BOX SCORE

Falmouth 16 Brunswick 7

B- 0 2 3 2- 7
F- 2 6 4 4- 16

First period
8:53 F Boothby (unassisted)
2:31 F Boothby (Grenier)

Second period
11:19 F Drum (Mitton)
10:55 F Boothby (Drum)
10:34 F Barnard (unassisted)
9:30 F Allan (unassisted)
8:31 B Stern-Hayes (unassisted)
6:23 B Putnam (unassisted)
4:51 F Barnard (unassisted)
25.0 F J. Guerrette (Drum)

Third period
10:20 F Drum (unassisted)
9:15 F Allan (unassisted)
8:20 F Boothby (Grenier) (MAN-UP)
7:15 B Marro (unassisted)
6:03 B Labbe (Rudgers) (MAN-UP)
4:14 F Drum (unassisted)
53.2 B Marro (Rudgers)

Fourth period
10:19 F Barnard (unassisted)
9:26 F Skillin-Lanou (unassisted)
8:48 F Drum (Skillin-Lanou)
7:26 B Silverman (unassisted)
6:11 F Skillin-Lanou (Drum)
4:57 B Marro (unassisted)

Goals:
B- Marro 3, Labbe, Putnam, Silverman, Stern-Hayes 1
F- Boothby, Drum 4, Barnard 3, Allan, Skillin-Lanou 2, J. Guerrette 1

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Assists:
B- Rudgers 2
F- Drum 3, Grenier 2, Mitton, Skillin-Lanou 1

Faceoffs (Brunswick, 14-13)
B- Hamilton 5 of 15, Kousky 9 of 12
F- G. Guerrette 11 of 24, Fischetto 2 of 3

Ground balls:
B- 30
F- 37

Turnovers:
B- 20
F- 17

Shots:
B- 29
F- 42

Shots on cage:
B- 14
F- 29

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Saves:
B (Reeves) 13
F (Noyes) 7

PORTLAND—Falmouth’s boys’ lacrosse team is figuring it out.

And that’s best news for the rest of the state.

Saturday afternoon, at Deering High’s Memorial Field, the Navigators, ranked first in Class A North, took on Class B contender Brunswick in a neutral site crossover contest and played what they felt was their most complete game of the season.

Which was something the Dragons couldn’t counter.

Falmouth held a 2-0 lead after one quarter behind a pair of goals from sophomore Cyrus Boothby, then pushed its advantage to 8-2 at halftime, as Boothby struck again and sophomore Caden Barnard added a pair of goals.

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When senior Robby Drum, sophomore Cole Allan and Boothby began the second half with goals, the Navigators broke it open and they would lead, 12-5, after three periods before coasting to a 16-7 victory.

Boothby and Drum both scored four times as Falmouth improved to 7-3 on the season, dropping Brunswick to 7-4 in the process.

“I’d say this was our best game,” said Drum, who also had three assists. “We knew we had to come out strong. We knew Brunswick was a good team. We took them very seriously and we didn’t let up.”

Saturday special

Brunswick and Falmouth don’t cross paths all that often, but have produced some memorable games over the years.

Both teams have shown positive signs this spring.

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Brunswick opened by beating host Lewiston (14-4), visiting Cony (18-9) and host Mt. Ararat (13-0). After a 20-8 home loss to Yarmouth, the Dragons beat visiting Edward Little, 15-4, then lost at Scarborough (10-8). Brunswick then won at Bangor (17-2), lost at Messalonskee (12-7) and defeated visiting Gardiner (14-6) and Oak Hill (11-5).

Falmouth, meanwhile, started with a 16-2 victory at Kennebunk and after losing at home to Thornton Academy (4-1), the Navigators held off host Gorham, 9-6. After falling just short in a bid to upset visiting, reigning Class A champion Cape Elizabeth (11-10), Falmouth edged visiting Windham in overtime (7-6) and rolled at Portland (13-2). After losing at home to South Portland (9-5), the Navigators defeated host Marshwood (13-7) and Noble (18-5).

The teams had played just four times previously: in 2010 (a 10-7 Falmouth victory in Brunswick), 2011 (a 13-1 home win for Falmouth), 2018 (a 10-7 home win for Falmouth) and 2019 (when the Dragons prevailed, 12-9, at Bowdoin College, giving then-coach Don Glover his 300th career victory.

Saturday’s contest was played on a neutral field at Deering, where Brunswick hoped to show it could beat one of the state’s elite Class A teams, but instead, the Navigators put together their best game to date this season.

Falmouth freshman Gio Guerrette possess the ball after winning a faceoff and keeps it away from Brunswick’s Kaleb McPhail during the Navigators’ 16-7 win over Brunswick Saturday. Hoffer photos.

Falmouth went man-up just 37 seconds into the game, but couldn’t convert.

The Navigators then took the lead for good with 8:53 to go in the first period, as Boothby scored unassisted, beating Brunswick goalie Jake Reeves.

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The Dragons then bid for the tying goal, but Falmouth junior goalie Drew Noyes denied Nick Marro and Thomas Labbe rang a shot off the post.

The Navigators then went man-up again and this time, they capitalized, as with 2:31 on the clock, senior Xavier Grenier set up Boothby for a 2-0 lead.

Reeves denied Grenier late in the frame, but Falmouth was on top heading to the second period.

Where it opened up a sizable lead.

Just 41 seconds in, Drum scored his first goal, finishing a feed from junior Zach Mitton.

A mere 24 seconds later, Drum set up Boothby for a 4-0 lead.

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“I love sharing the ball and setting up my teammates,” Drum said.

It took just another 21 seconds for the Navigators to strike again, as freshman Gio Guerrette won the ensuing faceoff and the ball wound up on the stick of Barnard, who scored unassisted after a crease roll.

“Gio Guerrette is getting the hang of the faceoff and he’s only been a faceoff guy for five weeks,” said Falmouth coach Dave Barton. “His future is bright. I’ve never seen someone attack ground balls like he does. He doesn’t give up.”

With 9:30 left in the half, Allan scored unassisted, after a nice fake, and just like that, the score was 6-0.

Brunswick got on the board 58 seconds later, as Zach Stern-Hayes scored unassisted and after going man-up, the Dragons cut the deficit to four, as Albert Putnam bulled his way through the defense and finished with 6:23 remaining before halftime.

Barnard answered, unassisted, with 4:51 to go and after Noyes robbed both Putnam and Stern-Hayes, Drum set up freshman Joey Guerrette in transition for a goal with 25 seconds on the clock and at the half, Falmouth was in command, up, 8-2.

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The Navigators had a 22-12 advantage in shots in the first half.

Falmouth senior Xavier Grenier chases after Brunswick’s Albert Putnam.

Falmouth then increased its lead in the third quarter.

Drum scored unassisted 100 seconds in and with 9:15 remaining, Allan scored unassisted through traffic.

After going man-up, the Navigators went up 11-2 55 seconds later, as Boothby finished a feed from Grenier.

The Dragons bounced back, as Marro finished unassisted with 7:15 left and Labbe scored (from Max Rudgers) man-up with 6:03 on the clock.

Drum answered with 4:14 left and while Rudgers set up Marro for a goal with 53 seconds to go, Falmouth took a 12-5 advantage to the final stanza.

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There, Barnard scored unassisted with 10:19 to go, senior Rory Skillin-Lanou buried a rebound 53 seconds later and Skillin-Lanou set up Drum for a 15-5 lead with 8:48 to play.

After Gus Silverman answered for Brunswick with 7:26 on the clock, Drum set up Skillin-Lanou for the Navigators’ final goal with 6:11 to play.

Marro then scored unassisted with 4:57 left, but Falmouth was able to close it out from there and celebrate its 16-7 victory.

Falmouth junior goalie Drew Noyes is congratulated by freshman Miles Thaxter and the rest of the Navigators race out to celebrate at the conclusion of Saturday’s victory.

“We just passed it around with the boys and it was that simple,” Drum said. “We focus on the little things in practice, like ground balls, riding and clearing and I think it showed this game.”

“I think it’s the best game we’ve played, definitely our most complete effort,” Barton said. “Brunswick’s a really good team. Those guys dodge hard. We had to start two freshmen close defenders in Indi (Backman) and Miles (Thaxter). We’re banged up right now. Ben Wentworth is out. I think he’s one of the best defensemen in the state. Jay Thomas, who I think is our best offensive player, will be back soon. To do this without them was a great effort.”

Boothby and Drum paced a potent offensive attack with four goals apiece. Barnard added three goals, while Allan and Skillin-Lanou had two apiece and Guerrette one.

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Drum also had three assists, while Grenier added two and Mitton and Skillin-Lanou both finished with one.

“We run two midfield lines and I think all nine of those guys truly understand what we’re trying to do and I couldn’t have said that three weeks ago,” Barton said.

Noyes stopped seven shots.

The Navigators had a 37-30 edge in ground balls (Gio Guerrette had a game-high eight), enjoyed a 42-29 shots advantage (29-14 on cage) and overcame 17 turnovers.

For Brunswick, Marro scored three times and Labbe, Putnam, Silverman and Stern-Hayes tickled the twine once apiece.

Rudgers finished with a pair of assists.

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Reeves made 13 saves.

Labbe had a team-high six ground balls.

The Dragons had a 14-13 edge in faceoffs and turned the ball over 20 times.

“Playing Falmouth was helpful,” Miller said. “They exposed some of our weaknesses. Some bounces here and there didn’t go our way. We made some bad passes. We did make some adjustments, like when we slid when we shouldn’t have, then they readjusted.”

On to June

Brunswick (ranked fifth in the Class B state Heal Points standings) looks to finish strong when it closes the regular season at Camden Hills Tuesday.

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We hope to go to Camden Hills and bring the lessons from here and work on our second season,” Miller said. “That’s what we’re ultimately focused on at this point. I think we’re ready to make a run. It’s just a handful of details. It’s never fun to talk about your flaws, but we’ll build on it. We’ve lost more than we’d like, but after each loss, we’ve gone back to the lab and worked on things. We’ll grow from this.”

Falmouth (which will be first in Class A North) is home against Cheverus Tuesday, then closes the regular season at Scarborough Thursday.

“We have a lot of injuries, but we’re getting to where we want to be,” said Drum. “We have to take every team seriously. We’ve seen a lot of top teams this year and we think we can play with anybody.”

“I wanted to play one of the best teams going into the playoffs and Scarborough’s one of the best,” Barton said. “We need to get healthy. We’ve preached riding and clearing the past two weeks. We try to push transition in practice and build great decision-making, but we’re trying to ride and clear as 10 guys. Hopefully, we’ll build on this.”

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

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