WATERVILLE — Even with all the preparation the Erskine and Winslow boys lacrosse teams did to ready themselves for their first varsity seasons, there was always going to be a little uncertainty when it came to how competitive they would be at the next level.

Three games into the season, it is pretty clear both are capable of hanging with the rest of Eastern Class B, however, it would appear the Black Raiders have the edge thus far in the developmental process.

Hunter McCaslin scored six goals while Jimmy Fowler won 17 faceoffs, scored three goals and assisted on seven others to lead Winslow (2-1) to a 19-6 victory over Erskine (1-2) on Friday afternoon at Thomas College. Nick Gurney had a strong game in net for the Black Raiders and finished with 14 saves.

“We showed a lot of character,” Winslow coach Bruce Lambrecht said. “They came roaring back, we couldn’t get anything going in the second quarter, we came out strong in the third and didn’t look back.

“I know a lot of these guys. I helped coach them at the youth level and we couldn’t be prouder or happier for Erskine to have a team. They’re going to be great for a long time to come so it was a great game.”

While the final score ultimately settled decidedly in the Black Raiders’ favor, for a while it appeared the two teams may have been in for a close finish.

Winslow opened up an 8-3 lead early in the second, but by the midpoint of the quarter, the Eagles began to gain their footing. Goals from Tyler Rollins, Grayson Petty and Caleb Tyler over a 4-minute, 21-second span beginning at the 6:41 mark of the second quarter, brought Erskine to within 8-6 at the break.

“The first quarter (Winslow) hit four pipes, I think it was. It was awesome to see that we got a little luck there. Our goalie was making some saves but second quarter went great,” Erskine coach Mike Foley said. “We just have to string four quarters together.”

The second half proved to be all Winslow, as McCaslin scored four of his six goals in the third quarter and Erskine was shut out after halftime.

“We had talked with our coaches in the second half of how we had to slow down the ball, and play our offense and stay on our man for defense,” McCaslin said. “It definitely helped us through the second half.”

The results thus far have been very encouraging for Winslow. The team owns wins over Erskine and Oxford Hills, and earlier this week lost a tight 8-7 decision to one of the better teams in the division in Oak Hill.

“They were bigger, stronger, quicker. We hung with them but we let the game slip away,” Lambrecht said. “It was heartbreaking to get a loss but kudos to them, they’re a great team. Coach (Dan) Brannigan, he knows his stuff.

“… We’re all glad to play the game. We teach our kids about respecting it and it’s like a bad day of golf is better than a good day of work, the same with lacrosse.”

Erskine has also had some encouraging results thus far, particularly Wednesday’s 8-5 win over Mt. Blue.

“We were really excited. The kids really enjoyed it, they deserved it. They worked hard all preseason and the past three weeks,” Foley said. “We’re coming together as a team now, they’re starting to learn the game a lot better and we’re coming along.”

• • •

While two of central Maine’s newest teams battled it out at Thomas College on Friday, two of its more established squads, Brunswick and Messalonskee, went head-to-head on an adjacent field.

The Dragons (3-0) used a three-goal flurry to start the second half to distance themselves and held on from there to down the Eagles (2-2) — who were without starting goalkeeper Elija Tuell — 19-12. After falling behind 6-0 after the first quarter, Messalonskee stormed back to tie the game 7-7 late in the second, but a goal from Kyle Woodruff with 24 seconds left in the half gave Brunswick the lead at the break.

Ryan Croatti, T.J. Sullivan and Cam Glover paced the Dragons with four goals each. Conner Smith and Dylan Burton had four and three goals, respectively, for Messalonskee.

“Once the offense started clicking good things were happening there and a couple of mistakes towards the end of the second half kind of hurt our transition,” Messalonskee coach Tom Sheridan said. “We made a few mistakes, and on a team comprised mostly of junior and sophomores and freshmen it’s going to happen.

“Hopefully we learn from it, we move on. There’s still a lot of season left (but) 2-2 is not where we want to be right now. I think we should be better than that, but you are who you are. That’s how it is right now.”

Evan Crawley — 621-5640

[email protected]

Twitter: @Evan_Crawley


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