OAKLAND — For the first time in program history, the Marshwood boys lacrosse team will play for a state championship.

The fourth-seeded Hawks got four goals each from Kevin Cougler and Sean Maguire and rode dominant second and fourth quarters to down No. 1 and previously unbeaten Messalonskee 12-4 in a Class B state semifinal at Veterans Field on Wednesday night. Marshwood (12-3) will play either Yarmouth or Greely in Saturday’s state championship, which is a long way from what the Hawks thought the 2021 campaign promised.

Cougler would have laughed if you’d told him in March the program was on the cusp of its first appearance in the state finals.

“I would have said that was a lie, 100%,” said Cougler, a sophomore. “Last year we had no season, and coming in and not knowing anybody, it really blew my mind how good we worked as a team and the chemistry we have.”

While Cougler and Maguire, a senior, may have generated the highlight reel with their hot sticks, it was the play of sophomore goalie Silas Hamblett that had the biggest impact against the Eagles (14-1).

Hamblett finished with 13 saves.

“He’s the best goalie we’ve faced,” Messalonskee coach Tom Sheridan said. “We haven’t seen anybody lights-out like that this year. He was really good. He made some good saves and made some good plays on the clear.”

While Marshwood jumped out to a 2-0 lead less than seven minutes into the opening quarter, Hamblett turned away point-blank scoring opportunities from Eagles Walter Fegel and Nate Castner to keep the home side off the scoreboard early.

Marshwood’s Kevin Cougler, right, looks to pass as Messalonskee’s Brady Doucette defends during a Class B state semifinal game Wednesday night in Oakland. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

The Hawks would score all four of the game’s second-quarter goals to take a 7-2 lead into halftime, but it was Hamblett and the work of his defensive cohorts that set the tone.

“I thought we came out with solid momentum,” Hamblett said. “We’ve been a second half team, but we knew we had to show up and play our best from the beginning. That showed.”

“We came out strong with the first two goals, and it ruined them,” Cougler said. “It took them a long time to get back into the game. That really helped us out a lot.”

Castner, Will Durkee, Bryce Crowell and Rhys Bridges would account for the Messalonskee goals, but that output was no match for Marshwood.

Messalonskee’sWill Durkee (4) celebrates with teammate Bryce Crowell (8) after Crowell’s goal against Marshwood in a Class B semifinal game Wednesday in Oakland. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

Marshwood scored four of the game’s final five goals — all in the final 7:47 of play — to put the exclamation point on its victory.

Declan Fitzgerald finished with a pair of goals for the Hawks. Andrew Goodwin and Sam Degrappo also beat Messalonskee netminder Ian McCurdy (13 saves).

“Their physicality, sometimes we didn’t match it right away as we wanted to,” Sheridan said. “Sometimes you don’t have it clicking right.”

Marshwood has it clicking right into the state championship game.

“It feels awesome,” Cougler said. “Knowing that we can win our first state championship is sick. We’ve never done it before. There’s not really much else to say about it.”


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