At a team dinner Tuesday night, Maranacook/Winthrop girls lacrosse coach Shawn Drillen learned how important the game is to a lot of his players simply by watching them view a recording of the 2016 NCAA Division I women’s lacrosse national championship game. As the players watched the game between the University of North Carolina and Maryland unfold, Drillen saw upperclassmen point out the differences between the college and high school game to younger players, or remark at how many times they’d watched this particular game.

“It’s interesting to see the upperclassmen pointing stuff out. They say ‘Oh, so-and-so is my favorite player,'” Drillen said. “There’s some kids, it’s not just they show up at practice. It’s some kids for who lacrosse is their favorite sport.”

Maranacook/Winthrop is 4-0, and was able to hit the ground running in this first season of varsity play thanks to a strong feeder program of youth lacrosse and a middle school team.

“We’ve got a lot of kids who have played in the past,” Drillen said. “We had some really good practices and were able to get some simple things in.”

Wednesday’s game at Oceanside is the first in what could be the toughest stretch of the season for Maranacook/Winthrop.

“Next week we have four games in five days. It’s going to be a challenge,” Drillen said.

 

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After Saturday’s loss to Bangor, Lawrence boys lacrosse coach Daniel Brannigan was upset. While Brannigan knows the Bulldogs are an improved team and getting better, sometimes the pace of the progress is frustrating, he said.

“I want to be there now. I need to sit down and breathe. It’s a process,” Brannigan said. “We have the athletes. It’s just a matter of putting the pieces together.”

With a 3-2 record, Lawrence already has matched its win total from last season. The Bulldogs went 3-0 after Brannigan took over as coach late last season, and that improvement carried over into 2019. The Bulldogs are now nine deep with potential scorers, Brannigan said, with senior Alex Higgins a key offensive cog. In a recent 16-15 win over Cony, Higgins scored five goals and had a pair of assists.

“He’s built like a tank,” Brannigan said of Higgins.

Senior Kyle Carpenter, a first-year lacrosse player, has become the leader of Lawrence’s defense.

“(Carpenter) has good footwork. He’s athletic. He’s shutting down opponents No. 1 threat,” Brannigan said.

The Bulldogs need to learn how to put opponents away, Brannigan said, citing the multi-goal leads Lawrence has surrendered in the fourth quarter. For a young program still learning the game, that’s the slowest part of the building process.

“We’re used to trying to find way to not lose instead of finding ways to win,” Brannigan said.

Lawrence is scheduled to take on Erskine (1-3), with games coming up against undefeated Oak Hill/Monmouth/Lisbon (6-0), and Lake Region (3-1).

“Lake Region’s only loss is to North Yarmouth Academy, so they’re nothing to sneeze at. We’ve got several tough games on the schedule,” Brannigan said.

 

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The Oak Hill/Monmouth/Lisbon boys are off to a 6-0 start and in first place in the Class C Heal Point standings, winning by an average of 9.5 goals per game.

“They’re just playing as a team,” coach Joe Hinkley said.

Gabe Samson and Riley Worth have played well, Hinkley said, along with freshman newcomer Tiger Hopkins on attack.

Oak Hill/Monmouth/Lisbon will be tested by a remaining schedule that includes games against Class B Lawrence and Morse, as well as Class A Oxford Hills.

“Bigger schools, bigger conferences,” Hinkley said. “Last year was the first time in seven years we beat Morse.”

 

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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