3 goals, 2 assists) scored 35 seconds into the third quarter to give the Raiders a two-goal cushion, the Warriors scored four straight for their first lead since the opening two minutes.

Ethan Marsh (2 goals, 1 assist) started the run, with Whitten then putting in three straight in less than five minutes for an 8-6 lead.

“I felt I had to step up,” Whitten said. “And as a captain I felt I had to play to my potential. The guys gave me the passes I needed and I got it done.”

Another captain, goalie Sean McCormack-Kuhman, kept the Warriors in the game in the second quarter, when he made nine of his 17 saves.

“(Their goalie) in the second quarter was a huge difference,” Fryeburg Coach Matt Haley said. “He’s a big guy and takes up a lot of the net. We hit him a couple times and other times … he’s quick for a big guy. To try to get a ball past him, it’s not easy.”

Wells defender Charlie Clough also scored. He picked up a ground ball in his defensive zone and ran the length of the field before unleashing a shot that was initially stopped by goalie Yukon King (9 saves).

Gunnar Gurnis put in two goals for the Raiders.

]]> 0 Wed, 10 May 2017 21:24:17 +0000
Boys’ lacrosse: Falmouth beats rival Yarmouth, 16-6 Thu, 04 May 2017 01:22:29 +0000 FALMOUTH — “Make it, take it,” is usually a term heard in a pickup basketball game.

Spencer Pierce turned Wednesday’s Class B boys’ lacrosse rivalry matchup into something similar.

The deep and talented Falmouth High offense would “make” a goal and Pierce would “take” the faceoff win.

The result was a lopsided first half of possession and scoreboard dominance in Falmouth’s eventual 16-6 win against Yarmouth.

Pierce won the first 11 faceoffs and 13 of 14 in the first half as Falmouth built an 11-1 lead in the teams’ first meeting since the 2016 state championship game won by Falmouth, 13-9.

“All it is is a (ground ball) to start, and when we get those and get the possession I think our offense can take it away,” said Pierce, a junior who began learning the faceoff trade a month into his sophomore season. “All of my credit should go to my wing players. They do a great job of supporting me and getting in there fast to make sure I have the space that I need to work.”

While Pierce praised the work of his wing players, a deep group that includes Nate Arrants, Riley Reed, Brendan Hickey and Tom Fitzgerald, several times he simply won the faceoff cleanly and was able to start a transition opportunity.

“He’s a real tactician, he really is,” said Falmouth Coach Dave Barton of Pierce. “He’s a real student of the faceoff game and we’ve talked time and time again, it’s a growing weapon in this game.”

With plenty of opportunities and possession time, Falmouth’s attack trio of Devin Russell (4 goals), Jack Scribner (2 goals, 2 assists) and Lou Mainella (2 goals, 2 assists) finished plenty of opportunities in their two-plus quarters of work.

“It’s really good to have Spencer winning all those faceoffs to get us the ball and make sure we have the offensive movement we need,” Russell said.

Arrants (3 goals), Fitzgerald (2 goals) and Nick Farnham (1 goal, 1 assist) also had multiple points. Andrew Langdon and Reilly Tucker added a goal each.

Falmouth improved to 5-0. Yarmouth, coming off a 22-5 loss at Brunswick on Saturday, is 2-2. The Clippers have been outscored 27-1 in the first half of their losses.

Falmouth had a 26-6 edge in first-half shot attempts. Yarmouth’s lone goal came in a man-up situation, with freshman Anders Corey scoring off a nice feed from Henry Venden.

In even-strength situations, Yarmouth struggled to gain control. When it did get the ball, Falmouth’s aggressive checking led by long-stick midfielder Reed usually took it right back.

“We have to grow in so many ways,” said Yarmouth Coach David Pearl. “A really important thing is being able to deal with pressure. The pressure of the moment, the pressure of really good players all over you, and the pressure of so many weapons that (Falmouth has).”

MacLean Kirk took the faceoffs for Falmouth in the second half and won four straight as the Yachtsmen built a 15-1 lead.

In the fourth quarter, Yarmouth outscored Falmouth, 4-1. Most of Falmouth’s starters, including goalie Liam Tucker, were no longer playing. Yarmouth senior attack Bill Jacobs moved to the faceoff role and won six of the last seven attempts.

“One thing I love about our guys was they never gave up,” Pearl said. “They started to compete and what we really have to focus on is getting better.”

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

Twitter: SteveCCraig

]]> 0, ME - MAY 3: Falmouth midfielder Nate Arrants takes a shot against Yarmouth. (Staff photo by Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer)Thu, 04 May 2017 11:22:16 +0000
Boys’ lacrosse: Two big runs make the difference in Deering’s win Wed, 03 May 2017 02:41:19 +0000 Some call it spurtability. Others call it the ability to score in a dizzying flurry. Whatever you call it, Deering showed it off Tuesday night.

The Rams used two separate runs of five straight goals in an 18-9 victory against Portland at Fitzpatrick Stadium.

It took some time for the Rams to start taking control. The game began cautiously, with Portland goalie T.J. Quinn (nine saves) and Deering goalie Tanner Nussinow (11 saves) dominating.

Deering attacker Nick James scored first, firing past Quinn’s left shoulder with 4:23 remaining in the first period. The Bulldogs tied it late in the quarter with a man-up goal by Tristan Arcand, but fell behind for good with 10 seconds left in the period when Jacob Tosi scored a goal for Deering.

Tosi’s goal started the Rams’ first massive run, scoring the first four goals of the second quarter.

Deering’s sixth goal, from Jonah Peterson, came eight seconds after Zach Harvey made it 5-1.

James explained how the Rams’ aggressive mentality allowed them to seize the momentum.

“We kept it in our heads that we needed to get one more after we scored a goal,” James said, “and we focused on winning those ground balls off the faceoff, and then we wanted to just get it and go.”

Portland managed to stop the Rams’ surge and pulled within 6-3 at halftime thanks to goals from Reilly O’Brien and Wes Bryan, who each finished with two.

Though the Bulldogs kept close for most of the third quarter, James initiated Deering’s second run of five consecutive goals, dodging a defender and scoring from distance to put the Rams ahead 9-5 with 2:53 remaining in the period.

By the time Peterson scored in transition nine seconds into the fourth quarter, Deering held a 13-5 advantage and a comfortable grip on the game.

Peterson and James both scored a team-high four goals for the Rams.

Deering Coach Jon Dubois was pleased with the team’s second-half effort.

“We cleaned a few things up at halftime,” Dubois said. “We just talked about running our offense the right way and being in the right positions on defense, and we really clicked a lot better in the second half.”

One impressive element of Deering’s play was its offensive balance. While the team has several predatory finishers, the players don’t mind sharing the goals.

Eight players scored for the Rams.

“I’m just looking to either put it in the back of the net or give it to someone who will,” said James. “As long as we’re moving the ball around and scoring goals, that’s great.”

Deering improved to 3-1 thisseason and Portland dropped to 2-3.

Portland will look to end its two-game losing streak Thursday at Scarborough.

Deering is next in action Friday at home against Thornton Academy.

]]> 0 Tue, 02 May 2017 23:38:27 +0000
For lacrosse teams, ‘X’ marks the spot Tue, 02 May 2017 23:42:43 +0000 Down a pair of goals with less than a minute remaining against Massabesic last month, Gardiner Area High School captain Sloan Berthiaume makes his move the to the net, fires and scores. He races to the goal, grabs the ball and sprints it all the way back to midfield.

Just eight seconds remain on the clock, which is running, marking down the seconds in an otherwise unremarkable preseason scrimmage.

Berthiaume looks up at the referee. “One more faceoff?” The referee shrugs his shoulders as if to say, “Why not?”

The whistle blows, Berthiaume wins the draw and races downfield, producing another move to the net, another shot, and another goal.

A game the Tigers otherwise thought would be chalked up to a “learning experience,” “team growth” or any of the other dozens of buzzwords high school coaches like to toss around in the face of defeat, instead becomes another prime example of one inalienable truth of lacrosse.

Faceoffs are supremely important.

“When you have good, quick kids that can consistently win the ball, win you possessions, you can slow the game down or the push the pace to whatever your team’s tendencies are,” Gardiner head coach K.C. Johnson said.

Johnson should know. His 5-0 Tigers, sitting atop Class B North, have one of the best faceoff men in the area in Berthiaume. Along with Garrett Hinkley, Gardiner’s ability to win faceoffs has been a big reason the team has hit double digits in every game and averages 11 goals per contest.

In a sport that is a closer cousin to basketball than many people realize, gaining as many possessions as possible and maximizing offensive output with those extra possessions are paramount to a team’s success. In that way, faceoffs rival ground balls as key stats beyond goals scored and shot totals.

“For Sloan, it’s been self-taught a little bit,” said Johnson, who admits he doesn’t spend as much practice time on the art of the faceoff as he’d like. “He’s an old-school faceoff guy. He really is very instinctive, he is quick on the trigger, he goes to the goal right away. He’s very smart and saavy.”

Berthiaume is able to go to the goal so quickly, in part, because he wins far more faceoffs than he loses. In a recent game against rival Cony High School, Berthiaume scored twice in the second quarter after winning consecutive faceoffs and turning them almost immediately into goals, turning a 2-1 deficit into a first-half lead.

“It’s more reacting to how your opponent is and how he plays and goes on it,” said Berthiaume, who admitted that the first couple of faceoffs of a game are essentially a feeling out process. “What you see from him, you’ll adapt.”

At its core, the predominant faceoff strategy is to simply clamp down on the ball while trying to get leverage on the opponents’ stick to try and draw the ball free.

There are adjustments — and adaptations — to be made from individual to individual, and that’s where coaching the art of the faceoff can get tricky. Johnson and Erskine Academy first-year coach Jason Wade both admit that they don’t spend much practice time, if any, on faceoffs.

Given how important they are to the flow of a game, it seems counterintuitive, but Wade makes the comparison to the goaltender position in hockey.

“To me, it lines up with goalies,” said Wade, whose background is in coaching youth lacrosse players in the Central Maine Youth Lacrosse program. “There are so many nuances to that position, unless you’re specifially a goalie coach, (that) it is hard to know all of those and coach that. There’s a lot of nuances to the faceoff game. The real magicians at the faceoff ‘X’ are really skilled at those nuances. If I was coaching at a really high level, it would be hard for me to feel like I knew how to teach all of those.”

A number of area players get coaching on the side, via clinics specific to the ability to take faceoffs, much like softball pitchers have personal throwing coaches or basketball players participate in shooting clinics. While it’s obvious that those skills are necessary to the particular sports, it doesn’t mean that everyone excels at them.

Berthiaume and Hinkley have learned how to do it mostly on their own. It’s a blend of speedy hands, technique and — Berthiaume says — the willingness to take some of the pain that comes with flailing sticks in the hands of players charging in from the wings trying to gain possession of the ball themselves.

“At the youth level, you try to find a kid with quick hands. That’s the biggest thing,” Wade said. “If you have an athletic kid with some interest in it, you can build off of that.”

Berthiaume started working on his faceoff game when he was in fourth grade. Hinkley, Johnson said, comes naturally by it.

“It’s just about trying to get down fast,” said Hinkley, who, at well over six feet tall, owns a distinct size and strength advantage over many faceoff-minded midfielders. “If I win it, it makes me feel good and I want to play harder.”

When players begin to open up about the actual techniques involved in taking faceoffs, they talk about the clamp, about rotation and body positioning and about countering what it is that the opponent himself is trying to accomplish.

Faceoffs are the proverbial game within the game — an ongoing chess match between two individuals or a poker game where opponents try not to reveal too much too soon.

“It’s a lot about your know-how in what to do and how to react in certain situations,” Berthiaume said. “They’re never going to be the same.”

Nobody disputes that, no matter how individuals approach the process, success at the ‘X’ can influence the outcome of a contest.

“It can win games for you,” Berthiaume said. “You might be playing against a better team, but if you can gain possession off of faceoffs, it can win the game for you.”

]]> 0, 02 May 2017 22:54:25 +0000
Local roundup: Winthrop baseball, softball sweep Telstar Tue, 02 May 2017 01:10:33 +0000 KENTS HILL — A cold and wet afternoon proved to nonetheless be an enjoyable one for the Winthrop softball team.

Layne Audet rolled to the win in the circle and Kayleigh Oberg homered as the Ramblers beat Telstar, 10-3, in a Mountain Valley Conference game at Kents Hill School.

Audet struck out 10 in the complete-game victory, and Oberg’s home run was a three-run shot. Matti Rice had two hits, including a double, for Winthrop (3-1), which led 5-0 after three innings and 8-0 after four.

Josie Forbes homered in the seventh for the Rebels (2-1), while Kylee Martin struck out six in the circle.


ERSKINE 14, LINCOLN 8: Caleb Tyler scored seven goals to lead the Eagles to their first win of the season in Newcastle.

Ethan Furlong and Chance Reed each scored twice for Erskine (1-2), while Gavin Blanchard, Grayson Petty and Seth Reed also added goals. Noah Miller anchored a strong defensive effort with six saves.

Liam Cullina scored four goals for Lincoln (1-4).


LAWRENCE 9, LINCOLN 6: Cassandra Poli scored three goals to lead the Bulldogs to its first ever victory as a varsity program on Saturday against the Eagles in Newcastle.

Sierra Weston had eight saves for the Bulldogs (1-1).

Ashley Budd, Lucy Williams and Brinley Harrison each scored two goals for Lincoln (1-1).


WINTHROP 17, TELSTAR 7, 6 INN.: Jacob Hickey went the distance as the Ramblers earned the MVC win in Kents Hill.

Carson Camick had two hits and drove in three runs for Winthrop (4-1), which scored seven runs in the third inning en route to the blowout. Bennett Brooks had two hits, including a triple, while Matt Ingram and Antonio Meucci also added two hits apiece.

Jared Beane was 2 for 3 in the loss for Telstar (1-4).

]]> 0 Thu, 18 May 2017 10:45:45 +0000
Boys’ lacrosse: Cape Elizabeth upends Scarborough Sat, 29 Apr 2017 22:19:13 +0000 SCARBOROUGH — Twin brothers Owen and Connor Thoreck each scored four goals Saturday afternoon while leading Cape Elizabeth to a 13-6 boys’ lacrosse win over Scarborough.

Owen Thoreck scored his first goal with 5:21 left in the first quarter to give the Capers a 2-1 advantage.

“(Owen) didn’t necessarily create his own goals, he worked off ball, got some work done off (ball),” said Cape Elizabeth Coach Ben Raymond.

The game was tied 2-2 after one quarter. Just over four minutes into the second quarter, Connor Thoreck scored his first goal to give Cape Elizabeth (1-1) a lead it would not relinquish.

“It’s awesome (playing with Owen). We love it, we work on it in the backyard, we definitely come out ready to play. We just want to score goals and win games,” said Connor Thoreck, who scored again with 2:38 to go in the first half to extend the Capers’ lead to 6-3.

“Whenever (Connor) has a short stick on him, he should be looking to go attack the cage. People have a hard time dealing with him when he goes full speed,” said Raymond. “Connor’s performance this afternoon is the difference.”

Cape Elizabeth led 7-3 going into halftime, but Scarborough (2-2) came out firing in the second half as Mason Parks and Marc Guerrette scored in the first 35 seconds to make it 7-5.

“We just wanted to make sure that we continued to push. At that point it was just executing one play at a time,” said Scarborough Coach Joe Hezlep.

The Capers showed great resolve, responding less than a minute later with a goal from Jacob Brydson. Owen Thoreck followed up with a pair of goals in a two-minute span to increase the cushion to 10-5.

“(Connor) is my twin, so we have that connection there. We both really push ourselves really hard and set high expectations and standards,” said Owen. “We just try to go hard on every defender no matter who it is.”

Connor Thoreck scored back-to-back goals to start the fourth quarter, pushing the lead to 12-6.

“I think there’s a little competition (with Owen), not too much. We’re passing or shooting, we just let it happen. We do the best for the team, it’s all for the team,” said Connor Thoreck. “It’s a little bit of a competition, I’d like to say, but most of it is just trying to get goals and assists for the team.”

Freshman goalie Jack Dresser also had a strong game for the Capers, making seven saves.

“(Dresser) is a stud. He played really well and the defense played really well in the clears,” said Owen Thoreck.

Scarborough senior goalie Dominic Joy was peppered with tough shots all afternoon and made 20 saves.

“(Joy) has matured so much. The difference in the goalie from last year is leaps and bounds. Last year, he was a good goalie, but this year his fitness level is better,” said Hezlep.

Cam Thibault scored twice and Marco Manfra had a goal and an assist for Scarborough.

“In typical fashion, Cape (Elizabeth) finishes and executes better than we do, and that was really the story of the day,” said Hezlep.

]]> 0 Sat, 29 Apr 2017 18:52:48 +0000
Boys’ lacrosse: Yarmouth takes early command in victory Fri, 28 Apr 2017 02:12:46 +0000 YARMOUTH — Yarmouth High opened an eight-goal halftime lead Thursday night and went on to a 14-6 victory against Kennebunk in a boys’ lacrosse game.

After Kennebunk (1-1) scored two of the game’s first three goals, the Clippers (2-0) rattled off nine straight.

“Lacrosse is a really fun game because it’s a game of runs,” said Yarmouth Coach David Pearl. “Confidence plays a really big role for our team. We have a lot of guys where lacrosse isn’t their first sport, and once they starting getting the feel and the confidence, and seeing the field, the game just kind of slows down.

“What we saw today was some of the things we’ve been working on starting to click.”

Remi Leblanc and Owen Ramsey combined for seven goals in the first half for the Clippers. Ramsey, a starter for the first time this season, had all four of his goals before halftime.

“Those are two seniors that you definitely see that confidence clicking,” Pearl said. “(Ramsey) is an outstanding athlete, (a) hockey captain who hasn’t seen a ton of playing time but has worked really hard.

“You love to see a guy who steps on the field as a senior who is so competitive and so smooth. That’s the kind of guy who makes a coach want to keep on coaching, because he’s just a grinder.”

Leblanc, who helped anchor the Clippers all over the field from his midfield position, added his fourth goal in the fourth quarter.

Freshman Gavin Hamm registered his first varsity goal for Yarmouth.

“(Leblanc) is starting to really get a feel for this game,” Pearl said. “He’s a football captain, and he was elected a captain for us here this year. He’s a football-first player who has played lacrosse since he came to Yarmouth as sophomore. He’s really settled in on the field.”

Cooper May chipped in with three goals and Henry Venden added two for the Clippers.

Kennebunk goalie Cole Dickinson was impressive, turning away 18 shots.

“He made some just tremendous saves,” Pearl said. “My hat’s off to him because he just played an incredible game. He really did a great job.

“The thing that helped us was our attack made it really difficult for them to clear the ball. When a team is unable to clear the ball, it leads to some unsettled chances and led to us getting some easier goals.”

Dante Delorenzo and Brenden Whitten scored three goals each for the Rams, sparking a second-half run that helped Kennebunk pull within four goals before Yarmouth went on a final surge to put it away.

“They did a really good job and took advantage of our breakdowns,” said Pearl.

“They’re a good team and they’re really well-coached, and you could see that in the adjustments they made throughout the second half.”

]]> 0 Thu, 27 Apr 2017 22:14:23 +0000
Boys’ lacrosse: Falmouth nips Cape Elizabeth at the end, 9-8 Thu, 27 Apr 2017 00:30:38 +0000 CAPE ELIZABETH — Falmouth High and Cape Elizabeth, which have combined to win seven straight Class B boys’ lacrosse state championships, proved again Wednesday night that there isn’t much to choose between them.

But as it did in last year’s South regional final, Falmouth came back from a 5-3 second-half deficit to pull out a victory at its rival’s home, winning 9-8.

It was Cape’s first game of the season. Falmouth is 3-0.

Nate Arrants scored the winning goal when he converted a rare open look in the tightly defensed contest, with 5:52 to play. It was Falmouth’s first lead.

“They pressed us hard and we were able to swing it around quickly. That was all my teammates,” Arrants said.

Falmouth’s first two games resulted in lopsided victories against York and Messalonskee. Wednesday night, in rainy and foggy conditions, the intensity was ramped up from the beginning.

“We’re focused on every game but this one, the calendars are marked for it,” Arrants said.

Cape scored the first two goals of the game, controlled first-half possession en route to a 5-3 lead and led 8-6 early in the fourth quarter when Connor Thoreck zipped a shot from distance past Falmouth keeper Liam Tucker.

But on the ensuing faceoff, Falmouth long-pole defender Brendan Hickey came up with a loose ball and kept going toward the goal, unleashing a wicked shot that sent a spray of water when it hit its mark in the top of the net.

Less than a minute later, while killing a penalty, Falmouth long-stick midfielder Riley Reed created a turnover. He got the ball to Hickey, who quickly advanced the ball up the field and dropped it off to Lou Mainella.

Jack Scribner finished the fast break, converting Mainella’s pass by whipping a shot behind his own head as he cut across the eye line of Cape goalie Sam Price to make it 8-8.

“I knew the goalie was moving so I just threw it around,” Scribner said. “We’ve got a lot of seniors and leaders, and that’s what it comes down to. I know (Cape) does, too. We’re not going to give up.”

Statistically the game was very even. Both goalies made eight saves. Cape had a 34-27 edge in shots attempted but both teams had 17 second-half shots. Few shots by either teams were uncontested because of the sturdy defenses. Cape had a narrow 11-9 edge in faceoff controls.

Scribner led all scorers with four goals for Falmouth. Devin Russell scored twice, and Hickey, Arrants and Nick Farnham each had a goal. For Cape, Tate Perkins had three goals and Connor Thoreck, Owen Thoreck, Sam Dresser, Noah Bates and Finn Raymond each scored once.

The teams will meet again May 20 at Falmouth. And Falmouth and Cape have squared off in the regional final eight straight times.

“It’s just going to be about who can improve the most during the season and who plays well when the games matter. I’m sure both teams understand the minimal significance of the first time we play each other,” said Cape Coach Ben Raymond.

“Cape’s the best that’s out there, so it’s nice to know that what we’re trying to build toward is working,” said Falmouth Coach Dave Barton.

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

Twitter: SteveCCraig

]]> 0 Farnham of Falmouth gets free for a shot in the third quarter of the Yachtsmen's 9-8 win over Cape Elizabeth on Wednesday in Cape Elizabeth.Wed, 26 Apr 2017 22:01:57 +0000
Monday’s boys’ high school roundup: South Portland nearly perfect in victory Tue, 25 Apr 2017 02:55:33 +0000 WINDHAM — Sam Troiano came one out away from pitching a perfect game in South Portland’s 3-1 win over Windham in a Class A baseball game Monday.

Troiano’s perfect game was broken up on a two-out triple in the seventh by Tanner Bernier, who was driven in on a single by Timmy Greenlaw.

South Portland (1-0) capitalized on four errors by Windham (0-1), scoring three unearned runs.

Troiano (1-0) finished with seven strikeouts.

FALMOUTH 2, CAPE ELIZABETH 0: Cam Guarino pitched a shutout, striking out seven, as the Capers (1-0) beat the Yachtsmen (3-0) in Cape Elizabeth.

Griffin Aube singled in the second inning and scored on Marcus Cady’s sacrifice fly to right.

Falmouth added a run in the third when Robbie Armitage singled home Garrett Aube.

Brett McAlister had two of Cape Elizabeth’s four hits.

GREELY 1, GRAY-NEW GLOUCESTER 0: Logan DeCourcey scored the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly by Tate Porter in the top of the sixth inning and the Rangers (1-0) held on to beat the Patriots (1-2) in Gray.

Ryan Twitchell threw a complete game, striking out seven and allowing one hit for Greely.

DeCourcey singled to start the sixth, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by AJ Eisenhart and advanced to third on a throwing error.

The Patriots had a chance to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh with John Villanueva on second base, but Josiah Rottari grounded out to end the game.

Rottari pitched a strong game for the Patriots, allowing one run on four hits while striking out two in six innings.

YARMOUTH 4, YORK 3: Gibson Harnett scored the winning run on a fielder’s choice by Jackson Caruso in the bottom of the seventh to lift the Clippers (1-0) over the Wildcats (2-1) in Yarmouth.

Joe Coyne, Luke Waeldner and James Waaler hit consecutive RBI singles to give Yarmouth a 3-0 lead in the second inning. York scored a run in the third and another in the fourth, then tied the game in the seventh on a two-out RBI single by Dawson Gundlah.

Waeldner had two hits and also came in relief in the sixth inning to pick up the victory for Yarmouth.

BIDDEFORD 5, PORTLAND 3: Logan Magnant lined an RBI single to start a four-run rally in the sixth inning as the Tigers beat the Bulldogs in an opener at Biddeford.

Giovanni Ruotolo had a two-run single in the top of the fourth as Portland opened a 3-0 lead, before Biddeford chipped away with a run in the bottom of the fifth.

Camren Knop had a pair of hits, including a double, for the Bulldogs.

Biddeford’s Brady Crepeau went six innings, allowing one earned run on three hits and three strikeouts.

Crepeau left for a reliever but returned to pick up the save. Brice Springer pitched a scoreless inning to earn the win.

Donny Tocci pitched well in the loss for Portland, allowing only a pair of earned runs and striking out five.

CHEVERUS 3, GORHAM 0: Jared Brooks struck out 12 to lead the Stags (2-0) over the Rams (1-1) in Gorham.

Justin Ray and Rylan Benedict each had two hits for Cheverus.

Brooks (1-0) allowed four hits and one walk over 61/3 innings. Ray pitched in relief to record the save, striking out his final batter in a bases-loaded jam.

TRAIP 6, SACOPEE VALLEY 2: Shane MacNeill retired the first 13 batters he faced and hit a two-run homer to lead the Rangers (2-0) over the Hawks (1-2) in Hiram.

MacNeill (2-0) allowed four hits over six innings and struck out two.

OCEANSIDE 15, MCI 8: Tim Mazzeo had two hits and scored three times as the Mariners (2-0) beat the Huskies (0-3) in Rockland.

Titus Kaewthong hit an RBI triple, while Michael Norton and Coby Dorr each had two hits and an RBI for Oceanside, which scored six runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to take an 8-5 lead.

ERSKINE ACADEMY 6, MEDOMAK VALLEY 0: Nick Turcotte had two doubles and Dakota Stoops added a pair of hits to lead the Eagles (1-0) to a win over the Panthers (0-2) in South China.

Dylan Presby pitched five innings of shutout ball to earn the victory for Erskine (1-0).

WELLS 5, KENNEBUNK 0: Cameron Cousins struck out six and pitched a complete game as the Warriors (1-0) beat the Rams (1-2) in Wells.

CONY 3, CAMDEN HILLS 2: Kolbe Merfeld and Taylor Heath combined on a three-hitter, leading the Rams (1-1) past the Windjammers (1-1) in Augusta.

Cony tied the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the fourth inning on a Danny White suicide squeeze. Merfeld doubled for the Rams.

Owen Hilt doubled for Camden Hills, while Braden Fisher took the loss in a complete game effort.


CAMDEN HILLS 9, WINSLOW 2: Thomas Griebel scored five goals to lead the Windjammers (2-0) in Rockport.

Evan Dart and Cameron Goodwin scored for Winslow (0-3).

]]> 0 Mon, 24 Apr 2017 23:15:00 +0000
Boys’ lacrosse: South Portland upends Scarborough Sat, 22 Apr 2017 02:53:09 +0000 SOUTH PORTLAND — It may have been the first game of what will be a long season for the South Portland boys’ lacrosse team, but if the Red Riots make a deep postseason run, they could look back and point to their 14-13 win Friday over Scarborough as a big confidence builder.

The Red Riots trailed by four goals late in the first half against Scarborough, the defending Class A state champion. But they fought back to take the lead before the Red Storm got a late goal to force overtime.

South Portland got possession in overtime and never gave it back.

David Fiorini took a pass from Cooper Mehlhorn behind the net and found Jack Angell on a backdoor cut. The senior midfielder buried a shot from about 10 feet, one minute into the extra session.

“We came out of halftime talking about deciding what kind of team we’re going to be,” said Red Riots Coach Tom Fiorini. “Are we the kind that will come out and play hard in the second half and come from behind and win … or not. And these kids showed that’s what they want to do.”

The faceoff win by Jack Tierney to start was vital, said Angell.

“I was just hoping for an early goal (in overtime),” said Angell, who finished with five goals. “I knew if it kept going it would be rough. If we let them go down they might score a goal. I wanted to make sure we scored first and end the game.”

Finn Zechman also had five goals, while Mehlhorn added three goals and two assists. Fiorini had two assists and Mitchell Adams scored the other goal.

South Portland got three goals in a 1:44 span midway through the final quarter to take its first lead of the game at 13-12. Mehlhorn, who had 43 goals and 28 assists as a freshman last year, netted the first two only 20 seconds apart before Angell put the Red Riots ahead.

The teams traded chances for the next six-plus minutes before Scarborough’s Marc Guerette (four goals) finished off a give-and-go with Joshua DaRosa (one goal, one assist) with 26.6 showing on the clock.

The Red Riots won the ensuing faceoff but lost possession and gave the ball back to Scarborough (1-1) with 13 seconds left. Sam Neugebauer (three goals) didn’t have shot and tried a cross-field pass that was high and went out of bounds with three seconds left.

“(Neugebauer) has the ability to freelance and he wants to score there, but he’s mature enough now and he realized (the defense) slid to help (against him). He tried to find a guy open and just missed the pass,” Scarborough Coach Joe Hezlep said.

The Red Riots turned the game around with a 4-2 edge in the third quarter, holding Scarborough to one goal for the first 10:47 before Neugebauer’s goal gave his team a 10-9 edge heading into the final 12 minutes.

“South Portland came out and made a ton of big boy plays in the third quarter to rally and turn the momentum. And we had a tough time picking it back up,” said Hezlep.

The importance of an early win against a top foe was not lost on Angell.

“This win gives us a huge boost (knowing) that they knocked us out (of the playoffs) last year and we can beat them this year,” he said. “And we came back from (being down) in the beginning (of the game).”

]]> 0 PORTLAND, ME - APRIL 21: Boys lacrosse game between South Portland and Scarborough. Scarborough's#9, Sam Neugebauer, scores on a diving shot past South Portland goalie Quinn Watson (#11) in the first quarter. (Photo by John Ewing/Staff Photographer)Fri, 21 Apr 2017 23:06:08 +0000
Boys lacrosse for ticker Fri, 21 Apr 2017 11:53:59 +0000 0 Wed, 21 Jun 2017 07:54:41 +0000 Boys’ lacrosse: Five teams to watch Wed, 19 Apr 2017 08:00:35 +0000 1. Falmouth: The Yachtsmen won Class B last year and return their top players. They play fast and have skilled performers all over the field, particularly up the middle. First-year coach David Barton believes senior Liam Tucker is the state’s best goalie, and close defender Brendan Hickey also is one of the best in Maine. The midfield is deep and versatile with tenacious sophomore LSM Riley Reed creating turnovers, scoring threats in 6-foot-5 Nick Farnham and Nate Arrants, and one of the top faceoff men in Spencer Pierce. Then comes one of the most dangerous attackmen in Bates-bound senior Jack Scribner (42 goals, 38 assists).

2. Scarborough: The 2016 Class A champs might be even stronger this year considering they return 9 of 10 starters, including Maine Sunday Telegram All-State picks senior attack Sam Neugebauer and junior LSM/D Reece Lagerquist. Neugebauer scored 63 goals and Lagerquist will play at Dartmouth. Dynamic three-year starter Cam Thibault is back to head the midfield and three-year starter Dominic Joy is a poised presence in goal. The experience continues with junior Marco Manfra helping to run the offense at attack, senior Eric Murray as a tough close defender and two-way sophomore midfielder/faceoff man Andrew Granzier.

3. Cape Elizabeth: The Capers have three of the top players in the state in senior twins Connor and Owen Thoreck and senior defender Ben Ekedahl and a slick sniper around the net in Tate Perkins. Cape, which was 13-1 last year, will have to replace three-year starting goalie Alex Narvaez (41-3 record) and will miss graduated R.J. Sarka in the midfield. Senior Sam Price will take over in the net after seeing some time as the backup the past three seasons. Junior Finn Raymond, who led the team in ground balls, and senior Jeb Boeschenstein are top returning midfielders who expect to become more involved offensively.

4. Gorham: The Rams advanced to the Class A South regional final and return their goalie, top defender and two top scorers from a 12-3 team. Carter Landry was the Telegram’s All-State choice at goalie last season and Mat Anderson has developed into a tough, competitive presence. Alex York and Cam Wright are both top-end scoring threats. York had 62 goals and 42 assists. Wright scored 36 goals and had nearly 100 points as well. Wright will move to the midfield, opening more scoring opportunities for junior catch-and-shoot attack Chris Tucker. Ryan Hamblen and LSM Sam Burghardt solidify the defense.

5. Brunswick: The Dragons have won three straight Class A regional titles and will once again be a slight favorite over the likes of a solid Cheverus team and improved Lewiston. In senior LSM Christian Glover the team has one of the most exciting, versatile players in the state. Younger brother Aiden Glover, a sophomore, was the team’s leading scorer last season. He and seniors Josh Dorr and Max Gramins lead a group of versatile short sticks who rotate between attack and midfield. Speedy Ben Palizay is a key contributor in the midfield and a defense led by Alek Grimes and Sullivan Boyd is developing.

– Steve Craig

]]> 0 Tue, 18 Apr 2017 22:05:08 +0000
Boys’ lacrosse preview: Top players have far-reaching impact Wed, 19 Apr 2017 08:00:00 +0000 FALMOUTH — Flashy scorers get the most attention in lacrosse, just like in many sports.

But this spring, a select group of defenders and long-stick midfielders are changing that dynamic in high school boys’ lacrosse in southern Maine.

Players such as Brendan Hickey at Falmouth, Ben Ekedahl at Cape Elizabeth, Reece Lagerquist at Scarborough and Christian Glover at Brunswick are drawing rave reviews from coaches.

“It’s definitely one of the best years for high-end defensive talent in a long time,” said Scarborough Coach Joe Hezlep. “All four of those guys have the complete game. They can play defense and they are a threat in transition and certainly Christian can score.”

Boys’ lacrosse is a 10-player game with one goalie, three defenders, three midfielders and three attackmen. A team is allowed a maximum of four long poles on the field at one time – almost always a combination of three defenders and one long-stick midfielder. The long poles are 72 inches in length, compared with the 40-to-42-inch models used by the other five position players.

The longer pole gives defenders extra range to wall off a cutting attacker and obstruct shots and a longer reach in a ground-ball battle. But the increased length makes catching and throwing more difficult.

“You’ve just got to work on your stick skills when no one’s watching,” Hickey said.

If a team has a superior long-pole player, “they can dominate a game,” said Westbrook Coach Peter Lyons. “And they tend to be the best athletes on the team.”

Hickey, a 6-foot-1, 185-pound junior, is regarded as the best defender.

“He’s as close as you’re going to get to a true shut-down defensemen,” said Falmouth Coach David Barton.

Yarmouth Coach David Pearl adds, “I believe he’s the best player in the state.”

Hezlep agrees, no disrespect to his own player, Lagerquist, a senior who plans to play lacrosse at Dartmouth College.

“Hickey is just an absolute stud,” Hezlep said. “His technique is one of the best, if not the best, in the state and also physically he is just a grown man playing with a bunch of boys. In Maine you happen to see a lot of freshmen and sophomores playing attack. If they get matched up with Hickey it’s not going to end well.”

Other top long-pole players include Gorham senior Mat Anderson, Yarmouth senior Patrick Mallett and Falmouth sophomore Riley Reed. The first order of business for any player carrying a long pole is to defend his goal.

“I try to neutralize their better attackman generally,” Hickey said. “And if I can do that, I feel like I’m doing my job. Everything else I do is kind of extra.”

With the top scoring threat negated, the entire team defense becomes exponentially stronger.

“The biggest part of lacrosse is you need to be able to run by someone to make the defense help and if you can’t run by someone then it’s hard in a six-on-six situation to beat the defense,” Hezlep explained. “Usually in Maine the best player on a team is significantly better than every other person on that team. When you neutralize the best player, it makes playing offense very, very difficult.”

“The best way I can describe a shut-down defender is to call them a force multiplier,” said Camden Hills Coach Wade Ward, a former sergeant in the Marine Corps. “That term comes from my military time to explain the effect of a Marine Corps sniper. No one wants to stick their head up. A top defender, what they’re going to do is automatically shut down the other team’s best player and then they can help out the other guys and after awhile, no one wants to go down there. A top defender spreads fear.”

Christian Glover is the long-pole outlier because of his involvement in Brunswick’s offense.

Last season he routinely was the point man in man-up situations while using his long pole, his gloved fingers nimbly climbing up and down the pole to either lengthen or shorten the lever. Glover, a senior who will attend Phillips Exeter Academy for a post-graduate year, scored 28 goals with 13 assists last year.

“But all four of those guys, when they cross the midfield line, the other teams have to be worried about them,” said Cape Elizabeth Coach Ben Raymond. “If teams don’t, then they’re going to run right by them and probably score a goal.

“That’s the added dimension of those guys.”

]]> 0 Coach David Pearl says he believes Falmouth defender Brendan Hickey, a 6-foot-1, 185-pound junior, is the best player in the state.Tue, 18 Apr 2017 22:05:14 +0000
Boys’ lacrosse: 15 players to watch Wed, 19 Apr 2017 08:00:00 +0000 Hank Duval, Waynflete junior, attack: Duval led the Flyers in scoring last season with 36 goals and 35 assists and teams with sophomore Miles Lipton (25 goals) to form a strong threat.

Ben Ekedahl, Cape Elizabeth senior, defense: Ekedahl is a returning Maine Sunday Telegram All-State player with the skills to be a shutdown defender and a dangerous threat in transition.

Christian Glover, Brunswick senior, LSM: A returning Telegram All-State and U.S. Lacrosse All-America pick, Glover has superb stick skills with his long pole and scored 28 goals with 13 assists.

Brendan Hickey, Falmouth junior, defense: Opposing coaches rave about Hickey’s combination of fundamental skills with his feet and stick, strength and speed that combine to neutralize top attackmen.

Bill Jacobs, Yarmouth senior, attack: A four-year starter for the Clippers, Jacobs has the quickness to get open and the hard shot needed to finish. He scored 44 goals with 28 assists last year.

Reece Lagerquist, Scarborough junior, LSM/defense: A returning Telegram All-State pick and a three-year starter, he is an imposing presence at 6-foot-5 with good ground-ball skills. He plans to play at Dartmouth.

Carter Landry, Gorham, senior goalie: A returning Telegram All-State selection, Landry had a .670 save percentage as Gorham made a surprise run to the Class A South final.

Wyatt LeBlanc, Thornton Academy junior, midfield: LeBlanc led the Golden Trojans in points with 12 goals and 21 assists and picked up 63 ground balls. He has above-average defensive skills.

Cooper Mehlhorn, South Portland sophomore, attack: Already among the top attackmen in the state, Mehlhorn will be looking to build on a 43-goal, 28-assist freshman season for the youthful Red Riots.

Sam Neugebauer, Scarborough senior, attack: Neugebauer led the Class A champs’ dynamic offense with 62 goals and 13 assists. He also picked up 42 ground balls and earned Telegram All-State honors.

Nate Richards, Deering senior, midfielder: A returning all-SMAA pick, Richards is a strong two-way player who scored 38 goals as a junior.

Jack Scribner, Falmouth, senior attack: A returning Telegram All-State pick, Scribner had 42 goals and 38 assists for the Class B champs and plans to play next season at Bates.

Connor Thoreck, Cape Elizabeth senior, midfielder: Despite missing time with an ankle injury, Thoreck scored 25 goals with nine assists. He has improved his shooting and is likely to draw long-stick defenders.

Owen Thoreck, Cape Elizabeth senior, attack: A returning All-America and Connor’s twin brother, Owen Thoreck scored 36 goals with 20 assists to lead Cape in scoring and has improved as a playmaker.

Alex York, Gorham senior, attack: York had 104 points as a junior (62 goals, 42 assists) to set a school single-season record and earn SMAA first-team honors. He and Cam Wright are among the state’s most dangerous duos.

– Steve Craig

]]> 0 Tue, 18 Apr 2017 22:04:04 +0000
Boys’ lacrosse: Scarborough takes down Gorham Sun, 16 Apr 2017 00:30:41 +0000 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.

]]> 0's Marc Guerette passes the ball to a teammate as Mat Anderson, front, of Gorham defends during their boys' lacrosse season opener Saturday at the University of Southern Maine. Guerette was one of seven goal scorers for the Red Storm in a 15-9 victory.Mon, 17 Apr 2017 18:41:38 +0000
Boys’ lacrosse: Falmouth opens season with a 27-1 win Fri, 14 Apr 2017 02:29:21 +0000 FALMOUTH — Falmouth began defense of its Class B boys’ lacrosse state championship by running away with a 27-1 win over York in a Western Maine Conference game Thursday night.

It was opening day for Maine’s spring high school teams, though some teams won’t officially begin their seasons for another week or so. The Yachtsmen got an early start, though, and showed they may be ready to make another title run.

“We come into every game with the same mentality,” said senior attackman Jack Scribner, who led the Yachtsmen with five goals and two assists. “We respect all of our opponents, but we play fast. We play our game.”

Falmouth returns several key players from last season’s championship team.

“We’ve got some older guys and we’ve got some younger guys, and the older guys are definitely leading the way,” Scribner said. “Like I said, we respect every team, but we come and play as hard as we can.”

It was the first win at Falmouth for Coach Dave Barton, who took over for Mike Lebel after spending one season at Edward Little. Lebel’s contract wasn’t renewed after the Yachtsmen won their third state championship during his 10 seasons.

“I’m involved with a lot of youth lacrosse around here and I work for a group called LaxPros, and most of the Falmouth guys have participated in that program,” said Barton, a 2012 graduate of the University of Vermont who teaches fifth- and sixth-grade students in Auburn. “I came into this knowing I knew 90 percent of (the players on) the roster. We hit the ground running, and this group is ready for that.”

Reilly Tucker, who had two assists, and Nate Arrants each scored four goals. Devin Russell contributed three goals and three assists, and Lou Mainella had three goals and one assist.

Falmouth also got two goals apiece from Tom Fitzgerald (who also had an assist), Henry Farnham and Jacob Preston. George Fitzgerald and Kristian Valle were the other goal scorers, and Lyendae St. Louis had an assist.

The Yachtsmen held a 21-0 lead at the end of the first half. They connected on 21 of 28 shots in the first 24 minutes and held a 22-3 edge in center draws.

The second half was played with a running clock, which occurs in high school lacrosse if one team has a 12-goal lead in the second half.

James Boksanski, a junior middie, broke up the shutout when he picked up a loose ball and put in a shot from 10 yards with 6:40 remaining.

It was a tough way for the Wildcats to open the season, but York Coach Garrett McLean tried to find some positives.

“We did get better in the second half,” he said. “I (told) the guys we’ve got to treat it as a new half, we’ve got to change the mentality we came out with and we’ve got to get better, and they did. The scoreboard, unfortunately, didn’t reflect that, but it’s great to come out and take one on the chin. It’s really going to define our season the way we come back from this.”

]]> 0, ME - APRIL 13: York at Falmouth boys lacrosse season opener. Falmouth's # 29, Riley Reed, chases down a loose ball. (Photo by John Ewing/Staff Photographer)Thu, 13 Apr 2017 22:39:48 +0000
Boys’ lacrosse: Curtis Knapton, Westbrook Sun, 10 Jul 2016 08:00:00 +0000 Curtis Knapton has a knack for assessing his weaknesses as a lacrosse player and working to improve.

As a young player at Westbrook High, he switched from football to cross country in the fall to enhance his cardiovascular strength and foot speed.

After playing attack for three years, Knapton felt his defensive skills weren’t up to snuff. This year as a senior midfielder, he was praised by Westbrook Coach Pete Lyons and opposing coaches as a two-way player.

Knapton didn’t think he was good enough in traffic. But his ability to catch and shoot – with either hand – while being tightly covered became a strength.

“It’s just being competitive, I guess,” Knapton said. “It comes from playing sports all my life and my parents teaching me to be as successful as I can. It’s not measured by accomplishments but by doing everything you can to be your best.”

Knapton scored 47 goals and added 25 assists as the Blue Blazes (10-4) set a school record for victories and won a playoff game for the first time.

He became the first Westbrook lacrosse player to earn All-America honors, topping the state in the voting by coaches, and was named the SMAA’s best player. Knapton is our choice as Maine Sunday Telegram Player of the Year in boys’ lacrosse.

“While gifted with physical athletic attributes, it’s Curtis’s drive and competitiveness – demonstrated both on game days and every day in practice – that fuel his success,” Lyons said. “He’s a great on-the-ball and team defender. We ran our offense through him (and) he’s a terrific decision maker.”

Knapton, who graduated 10th in his class, will continue playing lacrosse next year at Bates College.

Though he had posted two 40-plus goal seasons at attack, Knapton embraced the position switch this spring.

“I was excited because I’d get to play defense and it would open up the field for other guys. It would just maximize our potential as a team,” Knapton said.

Another key factor in Knapton’s improvement was attending Wednesday night 3-on-3 box lacrosse sessions organized by John Fay, a former All-American at the University of New Hampshire and father of 2013 Telegram Player of the Year Charlie Fay.

“It doesn’t have a name, but every good player in the area is there. You’re playing against older guys, college All-Americans who are bigger and stronger than you, in a small area,” said Knapton, a sturdy 6-foot, 190-pounder. “Being able to play well there and then coming back to 6-on-6 against guys who are not as big and strong and physical gave me confidence, for sure.”

Telegram All-State team

Matthew Beatty, Yarmouth senior, attack: A former midfielder who shifted to attack and quickly became a dual-threat player, Beatty finished with 39 goals and 58 assists in an All-American season.

Ben Ekedahl, Cape Elizabeth junior, defense: A tenacious one-on-one defender who always drew the opposing team’s top offensive threat. Ekedahl also played the wing on faceoffs, and possessed the speed and stick skills to effectively clear the ball.

Jack Fiorini, South Portland senior, midfielder: A two-time All-American, Fiorini used his hard, precise left-handed shot to score 50 goals and also dished out 30 assists. Fiorini will be a preferred walk-on at Syracuse.

Christian Glover, Brunswick junior, long-stick midfielder: The All-America pick turned a typically defensive role into a key part of the offense for the Class A North champion, with 28 goals and 13 assists.

Brendan Hickey, Falmouth sophomore, defense: Hickey handled faceoffs or played the wing on faceoffs while routinely matching up with top scoring threats. Adept with the ball, Hickey scored four goals and had an assist.

Curtis Knapton, Westbrook senior, midfielder: A strong two-way player, Knapton produced 47 goals and 25 assists. He is Westbrook’s first U.S. Lacrosse All-American and was voted player of the year in the SMAA. He will play at Bates College.

Reece Lagerquist, Scarborough sophomore, defense: Tall, strong and athletic, Lagerquist collected 67 ground balls, was poised while clearing the ball, and added two goals and four assists.

Carter Landry, Gorham junior, goalie: Keyed the Rams’ push to the Class A South final, with a .670 save percentage. He showed the ability to make tough saves look routine and was a confident passer when clearing.

Sam Neugebauer, Scarborough junior, attack: Led the multi-faceted Red Storm offense with 62 goals and 13 assists, and picked up 42 ground balls.

Noah Oliver, Westbrook senior, faceoff specialist: Oliver won 78.6 percent of his faceoffs and added 111 ground balls. He also was a top defensive midfielder who had 10 goals and 11 assists.

RJ Sarka, Cape Elizabeth senior, midfielder: A tough two-way player and an All-America pick, Sarka was the calming presence for Cape and its go-to scoring threat, finishing with 35 goals and 15 assists. He also mustered 40 ground balls. He will play at Bates College.

Jack Scribner, Falmouth junior, attack: An All-America pick, Scribner finished with 42 goals and 38 assists, including six goals and six assists in three playoff wins to pace his team to the Class B title.

Coach of the Year

Mike Lebel, Falmouth: Directed a relatively young team that improved steadily and played its best when it counted most, knocking off three-time champ Cape Elizabeth in the regional final with suffocating defense and winning the Class B title with a dominant performance against Yarmouth.

]]> 0 Knapton, center, moved from attack to midfield for his senior season and thrived at his new position – finishing with 47 goals and 25 assists while helping Westbrook set a school record for wins.Sat, 09 Jul 2016 16:57:42 +0000
Boys’ lacrosse: Scarborough returns to the top in Class A Sun, 19 Jun 2016 00:36:02 +0000 Scarborough High fired shots early, often and from multiple angles Saturday, keeping pressure on Brunswick throughout while scoring an 18-10 victory in the Class A boys’ lacrosse state final at Fitzpatrick Stadium.

Scarborough (12-3), making its first title-game appearance since 2013, when it won its fourth straight championship, got off 30 first-half shots against defending champion Brunswick (12-3), playing in the final for the third straight season.

“They have guys who can flat-out score and we knew we had to continue to push,” said Scarborough Coach Joe Hezlep. “Even at halftime (with a 10-5 lead) I didn’t feel great. I felt good but we knew we had to continue to go.”

The halftime margin easily could have been larger except for superior saves by Logan Ouellette (10 of his 16 saves in the first half).

After Jameson Cyr of Brunswick made it 2-2, the Red Storm scored four straight goals and seven of the next eight to go ahead 9-3.

Numerous Scarborough players showed they could beat their defender one-on-one. Cam Thibault scored three of his four goals in the first quarter. Sam Neugebauer and Marco Manfra each had two in the second quarter on their way to four-goal games.

“We knew that we had to really come out fast and strong, and if we came out quick we could possibly win,” Thibault said. “That was kind of the game plan. We just wanted to play like we can. We talked about wanting to get (shots) on frame as much as we could.”

Manfra was particularly effective setting up the offense from behind the net, helping to keep the ball moving crisply.

“I knew I would be getting a lot of looks, either to score or to assist on a teammate’s cut,” Manfra said. “Everybody was getting involved.”

Brunswick scored twice late in the second quarter, including a man-up score on a hard, low shot by long-stick midfielder Christian Glover, but the Storm closed the half with a fast-break rush by Cam Nigro that set up Neugebauer for the finish.

In the third quarter, Scarborough continued to beat players on dodges and get in tight for chances. Marc Guerette scored twice, Thibault got his fourth as he was falling after weaving through traffic, and freshman Andrew Granzier picked up a rebound and deposited it.

Scarborough led 15-7 after three quarters and had outshot Brunswick, 42-22. Only in the fourth quarter did the Red Storm occasionally slow the pace but they still had a huge edge in possession, finishing with a 53-26 shot advantage.

Camden Jepson, with occasional help from Cam Nigro, controlled the faceoffs for Scarborough.

“Faceoffs are key for transitions,” Jepson said. “It’s all about possession in the game of lacrosse, so if you get a lot of possessions you’re most likely going to score a lot of goals.”

Brunswick graduated 16 players from last year’s championship team and had 19 new players on its roster. Max Gramins scored three goals for Brunswick, and Cyr and Josh Dorr each scored twice.

“For us to be here today, we just took it as this is icing on the cake,” Brunswick Coach Don Glover said. “Joe (Hezlep) and Scarborough, they deserved it. They worked their butts off and they attacked and did a lot of really good stuff.”

]]> 0, ME - JUNE 18: Scarborough #31 Cameron Nigro carries the Class A lacrosse state championship trophy to show fans at Fitzpatrick Stadium. (Photo by Jill Brady/Staff Photographer)Sun, 19 Jun 2016 19:06:04 +0000
Boys’ lacrosse: Falmouth tops Yarmouth for Class B title Sat, 18 Jun 2016 21:20:43 +0000 Falmouth took an early five-goal lead Saturday and went on to claim its first Class B boys’ lacrosse state championship in four seasons.

Louis Mainella, George Gilbert and Devin Russell each scored three goals as the Yachtsmen rolled to a 13-9 victory against Yarmouth at Fitzpatrick Stadium.

“We knew they were going to come out flying, so we knew we had to get out on them early,” said Jack Scribner, who had two goals and three assists for Falmouth. “We came out with a lot of heart, a lot of passion.”

The Yachtsmen (12-3) scored the first five goals in a four-minute span of the first quarter and Yarmouth never caught up.

The Clippers (11-5) closed within 7-5 with less than five minutes left in the first quarter but got no closer.

“We dug ourselves a hole in the first quarter,” Yarmouth Coach David Pearl said. “The game was even, after that but we just couldn’t overcome that five-goal deficit at the start.”

Falmouth, which held a 9-5 halftime lead, took a 13-6 advantage into the final quarter.

Falmouth held the Clippers scoreless for more than eight minutes at the start of the game and for a 14-minute segment of the second half.

“Ultimately we tried to take away their time and space by getting out on their hands and pressuring them,” said Falmouth defenseman Brendan Hickey.

“We know they have a very strong attack, as well as midfield. It was a challenge. (Yarmouth) played great, but we ended up prevailing in the end.”

“Our offense has been prolific, (and) you have to give (Falmouth) a lot of credit,” Pearl said.

During the Class B North tournament, the Clippers outscored their three opponents 57-9.

“I think their (long) poles played very well today,” said Pearl.

The Clippers won 20 of 26 draws but committed 24 turnovers, which enabled the Yachtsmen to regain possession following a lot of those draws.

“We focused on having fun, getting the job done and moving the ball around.” Scribner said. “We didn’t just fly into everything, but we had a patient offense and (waited) for the best look, and we scored a lot of goals.”

To advance to the state final, the Yachtsmen beat Kennebunk and previously undefeated Cape Elizabeth in the Class B South tournament. Both of those teams defeated Falmouth in the final week of the regular season.

“I called them out and they responded,” Falmouth Coach Mike Lebel said of his players. “I told them we needed to be tougher. We needed more guys to step up. We had to react differently in certain situations. They took that and they performed admirably from that point on. They have been working their tails off supporting one another and became closer as a team.”

“We got yelled at a little bit and it stuck with us,” Gilbert said.

“We knew if we bore down a little bit we could win it. We believed in our coach and we did what he said, and it worked out for us. He very much knows what he’s talking about.”

Nate Arrants scored two goals for Falmouth and Henry Norris had an assist.

Andrew Beatty scored five goals for the Clippers. Will Jacobs had a goal and an assist, Matt Beatty, Patrick Grant and Cole Buchanan also scored, and Anders Newberg had an assist.

]]> 0 celebrates its win over Yarmouth in the Class B boys' lacrosse state championship on Saturday at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland.Sun, 19 Jun 2016 19:11:30 +0000
Yarmouth ready for title game with rival Falmouth Sat, 18 Jun 2016 00:32:15 +0000 YARMOUTH — They have flown under the radar this season all the way to a historic championship matchup.

The Yarmouth High boys’ lacrosse team (11-4) is making its fourth straight trip to the Class B championship game. After three straight state final losses to Cape Elizabeth, the Clippers will face their longtime rival, Falmouth (11-3), in a 3:30 p.m. game Saturday at Fitzpatrick Stadium.

It will be the first time Falmouth and Yarmouth have met in a state final in any sport.

“Going out against Falmouth has been kind of a dream of ours as seniors,” Yarmouth midfielder Walter Conrad said. “It’s one of the biggest rivalries in Maine sports and it’s something that’s so rare (to) see them in this game. That rivalry is going to make it so much more intense.”

Falmouth beat Cape Elizabeth 7-5 in the South final. In the process, Falmouth exorcised its own demons against the Capers. Falmouth lost three straight to Cape in regional finals.

“I knew we were skilled enough to win but the question was, can we get over that mental hurdle that has kind of been keeping us down the last three years?” Falmouth Coach Mike Lebel said. “I think this year we essentially had the same team as last year so the kids are familiar with the system and what we do, so there’s more confidence.”

Falmouth also had to battle in its regional semifinal, beating Kennebunk 10-9 after trailing 8-5 at the half. The Yachtsmen have allowed six goals in the last six quarters.

Yarmouth had an easier path through the North, beating sixth-seeded North Yarmouth Academy 19-4, 10th-ranked Gardiner 16-0 and fifth-seeded Maranacook/Winthrop, 22-5.

“The goal of our season was to get to this point,” said co-captain and rugged faceoff specialist Ricky Tillotson. “I think we all expected to be here. I don’t think anyone on our team is really surprised because of the way we work.”

The South (formerly West) winner has won six straight championships: Cape in 2010 and 2013-15, Falmouth in 2011-12. Yarmouth beat Cape Elizabeth in the 2009 game.

Earlier this season, Falmouth beat Yarmouth, 12-7.

“We’re happy to embrace the underdog role,” said Yarmouth Coach David Pearl. “Falmouth beat us on our home field. We own that but we’ve also always thought that we can win every time we step on the field.”

Yarmouth also lost early-season games to lacrosse heavyweights Cape Elizabeth and Brunswick among its first five games. The team had to overcome a number of injuries to key players. Attack Henry Venden was hurt (he’s since returned). Goalie Cameron Liddy went down and freshman Liam Harke stepped in.

“We have faced a little adversity,” said Conrad, who also played in Yarmouth’s state final appearances in the fall (a soccer win) and the winter (a hockey loss). “Losing to Cape and Falmouth in the regular season, those are defining points in a season. Our message all season has been to get back up and fight because we knew that this game might come.”

A day before another marquee game against Scarborough, Jack Venden, Henry’s brother and the team’s only returning defender, broke his foot and was lost for the season.

In that game, senior co-captain Matthew Beatty made his first start at attack. The former midfielder quickly became the fulcrum of the offense. Stationed behind the net during possessions – the “X” position in lacrosse parlance – Beatty has dished up assists to teammates such as Bill Jacobs, Patrick Grant and Cooper May, starting with his 10-assist, 3-goal game against Scarborough, a 16-11 win.

“That was a huge win for us, a turning point in our season, I think, and the coaches recognized it before the game,” Beatty said. “The emphasis was to come out hot in that game and we executed, and look where we are now.”

Before the season was finished, Beatty earned acclaim as one of the state’s All-American selections – a deserved individual honor but not what the senior co-captain wants most.

“I remember losing to Cape the last three years,” Beatty said. “Having a new opponent in the state game just really livens it up. To play Falmouth in a state game, which I don’t think has ever happened in any sport, is just huge. It’s just the Falmouth-Yarmouth rivalry. It’s friendly outside the (game) because everyone has friends from Falmouth, but on the playing field I wouldn’t say it’s very friendly.”

]]> 0 has overcome adversity this season, including injuries, but made it to another Class B state final by steamrolling past three opponents in the North regional.Fri, 17 Jun 2016 21:07:09 +0000
Boys’ lacrosse: Brunswick returns to state title game Thu, 16 Jun 2016 00:27:46 +0000 BRUNSWICK — Top-seeded Brunswick overpowered No. 6 Windham and cruised to a 19-10 win Wednesday night in the Class A North boys’ lacrosse championship game.

It’s the third straight regional title for the Dragons, who will try to defend their state championship Saturday against Scarborough at Portland’s Fitzpatrick Stadium.

“When we started off the season, we knew we had a good group of athletes, but having 19 new names on the roster for the varsity is a pretty daunting task to overcome,” Brunswick Coach Don Glover said. “This group of young men is incredible. Their focus, their desire to get better is fantastic.

“They want to make a name for themselves. “They didn’t want to be in the shadow of last year’s team, whose accomplishments were obviously noteworthy. This group of guys came out and said ‘Let’s get better and see how far we can go up the ladder.'”

Windham (10-5) had never advanced beyond the first round of the playoffs before this year.

“It is a group of guys who have just developed chemistry over the season, and I think that’s intangibles that gets a team far,” Windham Coach Peter Small said.

Brunswick (12-2) held a 3-2 lead at the end of the first quarter, then reeled off five goals at the start of the second quarter to open a sizable lead.

Aiden Glover, a freshman, paced the Dragons with three goals and two assists. Ben Palizy, Christian Glover and Max Gramins also scored three goals apiece. Josh Dorr and Jameson Cyr each scored twice, and Josh Clark had a goal and an assist.

Ross Batchelder led the Eagles with three goals. Zack Callahan followed with two goals and four assists, Tyler Wollston had two goals and had an assist, and Zach Hough, Thomas Loukosi and Bryce Rolfe also scored.

CORRECTION: This story was updated at 11:15 a.m. on June 16 to show that Ross Batchelder led Windham with three goals.

CORRECTION: This story was updated at 5:45 p.m. on June 22 to show that Christian Glover scored three goals for Brunswick.

]]> 0 Wed, 22 Jun 2016 17:42:31 +0000
Boys’ lacrosse: Falmouth knocks off rival Cape Elizabeth Wed, 15 Jun 2016 23:55:27 +0000 CAPE ELIZABETH — The Falmouth High boys’ lacrosse team scored the final four goals and played shut-down defense to unseat top-seeded Cape Elizabeth, the three-time state champion, 7-5 in the Class B South regional final Wednesday night.

This was the eighth straight season Falmouth and Cape played in the regional final. Cape had won the last three en route to three state championships and had also beaten Falmouth twice this season, 11-9 and 13-5.

“I’ve come here since my freshman year in this game and every other time I’ve been on the other side,” Falmouth captain George Gilbert said. “It hasn’t really hit me yet but it’s special. We took pride in our defense. We were playing as a unit, not individuals. Everything was on point.”

Second-seeded Falmouth (11-4) returns to the Class B state final for the first time since back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2012, and will play Yarmouth (11-4) at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Fitzpatrick Stadium.

Falmouth won at Yarmouth 12-7 in the regular season.

Cape Elizabeth (13-1) entered the game averaging 13.7 goals. Falmouth’s hounding man-to-man defense forced 22 of Cape’s 36 shots to miss the target. Falmouth goalie Liam Tucker made nine saves.

“The goalie made some saves and we didn’t shoot all that well,” Cape Elizabeth Coach Ben Raymond said. “Their defense played really well and made it difficult for us, and their offense did enough to score enough goals to win.”

“It was an entire defense,” Falmouth Coach Mike Lebel said. “They communicated, they had each other’s back and they played as a unit finally. They’ve been working hard at it all season and it just never seemed to click, and tonight it did.”

R.J. Sarka of Cape Elizabeth scored the game’s first two goals. Jack Scribner got the next two to forge the first of three ties. Tate Perkins (3 goals) gave Cape a 3-2 lead at the half. Scribner tied it with 5:36 left in the third, converting a fast- break chance from Devin Russell after Tucker denied a Sarka bid.

Perkins scored two man-advantage goals in a 45-second span to give Cape a 5-3 lead. The goals came after a Falmouth player was called for a cross-check to the head, drawing a two-minute locked-in penalty.

Falmouth killed off the final 1:06 of the penalty and Norris blasted a rising shot just over Cape goalie Alex Narvaez’s stick with 1:17 left in the quarter.

“The kids reacted much better than I did (to the penalty),” Lebel said. “They kept their heads. I was amazed a call like that was made. I didn’t agree with the call but that was the call and my kids, they kept their heads and they worked hard.”

Nick Farnham tied the game with a hard shot through a screen early in the fourth quarter. Falmouth took the lead when Devin Russell converted on a fast-break after a Cape turnover in its offensive end and a good clear by defender Seth Masciangelo.

Farnham scored again with 4:17 left when Narvaez (10 saves) was caught out of his net after a failed attempt to intercept a pass.

Cape was assessed a pair of two-minute penalties in the final 3:37 and was unable to threaten Falmouth’s lead.

]]> 0, 15 Jun 2016 22:37:56 +0000
Boys’ lacrosse: Scarborough wins Class A South title Wed, 15 Jun 2016 23:12:58 +0000 SCARBOROUGH — At halftime of the Class A South boys’ lacrosse championship game, Scarborough Coach Joe Hezlep had a simple message for his attackers.

Work harder for shots. Don’t settle for the first open look. Not with Carter Landry guarding the Gorham net.

“If he gets a chance to see you when you’re shooting it,” Hezlep said, “you’re not going to score.”

The top-seeded Red Storm scored three times in the opening minutes of the third quarter to break open a one-goal game and went on to a 12-8 victory Wednesday night to reach the state title game for the first time since 2013. Scarborough (11-3) will face defending Class A champion Brunswick (12-2) at 6 p.m. Saturday at Fitzpatrick Stadium.

No. 3 Gorham, which opened its season with a 9-8 victory in double overtime at Scarborough, finishes 12-3.

“It came down to their hustle,” said Gorham Coach Dan Soule. “They worked their butts off and covered the field real well with their speed and their athleticism.”

Scarborough never trailed. The teams alternated goals until it was 3-3 early in the second quarter. Sam Neugebauer scored twice in 28 seconds – the first goal set up by sophomore Marco Manfra – to give Scarborough the lead for good.

Neugebauer finished with four goals and an assist. Manfra had four assists and two goals.

“We weren’t able to get the shots we usually do and score on them,” Hezlep said. “We had to work for better shots, so it took us a lot longer to develop offense than it usually does.”

Landry, who finished with 26 saves, and a rugged Gorham defense combined to slow Scarborough, which led 5-4 at halftime after Tristan Brunet scored to pull Gorham within one.

A minute into the second half, Cam Thibault kicked off a three-goal flurry, and Neugebauer and Cam Nigro converted within 16 seconds of each other.

Nigro said Hezlep reminded the Red Storm during intermission to be a little more crisp, to make the extra pass.

“He said if we could just string a few passing combos together, it will end up in the goal,” Nigro said. “That’s what happened at the beginning of the third.”

Brunet scored again with two Scarborough players off the field because of slashing penalties to make it 8-5, but Gorham got no closer.

Nigro, Thibault and Marc Guerette each scored twice for Scarborough. Chris Tucker led Gorham with three goals, and Alex York had a goal and three assists. Cam Wright, Cam Tracy and Joe Gallant each scored once.

Scarborough played special attention to Wright, who was shadowed by sophomore Reece Lagerquist.

“He is a terrific player,” Hezlep said of Wright. “We felt like we did a good job of limiting his opportunities to go to the net. (Brunet and York) did a great job of taking the load, but we felt we were able to slow them down by making them go through their other options.”

Dominic Joy made nine saves for Scarborough, which was called for 10 penalties to Gorham’s eight.

“We were playing aggressive and got a couple tough calls,” said Scarborough defender Eric Murray, “but our penalty kill did a great job.”

]]> 0, 15 Jun 2016 21:38:02 +0000
Boys’ lacrosse: Yarmouth returning to Class B state final Wed, 15 Jun 2016 22:02:59 +0000 YARMOUTH — The Yarmouth High boys’ lacrosse team is heading to the Class B state championship game for the fourth consecutive year after beating Maranacook/Winthrop 22-5 in the North regional final Wednesday afternoon.

The Clippers (11-4) will play for the state title at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Portland’s Fitzpatrick Stadium against Falmouth, which upset Cape Elizabeth in the South final, 7-5. Yarmouth lost to Cape Elizabeth in the previous three state championship games.

“We want to play the best team. (Cape Elizabeth and Falmouth) are the best, and we feel like given another opportunity, we are going to beat them,” said Yarmouth Coach David Pearl.

Yarmouth, the No. 3 seed, was led offensively by Matthew Beatty, who had eight assists.

“Matt Beatty is a playmaker. He’s an All-American. He plays like an All-American,” said Pearl. “The reason he is an All-American is because he has many more assists than goals. He’s very unselfish.”

Beatty often is stationed behind the opponent’s net, looking for cutters, and has a knack for passing the ball at the perfect time.

“I take pride in letting my teammates score,” said Beatty. “Teamwork is the key to winning. An assist is as good as a goal. A lot of people like to score, but it takes someone to initiate it and that’s my role on this team.”

Beatty also chipped in with two goals.

“I was happy to see (Beatty) get some goals later in the game,” said Pearl.

Fifth-seeded Maranacook/Winthrop (9-6) enjoyed a perfect start to the game, as Drew Davis won the opening draw, took the ball 30 yards and fired an accurate shot to notch the game’s first goal.

“That first goal kind of resembles how our season has gone,” said Beatty. “We started off really slow. I think that goal kind of inspired us.”

The Clippers went on a 12-1 run over the next 19 minutes, 14 seconds.

“One of the things we have talked about all year is that it’s a long game. It’s a long game if you’re ahead and it’s a long game if you’re behind. Lacrosse is a game of streaks,” said Pearl.

“I like how our guys responded (to the opening goal).”

Yarmouth held a 12-4 lead at halftime and never took its foot off the gas.

“I had full confidence that we were going to come in here and get it done,” said Beatty.

Maranacook/Winthrop scored the final two goals of the first half, but Yarmouth didn’t allow the Hawks to take that momentum into the second half.

“That was the emphasis of our halftime,” said Pearl. “We talked about giving up those two goals.”

The Clippers outscored Maranacook/Winthrop 7-1 in the third quarter and added the only three goals of the fourth.

Kyle Morand led the Hawks with a pair of goals.

“We put a ton of preparation into this game. We put our best foot forward; (Yarmouth) was just the better team,” said Maranacook/Winthrop Coach Zach Stewart.

The Clippers had 10 players score a goal, with seven getting multiple goals.

“We had a couple guys that really stepped up,” said Pearl.

Bill Jacobs led Yarmouth with four goals.

]]> 0 Wed, 15 Jun 2016 19:52:54 +0000
Brunswick boys’ lacrosse back in title hunt Tue, 14 Jun 2016 02:20:07 +0000 The Brunswick High boys’ lacrosse team heard the preseason rumblings.

Sixteen players graduated from last year’s unbeaten Class A state championship squad. Only one starter was coming back. Therefore, Brunswick would struggle.

“We saw the top 10 teams to watch and we were nowhere near it,” said junior Christian Glover, the lone returning starter.

Instead, Brunswick (11-2) is one win away from its third straight state-title game appearance. The top-seeded Dragons host No. 6 Windham (10-4) at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Class A North regional final, the winner advancing to Saturday’s state championship game at Fitzpatrick Stadium against Scarborough (10-3) or Gorham (12-2).

Unlike the 2015 squad, this spring’s team has had setbacks. The Dragons lost at Kennebunk 16-6 on a day Christian Glover was sick. They also lost twice to Messalonskee, once in the regular season and once in the KVAC championship (an exhibition game that doesn’t factor into team records).

“Last year’s team, lacrosse was the main sport for most of them,” senior attack Jameson Cyr said. “This year we have a lot more three-sport athletes so we needed to just focus on the basics more, like passing and ground balls.”

Coach Don Glover, a math teacher at Brunswick, uses an academic analogy to describe the difference between the 2015 and 2016 squads.

“Last year’s team, I was handed a calculus class. I just needed to make sure everything went perfectly fine and they would have taken care of themselves,” he said. “This year – nothing against the kids – I was back at Algebra I and we were needing to teach a lot of basic concepts.”

But Brunswick did have some foundational pieces, namely 10 varsity backups who were ready to step forward.

“If you think about it, all these backup players that we had they were playing every single day against those 16 seniors,” Christian Glover said. “It’s not like these kids weren’t getting good reps in practice. They were playing against the best players in the state at the time. So now when they come up this year it’s just another day.”

Glover is the rare long-stick midfielder who is a two-way threat. Most are defensive-centric players. Glover moves his hands up and down the stick shaft with a honky-tonk piano player’s dexterity. He’ll choke up on it to dodge around defenders and then deftly telescopes it to its full length to catapult dangerous, accurate shots at wary goalies.

Glover scored twice in Saturday’s 10-9 regional semifinal win against Cheverus.

Brunswick also benefits from the lacrosse tradition in town.

“We just know each other from growing up together and playing lax in the backyard,” said sophomore attack Max Gramins, who scored three goals in the regional semifinal. “We grew up watching all the varsity games and that just helps your IQ.”

“Many of us throughout the summer have definitely been working with wall ball,” defender Andrew Cilea said. “And we are definitely trying to improve every practice with our stick skills.”

The team is also well balanced.

Cilea, Jack Hladky and Nate Granholm – along with goalie Logan Ouellette – have formed a solid all-senior defensive unit that is adept at clearing the ball and starting transition opportunities.

“Instead of having to give it only to one certain guy who can clear the ball we have three defenders who are perfectly fine with carrying the ball,” Christian Glover said. “It helps a lot, definitely.”

Offensively, former backups Cyr and Josh Dorr have mixed with varsity newcomers Gramins, Ben Palizay and Aiden Glover to create a balanced offense that can score in a variety of ways.

Palizay displayed an extremely hard shot and scored two goals in the Cheverus win. Aiden Glover, a freshman and the youngest of Don Glover’s three sons, flashed high-level playmaking and finishing skills.

The coach also deserves some credit.

“Don (Glover) did a tremendous job preparing that team for this season,” said Cheverus Coach Bill Bodwell, who is also the Brunswick ice hockey coach. “They have a bunch of seniors and juniors who haven’t been able to play because they had those very good players ahead of them. They don’t have as much experience but they also are a very deep program so these kids waiting in the wings are very good athletes.”

Don Glover says the team’s collective effort has allowed the Dragons to exceed expectations.

“So many people around the state didn’t think we’d be playing (in the regional final) Wednesday and I, as a veteran coach, I wasn’t sure if we would be either,” he said. “But these guys, as a group of young men, young athletes, have just basically astounded me with what they wanted to achieve and their faith in each other.”


]]> 0 Cyr is one of a number of former backups who became better by practicing against the starters on last year's title winning team.Mon, 13 Jun 2016 22:24:34 +0000
Boys’ lacrosse: Brunswick gets past Cheverus, 10-9 Sat, 11 Jun 2016 20:48:51 +0000 BRUNSWICK — The Cheverus High boys’ lacrosse team traveled to Brunswick for a playoff game for the fifth straight season Saturday, and for the fourth time the game was decided by one goal.

Top-ranked Brunswick needed to win the final faceoff to secure its 10-9 victory in a Class A North semifinal.

Fourth-seeded Cheverus (9-5) had several good chances to score in the final two minutes prior to Michael Hatch cutting the Brunswick lead to one with a low-angle shot past Logan Ouellette (five saves) with 7.1 seconds to play.

“It’s always a good battle,” Brunswick Coach Don Glover said. “The Cheverus players are always good athletes and work hard. I knew it would be a good test.”

Cheverus also had two shots ring off the goal cage in the fourth quarter.

Brunswick (11-2) has eliminated Cheverus for three straight seasons, winning 18-8 in 2015 and by a goal in 2014. Cheverus won one-goal games in 2012 and 2013.

“We responded really well this year,” Hatch said. “Last year we didn’t do that well, but we responded well this year.”

The Stags got the early jump, with Max Coffin, Mackenzie Hoglund and Finn Cawley scoring for a 3-0 lead, while Cheverus’ tightly packed zone defense limited Brunswick to only outside shots on keeper Sean Walsh (eight saves).

Christian Glover – the lone starter back from last year’s title team – ripped home a shot with his long-stick pole from about 20 yards with 9.6 seconds left in the first quarter.

“That was a momentum changer,” Cheverus Coach Bill Bodwell said.

Hatch got the first goal of the second quarter on a nice curl move, but Brunswick responded with the most dominant stretch by either team, scoring six straight goals to take a 7-4 lead to the half.

Ben Palizay (twice), Christian Glover and Josh Dorr each scored from distance on precise shots. Aiden Glover, a freshman, scored on a fast break after defenseman Nate Granholm adeptly used his feet to clear the ball and create the opportunity.

Aiden Glover capped the spree with a behind-the-head shot off a crisp pass from Max Gramins in transition.

In the second half, Gramins scored all three Brunswick goals – each from in close after taking a pass from Jameson Cyr.

“By shooting from afar we opened them up in the middle,” Gramins said. “That gave me some opportunities to move around and find some space, and luckily they fed me in there and I finished.”

Gramins’ first goal pushed the Dragons’ lead to 8-4, but Cheverus responded with a combination of patient offensive sets and opportunism after grabbing ground balls near the cage. Alexander Nason scored once, and Hatch and Jesse Pierce scored twice in the second half for Cheverus.

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Boys’ lacrosse: Gorham beats Westbrook, 14-4 Sat, 11 Jun 2016 16:38:35 +0000 WESTBROOK — All indicators suggested Saturday’s boys’ lacrosse regional semifinal between No. 3 Gorham at No. 2 Westbrook would be a game-long battle.

Instead, Gorham – and in particular junior attack Alex York – proved a double-overtime regular-season loss to the Blue Blazes, and the teams’ similar records and seedings, were moot points. York scored nine goals to bring his season total to 61 (with 39 assists) and the Rams controlled play throughout in a 14-4 win.

“We were just all fired up and they weren’t as fired up as us,” York said. “You could just tell that we wanted it more than them in the beginning. We got off to a great start. The defense played incredible. Everyone just played incredible and it was a whole team effort.”

Gorham (12-2) will be at No. 1 Scarborough (10-3) for the regional title game. Gorham beat the host Red Storm, 9-8, in overtime to open the regular season.

Westbrook, coming off the program’s first playoff win, finished at 10-4.

York scored three goals and assisted on one by Cam Wright to put the Rams ahead 4-0 with 4:40 left in the first quarter while Gorham goalie Carter Landry was making the first five of his 15 saves.

Wright (35 goals on season) finished with two goals and two assists.

“Me and Cam always work well together. We just know how we play,” York said. “No matter where (the ball) is, we’re so used to each other we just work well. I personally think we’re the best duo in the state because we work so well together.”

“Gorham played very aggressively and they came in sharp and their big guns, (York and Wright), they rose to the occasion,” Westbrook Coach Peter Lyons said.

Westbrook got on the board when Curtis Knapton curled around the cage and, while falling, got a shot past Landry with 36 seconds left in the quarter. Gorham long-stick midfielder Taylor Perkins was called for a tripping penalty on the play and Knapton was slow to get up.

During the quarter break, Knapton was tested for concussion symptoms. Goals by Wright and York in the first 83 seconds of the second quarter pushed the lead to 6-1 as Knapton – the first Westbrook player to earn All-America recognition – got the word that he would not be allowed to return.

“Obviously we lose our best guy and that’s going to affect us,” Lyons said. “He’s our offense, our leading scorer.”

Gorham stretched the lead to 11-1 before the first of John Tibbets’ two man-up goals just before halftime.

York scored Gorham’s three goals in the second half.

Westbrook’s Noah Oliver won 17 of 18 faceoffs. Normally that stat goes a long way toward determining the winning team but Gorham focused on negating the advantage. Many of the extra possessions were short-lived and nearly all were unproductive.

“Basically we were neutralizing their fast breaks so they had to play us in settled offense,” Gorham Coach Dan Soule said.

]]> 1 eyes were on Alex York of Gorham – especially Westbrook's Greg Buotte, left, Stephen Shackley and goalie Alex LeBlanc – when he had the ball on Saturday. York scored nine goals for the Rams in a 14-4 win over Westbrook.Sat, 11 Jun 2016 22:03:17 +0000
Wednesday’s boys’ roundup: Marshwood surprises Bonny Eagle in baseball Thu, 09 Jun 2016 03:06:48 +0000 STANDISH — Nate Curtis hit a three-run homer as part of a six-run fifth inning Wednesday to help 10th-seeded Marshwood to an 11-1 victory against seventh-ranked Bonny Eagle in a six-inning Class A South baseball prelim.

Nick Landis pitched a two-hitter with two strikeouts for Marshwood (10-7).

The Hawks added three runs in the sixth, when Cole McDaniel and Landis had RBI singles. McDaniel, Ryan O’Neil and Chris Davis each finished with two hits.

Bonny Eagle (11-6) scored in the first on a sacrifice fly by Noah Scribner that scored Troy Bogdahn.

Marshwood will play Thursday in the quarterfinals at second-seeded South Portland (14-2).

WELLS 6, LINCOLN ACADEMY 0: Cody Cousins threw a one-hit shutout and drove in two runs to lead the eighth-seeded Warriors (10-8) over the ninth-ranked Eagles (6-12) in a Class B South prelim at Wells.

Cousins, who lost his no-hit bid in the seventh inning on a single by Hunter Williams, hit an RBI double as part of a two-run first for Wells. Charlie Bell then singled in Cousins, who struck out eight and walked two.

The Warriors added two runs in both the fourth and sixth innings. Tim Barnard, Bell and Nick Cousins each had two hits for Wells, which will play at top-ranked Cape Elizabeth (11-5) in the quarterfinals Friday.

DEERING 5, CHEVERUS 4: Ian Westphal had three hits and scored on a walk-off single by Pat Viola in the eighth inning as the eighth-seeded Rams (10-7) defeated the visiting ninth-ranked Stags (10-7) in a Class A South prelim at Portland.

The Stags took a 3-0 lead in the first on a two-run single by Tre Fletcher and an RBI single by Logan McCarthy. The Rams answered with three runs in the third, highlighted by Westphal’s RBI single.

Colby Dame of Deering pitched 72/3 innings, allowing 10 hits and four earned runs, walking three and striking out nine.

Deering will play at top-ranked Falmouth (16-0) in the quarterfinals at 4 p.m. Thursday.

RICHMOND 3, NORTH YARMOUTH ACADEMY 2: The third-seeded Bobcats (12-5) scored three runs in the sixth inning and held off the sixth-ranked Panthers (7-10) in a Class D South quarterfinal at Richmond.

Matt Rines doubled for Richmond. Brady Johnson singled twice and drove in a run.

Galen Arnold homered and doubled for NYA.

HALL-DALE 8, WISCASSET 7: The seventh-seeded Bulldogs (13-4) broke a 4-4 tie with three runs in the fourth inning and another in the fifth, then held off the 10th-seeded Wolverines (8-9) in a Class C South prelim at Farmingdale.

Quinn Stebbins singled twice for Hall-Dale (13-4), which will face second-seeded St. Dominic (14-2) in the quarterfinals at 4 p.m. Thursday at Auburn.

Ryan Sinclair added a triple and a single and Tyler Dubois a double for the Bulldogs. Cole Lockhart nailed it down in the seventh to pick up the save. Darren Wood led Wiscasset with a double and three runs batted in.


WAYNFLETE 17, FRYEBURG ACADEMY 11: Hank Duvall had five goals and three assists to lead the fourth-seeded Flyers (9-4) over the fifth-ranked Raiders (7-6) in a Class B South quarterfinal at Portland.

Will Nelligan added five goals and Miles Lipton scored three for Waynflete, which led 9-6 at halftime. WIll Armstrong made 13 saves.

Markus Schneider scored three goals for the Raiders. Jeremiah Schrader and Evan Caracciolo each added two goals and two assists.

Waynflete will play Saturday at top-ranked Cape Elizabeth (12-0).

YARMOUTH 19, NORTH YARMOUTH ACADEMY 4: The third-seeded Clippers (9-4) took a 12-1 halftime lead and defeated the visiting sixth-ranked Panthers (3-10) in a Class B North quarterfinal at Yarmouth.

Matthew Beatty and Cooper May each scored four goals for the Clippers.

Yarmouth (9-4) will be home against 10th-seeded Gardiner (7-7) in the semifinals Saturday.

]]> 0 Wed, 08 Jun 2016 23:12:04 +0000
Boys’ lacrosse: South Portland ousts Thornton again Wed, 08 Jun 2016 22:09:50 +0000 SACO — Stop us if this sounds familiar: A South Portland High boys’ team struggles through an up-and-down regular season, then turns it up in the playoffs.

It happened in basketball when the Red Riots went from under .500 all the way to the state final. Wednesday it was the boys’ lacrosse team – like basketball featuring 6-foot-5 Jack Fiorini – that played its best game of the season to knock off fourth-seeded Thornton Academy 11-8 in a Class A South quarterfinal.

Fifth-seeded South Portland (8-5) won its fifth straight game and will be at top-ranked Scarborough on Saturday. It was the third straight season South Portland beat Thornton in the playoffs, the last two coming in regional finals at South Portland.

Fiorini scored three goals on hard left-handed shots that helped him earn a preferred walk-on spot next fall at Syracuse University.

Two came early as South Portland jumped on the Trojans for a 3-0 lead. His third pushed the lead back to three goals at 10-7 with 8:38 remaining.

But five other Red Riots figured in the scoring, and freshmen attack Cooper Mehlhorn (3 goals, 3 assists), Mitchell Adams (2 goals) and David Fiorini (2 assists) were pivotal. Jake Angell, a junior first-year starter, added two goals and an assist.

“We’ve become a complete team,” said South Portland Coach Tom Fiorini, Jack and David’s father. “Everyone looks at us and thinks we’re one-dimensional with Jack, but he’s done a great job all season of teaching the younger players how to play South Portland lacrosse and it’s showing. Everyone is working together. The ball is being shared and now when we make the passes to the younger players, they’re more confident and putting the ball in the cage.”

Mehlhorn’s second goal late in the first half pushed South Portland’s lead to 6-2 and came a split-second before Mehlhorn was planted to the turf by sizable Thornton defender Isaac Patry.

“We just felt coming in that we were going to get hit around, we were going to get pushed, but we just had to take the hits,” Mehlhorn said, “and it paid off.”

Thornton (8-5) rallied in the third quarter when Thomas Pike, Justin Masteller, John Giroux and C.J. Labreck scored in the first 5:25 to make it 6-6.

“We were able to score a bunch of goals off fast breaks and then when you do that, your own guys get tired,” Thornton Coach Ryan Hersey said.

South Portland settled itself with goals by Adams and Angell to regain an 8-7 lead entering the fourth quarter.

]]> 0 Wed, 08 Jun 2016 20:42:20 +0000