OAKLAND — Midway through the first overtime Tuesday, Lawrence freshman Adrian O’Connell slumped to the turf in a heap, the victim of a clean, hard check thrown by Winslow goalie Sean Rooney he never saw coming after receiving a long clearing pass and readying to whip a shot on goal.

Turns out, O’Connell had a plan.

“I went down, partly because I was hurt,” O’Connell said. “But I also wanted to give the team a breather.”

Winslow’s Isaac Lambrecht, back, takes a shot on the Lawrence net during a boys lacrosse game Tuesday in Oakland. Morning Sentinel photo by Michael G. Seamans

After blowing a three-goal fourth-quarter lead in the season opener for both teams, the Bulldogs certainly needed one. And it was O’Connell who returned to the field and scored the eventual game-winner, lifting Lawrence to a thrilling 11-10 Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference win over Winslow in triple overtime in a game played on Messalonskee High School’s turf field.

The first goal of O’Connell’s high school career was certainly a memorable one.

A broken play in front of the Winslow goal sent the ball out to O’Connell to the left side of the cage, and his shot from five yards out found the top corner over the shoulder of Rooney, who entered the game at halftime.

“It was really a dusted play,” O’Connell said. “I saw it on the ground, so I scooped it and just went for it. It’s my first high school game, so it’s pretty big.”

“He played goalie (as a youth player), and he told me that he didn’t really want to,” Lawrence coach Dan Brannigan said.  “I told him we’ll see what happens. … He got some run at attack (in the preseason) and he played pretty well. The kid can rip. Hopefully, that’s the first of many, many goals for us.”

That the game got to overtime at all was something of a minor miracle.

Lawrence dominated the second quarter, scoring four of the five goals in the period to take a 7-5  lead into the break.

The Bulldogs, who got three goals apiece from Logan Fortin and Cam Jordan, extended the lead to 9-6 through three quarters thanks to a pair of Alex Higgins strikes 68 seconds part midway through the third period.

But that’s when Winslow finally found the gear that produced two goals in the game’s first 2:51.

The Black Raiders scored four times in just over five minutes early in the fourth quarter, taking a 10-9 lead with 5:26 left to play in regulation. Jared Lambert (two goals), Isaac Lambrecht (two goals), Colby Nadeau (three goals) and Brady Goodwin all connected during the charge.

“We learned a few things about our offense,” Winslow coach Dakota Gendreau said. “We switched up our offense for that fourth quarter, and there were a lot of positives out of that.”

Lawrence outshot Winslow by a 42-10 count, but that’s certainly not where the things went awry. The Bulldogs only won 12 ground balls, giving Winslow plenty of second chances out of their offensive sets. In the final period, those second-chances translated into goals and momentum.

“We just had to make sure we kept working on ground balls,” Brannigan said. “I brought them in at one of the timeouts and chewed into them pretty good. I said, ‘Hey, we need to buckle down on ground balls.’ From that point on, we did what we needed to do. We found a way to pull it out.”

Winslow’s Cameron Fredette, right, loses his stick by Lawrence defender Logan Fortin during a boys lacrosse game Tuesday in Oakland. Morning Sentinel photo by Michael G. Seamans

Lawrence did just that, and with 1:22 remaining in the fourth Jordan completed his hat trick to tie the game at 10-10.

“The few times we broke down (defensively), they cashed in,” Gendreau said.

Gabe York turned in a tremendous effort in goal for the Bulldogs, particularly in the third quarter when he made point-blank stops on Lambrecht and Lambert as part of his 16-save effort.

“Overtime was a little unlucky for us.” Gendreau said. “You hit the goalie’s leg here and you hit a post there. There’s not much you can say. It’s just a little misfortune.”

 

Travis Barrett — 621-5621

[email protected]

Twitter: @TBarrettGWC


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