OAKLAND — Once the Class B boys lacrosse tournament bracket was finalized, Messalonskee immediately recognized the matchup it hoped would materialize. A year ago, an underdog Marshwood squad came to Veterans Field for a Class B semifinal and promptly bounced the top-seeded Eagles to advance to the program’s first appearance in a state championship game.

The Hawks wouldn’t escape so easily this time.

No. 1 Messalonskee scored four goals in a span of 2:59 late in the third quarter Saturday, snapping a tie and pulling away to a 12-9 win over No. 9 Marshood in a Class B state quarterfinal.

“We’ve been thinking about this game all year,” said Messalonskee senior defender Brady Doucette. “The week before, we already had it booked on our calendar that we wanted to play Marshwood.”

Seven different Eagles (13-1) scored in the victory. Junior midfielder Bryce Crowell had a hat trick in the win, while Brady Brunelle, Nate Castner, Walter Fegel and Will Durkee each added a pair of goals. Durkee also collected four assists — and had a hand in each of the four goals in Messalonskee’s late third-quarter rally.

Messalonskee will meet either No. 4 Brunswick or No. 5 Camden Hills in Wednesday’s Class B semifinals.


“We were good last year, but everybody got better this year,” Messalonskee coach Tom Sheridan said. “A lot of our kids put a lot of effort in last summer with summer ball and out-of-state tournaments. Kids came in focused. We returned pretty much our whole roster from last year, and we added athletes and pieces. The kids are going the right way.”

The Eagles excelled in two key areas Saturday.

Three times Messalonskee answered Marshwood goals in fewer than 11 seconds, including a pair of Crowell goals off face-offs ensuing from Hawk strikes, to grab momentum.

Special teams were also crucial to the Eagles’ fortunes. Marshwood scored just once with the man advantage — generating a total of only four shots over five man-up situations — whereas Messalonskee cashed in three times with the extra man.

“There’s always going to be someone open in those (man down) scenarios,” senior defensive midfielder Cooper Barrett said, noting cross-field passes have a tendency to break down man-down defenses. “You just try and leave the last guy open and try and work defensively. Everybody’s kind of marking somebody different during the play — you can’t be on someone the entire time. I felt like on the man-down today we played pretty well, keeping them limited.”

It took the Eagles just six seconds into a double man-up to get Fegel’s goal with 1:07 left in the third quarter to make it a 9-6 game.


Attacker Kevin Cougler, who was instrumental in last season’s upset of the Eagles, scored five goals for Marshwood (8-6). His best came with 5:01 left in the third period, when he blasted through three Messalonskee defenders and fired past goalie Ian McCurdy (13 saves) while diving headfirst toward the crease.

That goal knotted the score at 6-6.

“We did the best we could to kind of lock him off, because you’ve got to respect a good player like that,” said Doucette, who had the assignment of marking Cougler. “We felt like he was their offense, and if we could stop him, we could stop their offense.”

“We just had to slow the game down (after Marshwood tied it),” Barrett said. “We had to work on transitions some more, work on passing and throwing, because we were struggling with that today a little bit. We were struggling with ground balls and lot of the simple stuff in that third quarter.

“I feel like we definitely fixed it and picked it up in the fourth quarter.”

Sam DeGrappo scored twice for Marshwood with his goals coming 50 seconds apart early in the third quarter to get the Hawks within a goal after trailing 6-3 at halftime.

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