OAKLAND — The Messalonskee girls lacrosse team is looking to continue what’s been a winning program. Its opponent Monday afternoon, Lawrence, is looking to build one.

Shauna Clark scored five goals, Francesca Caccamo and Abigail Klinge added three each, and Messalonskee rolled to a 19-1 victory over Lawrence.

The Eagles improved to 2-0. The Bulldogs, who got a goal from Holly Bolduc, are 0-1.

“Overall, so far this season, the girls have really stepped up,” Eagles coach Crystal Leavitt said. “It’s been kind of an all-in mentality for us, which I think has really helped us in the long haul.”

That’s nothing new at Messalonskee. This has been one of the area’s most consistent programs, with a Class A state title in 2016, Class A championship appearances in 2015 and ’17 and a Class B regional final showing in 2018. The Eagles missed the postseason in 2019, but from the start of the season the focus was on getting back to those lofty heights.

“We’re definitely hoping to be a big threat,” Clark said. “Our coach actually had us write one thing on a piece of paper that we wanted to achieve this year. She said one of the biggest things (we wrote) was ‘States, baby!’ It’s a big thing, especially since we have a lot of seniors on this team.”

If Monday was any indication, two games has been all the Eagles have needed to knock off the rust. With Gaby Smart (two goals) leading the way in the face-off circle, Messalonskee won 16 of 21 draws, and several times immediately went down the field after gaining possession and scored in a matter of seconds.

Messalonskee’s Madi Doody, center, passes the ball between Lawrence defenders during a game Monday in Oakland. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel Buy this Photo

When the quick strike wasn’t there, the Eagles were more than comfortable using a precision passing attack that often never saw the ball touch the ground and involved both sides of the field.

“We have a lot of girls that have been playing together for a really long time, and I think that definitely showed here,” Clark said. “We came into preseason looking a little rusty, but I feel like we shook that off right within that first week.”

Messalonskee’s offense was efficient, and it was selfless, with players frequently passing up shots through traffic for a better look. On the Eagles’ seventh goal, Clark started in front of the net and ran left, drew the Lawrence defense over to her, and then slung the ball back to an open Caccamo for a 1-on-1 shot.

“Our job is to make each other look good,” said Leavitt, whose team got two goals apiece from Journey Charles, Smart and Jenna Cassani, one from both Julia Wade and Bella Morrill, and six saves from Shea Cassani. “That’s our motto right now. … It might be a cut, it might not be a goal right away. It might be a draw. It might be a ground ball. If you’re passing someone the ball, your job is to hit their stick so they look good catching it. That’s been our mentality. I think I say it every practice.”

Lawrence coach Cassandra Poli had an idea of the proficiency she’d see from the Eagles.

“They’re the sharks,” she said. “They’re really good.”

Poli, though, was pleased with what she saw from her team. A first-year coach, Poli has several first-year players on her roster, and wasn’t about to base her takeaways from Monday on the final score.

“It was a lot of learning, for sure,” she said. “Two, three of our girls, this was the first game they’ve ever played, ever. … We have a lot to learn from games like this. When we go back to practice tomorrow, we’re going to talk about how well they passed the ball, how well they caught the ball, how well they communicated. I’m hoping we can implement that.”

Lawrence’s Holly Bolduc, left, loses the ball against Messalonskee defender Francesca Cacao during a game Monday in Oakland. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel Buy this Photo

One of those players making her debut was Emily Hersey, who made 15 saves in net. Poli also complimented the play of defenders Lexie Moran, Hayley Niles and Olivia Cleaves, as well as midfielder Sadie Wentworth.

“As far as I’m concerned, I couldn’t be any prouder,” Poli said. “They gave me 100 percent, they ran the whole time. With having one sub, they did incredible.”

That said, there are strides Poli is hoping to see the Bulldogs make.

“I’d like to see the transition be a little smoother, the passes smoother,” she said. “Overall, it’ll come. I’m very confident with that.”

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