READFIELD — The Maranacook/Winthrop boys lacrosse team already had a win this season. But the Hawks were still looking for something new Thursday morning. The season opener, a win over Cony, featured a dependence on the play of senior midfielder Drew Davis. Game two, a loss to Gardiner, was more frustrating than uplifting.
In game three, however, the Hawks rolled. And more importantly, everyone joined in.
Bailey Stockford and Davis had three goals apiece and seven players scored altogether to lift Maranacook/Winthrop to a 12-3 victory over Winslow at Kents Hill School.
“That needs to be the consensus moving forward,” Hawks coach Zach Stewart said. “We worked on that really hard in the past week to make sure that everyone’s contributing and we’re not relying on one person, because in a team sport you need to make sure that everyone’s clicking on all cylinders.”
It was domination from the Hawks (2-1) — they outshot the Black Raiders (0-2), 32-6, and had a 16-3 advantage in faceoffs — and they commanded the scoreboard as well from the opening draw. Davis and Stockford had first-period goals, and struck again in the second along with Garit Laliberte and Skyler Boucher as the Hawks went into halftime with a 6-0 cushion.
The push continued in the third quarter, when Stockford, Colin Adair and Jack Vickerson found the net to make it 9-2, and in the fourth, when Davis, Dennis Chiappetta and Boucher scored the final three tallies of the game to dash any Winslow hopes for a comeback. It was a far cry from the opener against Cony, a 4-3 victory in which the Hawks settled into a pattern of watching Davis try to wind his way through the Rams defense for shot after shot in pursuit of an insurance goal.
On Thursday, every Maranacook/Winthrop player in the offensive zone was looking to be a part of the frenzy.
“We’re going to work on a balanced offense this year,” said Stockford, a senior attackman. “It’s not a Ty Smith (show) anymore, or Toby (Smith) and Zach Glazier. We’re more of a 6-on-6, and we’re going to move the ball and score.”
That ball movement flummoxed the Black Raiders. Chiappetta had three assists, Laliberte had two and five other players had helpers as the Hawks found open players both by whipping the ball around the outside and slinging accurate passes inside.
“It was nice to see the different offensive sets moving the ball quickly and getting offensive opportunities,” said Stewart, whose roster consists of 14 freshmen and sophomores. “We preach progress, so this is progress. … From two games ago, from Cony of just a straight dodge-fest, we’re now moving the ball on offense very well. Everyone’s involved.”
It wasn’t perfect — Stewart pointed out several bad, rushed shots the Hawks settled for, even after working themselves into good looks — but it was the response the coach was looking to see after a sloppy effort in an 11-7 defeat to Gardiner.
“We had a couple of main objectives in the Gardiner game, we met those objectives and we got beat otherwise,” Stewart said. “We did some things in that Gardiner game where we simply beat ourselves. We were upset about beating ourselves, but the overall loss, we had to accept it. Gardiner was the better team that day.”
The score could have been even more lopsided if not for a terrific effort from Winslow goalie Douglas Carmichael, who stopped 20 shots but often had to defend second- and third-chance shots from a Hawks offense that consistently beat the Black Raiders defense to loose balls and rebounds.
“We weren’t protecting the ball well enough, but you’ve got to give credit to (Maranacook/Winthrop),” coach Bruce Lambrecht said. “They pressured the ball every time, no ground ball was an easy ball. We threw the ball away a lot, they were very disruptive to our offense.”
After struggling in the first half, however, Winslow generated a push in the third quarter, getting goals from Bryce Hillier and Evan Dart. Dart scored again early in the fourth, cutting the gap to 9-3, and Lambrecht said those are the moments that can be sources of confidence going forward for a team still adjusting to the loss of nine seniors.
“I think that’s what we’re looking for,” he said. “They battled back, they looked good when they did move the ball. … We’re a young team this year, but I think we’re going to improve as the season goes along.”
Drew Bonifant — 621-5638