WATERVILLE – Despite a string of 15 straight tournament appearances, it’s been five years since the Messsalonskee High School boys lacrosse team has reached the Eastern Class A championship game.

Well, the Eagles are back following a dominant 14-5 semifinal win over third-seeded Lewiston on Friday at Thomas College.

Second-seeded Messalonskee (10-4) will face the winner of today’s game between No. 4 Cheverus and No. 1 Brunswick on Wednesday. Lewiston finishes its season at 11-3.

Friday’s game figured to be much closer considering the teams split a pair of games in the regular season, but the Eagles controlled the game from start to finish. Freshman Austin Pelletier put them on the scoreboard just 28 seconds into the game and they took off from there.

“We have a lot of scorers,” said junior captain Dylan Burton, who led the team with four goals and two assists. “It makes it tough on defenses.”

Pelletier and Dylan James scored three goals apiece, while Jack Bernatchez scored two and Connor Smith and Will Weeks one each. A diversified offense is just one of the team’s strengths and with just four seniors on the squad, the young Eagles have shown steady improvement, especially on defense.


“It’s about the strongest defense we’ve had in 10 years,” Messalonskee coach Tom Sheridan said.

Senior goalie Elija Tuell leads a defense that includes sophomore Chase Borssen and juniors Devin Pickett and Alex Currie in the starting lineup. Tuell made six saves, including three testers but his defense kept the Blue Devils far from the net. Coupled with an aggressive group at midfield and the balanced attack, the Eagles dominiated time of possession, out-shooting the Devils 32-15.

“They’re a complete team,” Lewiston coach Ben Fournier said. “They’re very athletic.”

The Eagles led 4-1 at the end of the first quarter and rattled off four straight goals in the second before Lewiston’s Roman Dennis scored with 29 seconds left to make it 8-2 at the half. Any thoughts of a comeback were squelched after Devils goalie Bryan Wagg drew a two-minute penalty for a check to the head and Bernatchez and Jones each scored with Lewiston a man down to make it 10-2.

The Devils scored three goals in the final five minutes after Sheridan lifted several of his starters but this one was settled early in the third quarter. The game plan was a simple one.

“Just focus and mainly hustle,” Burton said. “A lot of the ground balls we all lay out for them.”

Cheverus played a tough southern Maine schedule while Brunswick, which defeated Messalonskee 19-12 and 17-13, is undefeated.

“I believe we can play with any team,” Burton said.

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