GARDINER — The nerves, as are often the case for a season opener, flowed freely Friday afternoon at Hoch Field.

“Yeah, it’s nerve-racking,” said Jenn Day, a senior attacker on the Gardiner Area High School girls lacrosse team. “It’s just because we are home, and everyone shows up.”

So, Gardiner coach Sharon Gallant said, the objective was simple when the Tigers opened their season against Lincoln Academy: Score early and score often.

“We said, ‘Let’s go out there and score a couple early and then relax a bit,” she said.

The Tigers did just that — and much, much more in a 17-4 rout of the Eagles.

Day led the way with five goals while sophomore Brooke Davis chipped in with three goals and six assists. Becca Paradee had two goals and as many assists for the Tigers, who wasted little time putting this one away.

Gardiner, which finished 8-5 and reached the Eastern B semifinals last season, scored four goals in the first three minutes and never looked back.

“It feels good,” Day said. “We’ll be good this year. This game sets high expectations.”

Added Davis, who assisted on the first four goals of the game: “This was good for us. We have some new players and everyone was involved.”

Gardiner, which is in just its third season of varsity play, controlled the game from the opening draw to the game-ending buzzer.

As openers go, this one couldn’t have gone much better for the Tigers.

“The win is nice,” Gallant said, “but we were looking for a whole lot more. We wanted to see improvement. I was a little bit nervous because we haven’t been able to run a lot of our plays because of the weather. You lose a little sleep the night before. Can you imagine a basketball team that hasn’t been on a court before the season started?”

The Tigers have been able to practice outdoors, but not on the muddy Hoch Field.

“Our transition game was a little iffy,” Gallant added, “but we haven’t been able to do long passes.”

The Tigers led 7-0 before Katrina Bell scored the first of her three goals for Lincoln with 17 minutes, 44 seconds left in the half.

Gardiner led 14-3 at the half and freely substituted for much of the second.

“We tried to get the ball around and run the offense,” Day said. “It feels good.”

Caitlin Phillips and Caitlin Ham each added two goals for the Tigers. Kaylee Heath, Hayley Thibeau and Julie Krouse also scored for Gardiner.

“We want to get a little bit better every year,” Gallant said. “We want to see if we can hold our own against the upper teams. It was a good win.”

Bill Stewart — 621-5640

[email protected]

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