GARDINER — The Messalonskee boys lacrosse team wrapped up its regular season Thursday night with a physical battle from an old foe.

Ryan Parent scored five goals to lead the Eagles to a 13-5 victory over Gardiner at Hoch Field. Messalonskee (12-2), which entered the game as the No. 3 seed in Class B, moved up to No. 1 after the victory, jumping past No. 2 Yarmouth (11-3) and No. 3 York (12-1), which beat Messalonskee in the Class B final last year.

“Transitions (offensively) have definitely been our strong suit,” said Parent, a junior attack. “We’ve got (midfielders) that can just run down and draw (a defender) and drop it to me or Cooper (LeClair) or Matt (Fulling). It just works out very well.”

Brady Brunelle and Tyler Hansen each scored three goals for the Eagles, while Matthew Fulling and Garrett Bell each added a goal.

Gardiner — led by senior Cody Dingwell, who tallied three goals — fell to 9-5. Brayden Elliott and Eben Whalen added scores for the Tigers.

The game was chippy from beginning to end. Gardiner, the No. 8 seed in Class B, had no interest in giving ground to the Eagles on home turf from the start.


Messalonskee responded with its own physical play, but it resulted in multiple penalties, forcing the Eagles to play a man down multiple times during the game.

“We were a man down a lot, which held us back on the scoring end,” Parent said. “But (Gardiner) didn’t score too much, so I thought we were fine.”

“(Gardiner) is a young team and they’re getting better; I just think we’re a more senior-laden (team),” said Messalonskee head coach Tom Sheridan. “Physical play led us to a couple of penalties today I wish we didn’t take, but it happens sometimes. I think our goalie (Andrew Witham) played well today; our defense did some good stuff. There’s some things we can work on.”

Messalonskee jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first quarter, thanks to two early goals from Parent, and never relinquished the lead. Parent added another goal in the second quarter, and Messalonskee carried an 8-2 lead into halftime. He scored his final two goals in the third quarter.

“Offensively, I thought we did well against zone (defense),” Sheridan said. “We’ve just got to tighten up some stuff for the playoffs, but we’ll get there.”

The Tigers never quit, staying in the game thanks to a dangerous shot from Dingwell and the play of senior goalkeeper Logan Crowley, who made several athletic stops among his 21 saves.

“We’re not used to that intensity level, but we did alright,” Gardiner head coach KC Johnson said. “We’re missing one (long stick midfielder), and the attack is all sophomores. We’ll get there. When you’ve got guys like (Messalonskee’s Owen Kirk and Mitchell Marquis) playing big and strong, it’s hard to compete with that. Especially when you’re young.

“Crowley has come a long way,” Johnson added. “We’re not far away from being good, it’s just (maturing).”

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