BATH — The Messalonskee boys lacrosse team has plenty of talent offensively, and it was on full display Thursday evening at McMann Field.

Behind a barrage of first half goals, Messalonskee routed Mt. Ararat 17-1.

“We came into the game ready for a tough matchup and were looking to attack the net as much as possible,” said Messalonskee senior Luke Buck. “We took very few outside shots, which is something that coach (Tom Sheridan) has been preaching to us in practice.”

Messalonskee out-shot Mt. Ararat 33-1, and held possession in the Mt. Ararat zone for most of the game.

“Everyone on this team is so selfless, which is a huge component in what makes a team great,” Buck said. “We were moving the ball nicely and everyone was getting touches. We ran our offense like it should be done.”

Messalonskee has outscored its opponents 55-4 through its first three games. 

“Boys, that was some great lacrosse out there; our offense was smooth and our defense didn’t get lazy,” Sheridan told his team after the game.

For Mt. Ararat, signs of early rust showed, as it racked up six penalties, including a major that resulted in two Messalonskee power play goals.  

“We just have to control ourselves and not get caught up in things,” said Mt. Ararat sophomore Zander Kirk. “The game is a lot quicker, the opponents are much more skilled and are stronger, it’s honestly a big adjustment from the last time I was playing. To be honest, seeing some of those shots that those guys (Messalonskee) made was something I hadn’t seen in my lacrosse career.”

Kirk said Mt. Ararat will make sure that this early season loss won’t deter the team from what it’s trying to accomplish this season.

Mt. Ararat’s Zander Kirk, left, tries to get past Messalonskee’s Brady Doucette during a game Thursday in Bath. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

“Obviously it’s not how we wanted to start, but we’ll look at it as a learning experience and learn from it,” said Kirk. “I just hope it’s a little warmer the next time we play.”

The sub-40 degree temperatures and chilly wind gusts may have been a factor early, but the players were quick to warm up and look past it.

“We had only 25 minutes after we got off the bus to warm up, I think it took us a little longer than that to actually get going,” said Buck. “Once you were out there playing it felt like it was a cool summer day and it didn’t even really matter.”

Messalonskee took control early and didn’t look back, outscoring Mt. Ararat 6-0 in the first quarter, and 10-0 in the first half. After a bit of a lackluster start, it rattled off six goals in 4:20 to take full control. 

“That was a good team we played, our effort could’ve been better, but we can’t make those types of excuses,” Kirk said. 

While Buck controlled the game by pacing the Messalonskee offense on the perimeter, it was the surrounding cast of underclassmen who were finding the back of the net early and often. Freshman Walter Fegel and sophomore Bryce Crowell each scored four goals to lead Messalonskee. Brady Brunelle added three goals and two assists for Messalonskee, while Will Durkee and Rhys Bridges each tallied two goals.

The lone Mt. Ararat goal came in the third quarter, when Kaiden Getchell won possession in the Messalonskee zone and made a nice move around a defender before firing a shot into the back of the net under the stick of Messalonskee goalie Troy Hachey.

Hachey finished with three saves, while Mt. Ararat goalie Tyler Newkirk made 15 saves in three quarters, before Nelson Balboni made three saves in relief.

“This performance will give us some confidence, but hopefully not too much confidence,” Buck said. “The season has just begun and we still have a lot of lacrosse left to be played, which is something to get excited about.”

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