Goals by Eli Fox and Perrin Davidson kept the Falcons close on the Rangers’ heels through the first half of the teams’ matchup in Cumberland on Thursday, May 19, but Greely pulled away with seeming ease in the second half, adding seven more of their own while holding Freeport silent to ultimately win 10-2.

Freeport head coach Geoff Arris described his expectations, heading into the bout: “Greely is always aggressive, and they move the ball well,” he said. “Historically, they’re a slow-building team; they start off in the first quarter slower and get better as the game goes on.”

Fox scored the Falcons’ first point, and Davidson their second; both goals came in the opening quarter. But the Rangers put up three of their own in the same stretch to stay one step ahead. The opponents held each other in check in the second, however, neither side managing to light the lamp again before the break.

“In the first half we really moved the ball well,” said Arris. “We possessed the ball offensively for longer periods of time. Defensively, we were communicating the best we have all season. I think putting those together helped us in that first half.”

The third is where Freeport’s day fell apart. Ace netminder Zac Wogan opened the quarter with two huge stops as the action rolled back-and-forth up the field. But the Rangers soon settled in and found a killer groove: Tim Coyle inched them further ahead at 7:21, and Grady Wood really began to pry open a substantial lead 18 seconds later. Across the remainder of the stretch, Josh Lawless, Alex Wetmore and Ben Kennedy all struck it rich for 8-2 at the start of the final quarter.

“We knew they were going to come out at us hard in the third,” said Arris. “As I said, they build to a very strong fourth. We held them 3-2 at the half and were really in the game. I’m not sure if we got tired and started to push ourselves harder than we needed to.”

From there, the game was essentially decided. The Rangers had seized the momentum, and hashed two more in the remaining minutes for the 10-2 final. 

“I think in the second half, for some reason, we felt a sense of urgency,” said Arris. “There was still a lot of lacrosse to be played, but we were rushing our passes and taking poor-quality shots.”

Arris praised a number of his boys, including Davidson. “Perrin played great for us,” he said. “He did a great job on faceoffs and controlling the ball offensively. Zac Wogan made 24 saves for us, which was huge. Our games would be very different if it weren’t for Wogan. Nate Thomas, Evan Donald and Evan Owen did a great job running midfield. Zach Owen, playing LSM, did an awesome job handling their better midfielders and taking away a lot of their shots.”

Freeport dips to 2-7 in 2016. At present – with three games remaining in their regular season – the Falcons rank 12th in B South, two slots outside the playoffs bracketing. The team traveled to Lake Region (last in B South at 0-9) on Tuesday, May 24, after the Tri-Town Weekly’s print deadline; they host Fryeburg (No. 4 in B South at 5-4) on Thursday the 26th and visit Waynflete (No. 5 in B South, also at 5-4) on June 1.

“We were very frustrated with our performance against Kennebunk and wanted to build off that loss,” said Arris. The Rams had battered the Falcons 16-3 two days earlier. “We hung with Greely for the first half, and are looking to keep building for our last three regular-season games. We are looking to finish stronger and earn a spot in the tourney!”

Greely’s Nate Grandchamp crashes into Freeporter Brady LaFrance.

Freeport’s Eli Fox pushes upfield at Greely on Thursday.

Greely’s Nate Grandchamp and Freeport’s Zach Owen vie for a ground ball.

Freeport’s Perrin Davidson skirts a Greely defender on Thursday.

Freeporter Reid Poissonnier advances with the ball toward Greely territory.

Freeporter Nate Thomas unwinds into a shot vs. Greely on Thursday.