OAKLAND — After opening the season with a one-goal loss Saturday, the Maranacook-Winthrop-Spruce Mountain boys lacrosse team made it a point to slow the pace Tuesday morning at Messalonskee.

“Last game we had trouble slowing down our offense and taking time with possessions. We started off really slow in the first half and turning the ball over a lot,” junior Garit Laliberte said of the Hawks season-opening loss to Mt. Ararat.

The Hawks’ patience paid off on a blustery Tuesday. Maranacook/Winthrop/Spruce Mountain scored a pair of goals in the first two minutes of the game and never trailed in taking a 9-5 win.

Messalonskee’s Rhys Bridges, right, defends Maranacook/Winthrop/Spruce Mountain’s Jon Rioux during a lacrosse game Tuesday in Oakland. Morning Sentinel photo by Dave Leaming

Both teams are now 1-1.

Throughout the game, the Hawks were deliberate with the ball, often making the extra pass rather than forcing a shot. The strategy worked, with the Hawks controlling the pace and preventing the Eagles from generating long offensive chances.

“For us, we just wanted to posses the ball and make sure we owned the possession there,” Hawks coach Kyle Dennett said.

Skylar Boucher’s goal 40 seconds into the game gave Maranacook/Winthrop/Spruce Mountain the lead for good. Boucher made it 2-0 just 1:02 later.

“It’s a young team that’s a little inexperienced. Sometimes I think you come out a little flat, and we did that today. We were just kind of chasing,” Messalonskee coach Tom Sheridan said.

Luke Buck’s goal late in the first quarter put Messalonskee on the board and cut the Hawks’ lead to 2-1, but it set up a pattern that held throughout the game. Messalonskee would cut into the deficit, only to have the Hawks respond quickly with a goal of their own. The Eagles cut the Hawks lead to 4-2 on a Cam Goff goal with 57 seconds left in the first half, but Maranacook/Winthrop/Spruce Mountain responded with 26.5 seconds left, taking a 5-2 lead into the break with Colin Addair’s goal on a low shot from the right of the net.

With 9:46 left in the third quarter, Josh Languet’s goal pulled Messalonskee within a pair, 5-3, but the Hawks answered 15 seconds later. After the Hawks took control of the faceoff, Laliberte scored on a low and hard shot from the center, 15 yards out, to push the lead to 6-3. It the first of three second half goals for Laliberte, who thought a key to the win was getting favorable defensive matchups with Messalosnkee’s attackers.

“We were pretty prepared for their strong players. We got matchups that were good and took the ball away when we could,” Laliberte said.

Messalonskee’s Cam Goff (9) crashes into Maranacook/Winthrop/Spruce Mountain defender Owen Austin during a lacrosse game Tuesday in Oakland. Morning Sentinel photo by David Leaming

Added Dennett: “I like the flow we’re seeing. We’ve still got things to work on. It’s only the second game of the season, so I expect that will change.”

Thomas Thornton and Addair each scored twice for the Hawks. Goff scored a pair of goals for Messalonskee.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM






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