WATERVILLE — The Messalonskee and Brunswick boys lacrosse teams are separated by the thinnest of margins. Their two regular-season games were decided by a combined three goals, but each one had the same result, a close Brunswick win.
On Friday afternoon at Thomas College, Josh Dorr scored a pair of late goals for the Dragons, who held on for a 12-11 win, and with it, first place in the Eastern Class A Heal point standings.
Both teams are now 8-2, but with a pair of wins over Messalonskee, Brunswick increased its lead in the Eastern A standings over the Eagles.
“We’ve got to win out to get first,” Dorr, who scored three goals, all in the fourth quarter, said.
The Dragons led by as many as three goals in the second half, but back-to-back goals by Jordon Holmes and Ben Weeks early in the fourth quarter knotted the score at 10-10.
With 7:25 left in the game, Dorr scored the second of his three fourth-quarter goals, to put Brunswick ahead for good. With 4:42 to play, Dorr scored again, giving the Dragons a two-goal cushion.
“Coach (Don Glover) brought me up because I’m a lefty, to hook around, so that’s what I did,” Dorr said.
The Eagles pulled to within one when Holmes scored his seventh goal of the game, with 28.8 seconds to play, but Messalonskee couldn’t generate another scoring chance before time ran out.
“We had a couple opportunities at the end of the game. A couple (shots) off the pipe,” Messalonskee coach Tom Sheridan said. “We did some good things in transition offensively, but defensively we gave them some opportunities they shouldn’t have had.”
That strong fast break helped the Dragons take control of the game after spotting Messalonskee a quick 2-0 lead. Weeks and Holmes each scored in the first 85 seconds of the game to give the Eagles an early advantage, but Brunswick scored the game’s next four goals. Owen Ginty’s goal with 8:23 left in the second gave the Dragons a 4-2 lead.
Brunswick led 6-5 at the half, and goals from Lucas McCue and Tyler Sullivan in the first minute and a half of the third quarter pushed the lead to 8-5. Sullivan, Cameron Glover, McCue and Ginty each scored two goals for the Dragons.
Messalonskee goalie Jake Smith made 17 saves, while Chris Mrvichin had four stops for Brunswick.
“Our goalie played amazing. Jake Smith, he had a great game. Defensively, I can’t ask for anything more,” Sheridan said.
Sheridan thinks the Eagles could get two more cracks at Brunswick, in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference title game, and again in the Eastern Class A playoffs.
“I think it’s a team we’ll see two more times, if everything goes the way it’s supposed to,” Sheridan said. “I like our chances against them. One little break here or there that could’ve gone our way here today, and it’s a different result.”