FRYEBURG — Lincoln Academy was down by five goals at the start, but rallied to tie the game three times, only to see Fryeburg Academy regain the lead each time.

“It was just crazy,” said Lincoln senior Nate Simmons.

Lincoln tied it a fourth time, and Simmons got possession. Earlier, he drove in for a score, but this time he fired from the outside to score the winner with 5:41 left as Lincoln topped the Raiders 12-11 Tuesday afternoon in the Class C boys’ lacrosse semifinals.

Third-seeded Lincoln (13-1) advances to the state championship at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Fitzpatrick Stadium, where it will play No. 4 Waynflete (13-1). Second-seeded Fryeburg is done at 12-2.

The Raiders appeared on their way to a rout. They scored three goals in the first 3:13. Lincoln called a timeout, but Fryeburg proceeded to score two more.

“We just came out slow. Two-hour bus ride. It’s been an emotional time here at Lincoln Academy,” said Eagles Coach Tom Farrell, referring to the death of Lincoln freshman Isabelle Manahan last Friday in a car crash. A moment of silence was held before the game.

“The kids came together,” Farrell said, pausing for swallow. “We got a timeout. We settled ourselves down. Then we went to work.”

Part of that work was to stop the Raiders from driving in toward the net. “We had to keep them to the outside,” Farrell said.

Caleb Eklund scored two of his five goals in the first quarter. The Raiders were celebrating. They were on a roll, even without leading scorer Gunnar Gurnis (sick at home) and another regular (gone to basic training).

“It started out all right,” Fryeburg Coach Matt Haley said. “I think we got a little too comfortable, getting the early lead. We kind of let them walk back in.”

Ethan Avantagio, Nolan Michael and Dakota Nutter scored in the last four minutes of the quarter to move Lincoln within two goals, 5-3.

Michael, who finished with five goals, scored two in the second quarter, but Eklund also scored two, as Fryeburg took a 7-5 halftime lead.

To start the second half, Michael scored and then assisted for Avantagio, tying the game 7-7. Fryeburg’s Caleb Bowled responded with two of his four goals.

But the Eagles didnt’ go away, tying it three more times.

“We couldn’t pull ahead,” Haley said. “We had a short bench. Our guys got tired and just couldn’t make anything happen.”

Liam Cullina’s goal tied the game 11-11 with 6:68 left. Then Simmons had the ball.

“I knew we had to put one in there. It was coming down to the last minutes,” Simmons said. “I took the shot.”

The ball reached the net.

“Super Adrenaline rush,” Simmons said. “Then the defense locked it down at the end.”

With 1:17 left, Fryeburg tried to drive through the middle. The Eagles knocked the ball loose and gained possession. The Raiders got one last try, but Damian Westhaver made a save with 20 seconds left.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: @KevinThomasPPH

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