Sunday, March 9, 2014
By GREG REID Special to the Telegram
PORTLAND - Cheverus got what it wanted at the start, and got what it wanted in the end.
The Stags bolted to a 4-0 lead after one quarter and rolled to an 11-4 victory over Deering in an Eastern Class A boys' lacrosse semifinal Saturday at Fitzpatrick Stadium.
Tom Lawson had four goals and two assists for the second-ranked Stags (12-2), and Nick Schleh had two goals. Cheverus will play at top-ranked Brunswick in the final Wednesday.
"We wanted to come out hot and we managed to do that," said Cheverus attackman Warren Murray, who had three goals and two assists. "Things kind of slowed in the second quarter but Deering is a great team and we knew they'd give us a fight."
The No. 6-seed Rams (7-7) reached the semifinal by holding off a fourth-period charge by Mt. Ararat on Wednesday. But as they experienced in their season opener, a 12-6 loss to the Stags, Cheverus was hard to handle in the opening minutes.
"We have a few kids who are pretty good on the ball," said Cheverus Coach Bill Bodwell. "The nice thing was a lot of our kids contributed in a lot of ways."
The Stags advanced with a 15-7 quarterfinal win over Portland, and have won six straight.
Cheverus built a 5-0 lead just 11 seconds into the second quarter, when Lawson scored his third of the game, from Cavan Dudley.
"We're moving the ball really well," Murray said. "Deering has a really strong defense but our guys were pretty determined, especially early."
The Rams got their legs under them in the second when Brett Harmon scored on a low sweeping shot at 8:16 and Rick Murray on a hard shot from 20 yards.
"You fall into a 4-0 hole, it's tough to climb out," said Deering Coach Jon Dubois. "They've got some good firepower, no question. We really weren't rotating on offense the way we usually do. That made life easier for them and harder for us."
Absent the early scoring, the game was pretty even.
"We graduated 10 seniors from last year's team," Dubois said. "To finish 7-7, go two games into the playoffs, I'll take that. The boys worked hard and we'll get back at it next season."
James Biegel made 11 saves for the Stags. Jon DeLoach had 12 for Deering.
Now it's on to Brunswick for the defending Eastern champ Stags. For Bodwell, in his first season with Cheverus, it will be a homecoming of sorts. He is a Brunswick graduate and coaches the girls' hockey team. He was on the boys' lacrosse staff before moving on to Lewiston, and, this year, to Cheverus.
"It will be good to go home and see what we can do," he said.