GARDINER — Last year, the Maranacook/Winthrop boys lacrosse team dropped four games to Gardiner, including a loss in the Eastern Class B semifinals.
The Hawks held onto the memory of that game. On Monday, they sought revenge.
Maranacook/Winthrop beat Gardiner 22-7 on a sunny day at Hoch Field. Three players accounted for 13 of the Hawks’ goals: Toby Smith (5), Zach Glazier (4) and Denver Cram (4).
“We’ve lost to Gardiner I don’t know how many times,” Smith said. “I think we know that this is our year, because we’re almost all seniors, so we wanted to come out, hit it hard and just show them we weren’t going to back down.”
The Tigers (3-1) struck first thanks to a goal from Josh Caldwell two minutes into the game. But the Hawks (5-0) struck back a minute later, when Smith scored his first goal of the game off a pass from Avery Weston.
“We were really pumped for this game,” Maranacook/Winthrop coach Zach Stewart said. “We got beat four times by Gardiner last year and that rang through pretty strong for us. We were excited to play them again, they gave us a really good run and we really like the solid competition as well.”
Maranacook/Winthrop kept on the attack, outshooting Gardiner 12-4. The Hawks went on an 8-0 scoring run between the first and second quarter, with two goals a piece by Cram and Glazier, along with goals by Smith, Josh Murphy and Alex Tooth.
Gardiner showed some life at the end of the first half, as Caldwell, Adrian Heath, Walker Norton and Chase Begin each tallied goals for the Tigers, but Smith and Logan Emery each responded for the Hawks, giving Maranacook/Winthrop an 11-5 lead at halftime.
“I honestly think my (defense) quit after 3-1,” Gardiner coach K.C. Johnson said. “After that first goal, we felt all right. But defensively we just couldn’t do it. I think we had an answer at first and then we gave up on the concept. I’m not sure I’m digging the quitting part. It’s not in our M.O., it hasn’t been for a bunch of years. We’ve just got to fix some things and come back at it later.”
The Hawks didn’t let up in the third quarter, ripping off six consecutive goals, including two from Cram, two from James Canwell and single tallies from Tooth and Kai Pakulski. The Hawks scored four more times in the fourth quarter. Two were from Glazier, one from Smith and one from Canwell.
“We just haven’t been able to beat them,” Glazier said. “We’ve come so close, we had that (Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference championship) loss that was a little controversial. They ended our season here and that was bitter, too. We were ready. They lost a few guys and we were hungry.”
Caldwell and Norton scored the final two goals for the Tigers. Caldwell led Gardiner with three goals.
The Hawks outshot the Tigers 37-17 and had 23 ground balls to Gardiner’s 15.
Maranacook/Winthrop kicks its competition up a notch in its next contest. The Hawks play Western Class A Deering of Portland on Saturday at 11 a.m.
“We were a (junior varsity) program three years ago,” Stewart said. “We were getting trounced by everybody. It feels nice to get a win over a real good team like Gardiner. Now we’re looking forward and excited to play against Deering this weekend.”
The Tigers look to get back on track Wednesday, when they host St. Dominic. Game time is 4 p.m.
Dave Dyer — 621-5639 | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter: @Dave_Dyer