LEWISTON — Early-season results only mean so much, yet it was still a good start for the Messalonskee boys lacrosse team Thursday at Bates College.

The Eagles rode four goals from Dylan Jones and a strong all-around performance from centerman Jack Bernatchez to a 13-7 win over Edward Little in their regular-season opener.

“It being April 16 I think some stuff wasn’t in there just yet and we didn’t have our starting goalie (Elija Tuell) today, so that kind of changed what we did defensively,” Messalonskee coach Tom Sheridan said. “Guys kind of settled in there and they played pretty well I thought.

“It was just kind of getting used to just being on the field again. We’ve had a lot of scrimmages this year and we had a pretty good preseason, so overall I thought it was pretty good.”

Messalonskee built a 4-1 lead after the first quarter thanks to a pair of goals from Jones and one each from Caleb Chavarie and Conner Smith. The Eagles were never truly in danger of losing their lead from there, yet they could not really pull away from the Red Eddies either.

Messalonskee led 8-2 early in the third when Edward Little got itself within striking distance thanks to the play of Spencer Frahn, who scored a pair of goals and assisted on another to get the Red Eddies to within three with 1 minute, 11 seconds remaining in the quarter.

Each time the Red Eddies threatened to get within striking distance, though, the Eagles had the answer. Jones netted his fourth goal off a nice feed from Bernatchez just eight seconds after Frahn’s second score to give Messalonskee a 9-5 advantage heading into the final quarter.

“This team just doesn’t quit,” Sheridan said. “They keep going all game long and that’s kind of what we preach on offense, to just keep attacking all game long.”

Edward Little cut the deficit to three once again early in the fourth but it was as close as it would get as Messalonskee responded with four straight goals — two from Bernatchez, one each from Smith and Dana Michaud — to put the game away.

“We just need to come out a little stronger,” Bernatchez said. “We responded well but I think we should be coming out strong from the beginning.”

Bernatchez’ ability to gain control off the draw was key in the Eagles’ run, but they also got a strong effort in the defensive zone throughout the game in front of goaltender Jeff Frasca.

Early on, the Red Eddies tried to attack the right side of Messalonskee’s defense but were routinely turned away with Devin Pickett leading the charge.

The Eagles still have plenty to work on to get to where they want to be, yet for their first game of the season, they had plenty of positive moments to build off going forward.

“It was a little rough out there it being opening day,” Bernatchez said. “It was pretty chippy out there but we got the win so that’s what matters.

“We’ve had a couple games outside, but other than that we’ve been stuck in Sukee (Arena) so it’s a little bit different out here.”

Evan Crawley — 621-5640

[email protected]

Twitter: @Evan_Crawley


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