St. Dom’s Braden Pelletier pressures Lake Region’s Nate Bragdon-Clements during a soggy lacrosse game on Wednesday afternoon in Auburn. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)
AUBURN — The first possession of Wednesday’s Class C boys’ lacrosse game between Lake Region and St. Dominic Academy was a microcosm of the entire contest, except for one minor detail: it took the Lakers a long time to score.
Lake Region dominated possession throughout and was lethal on the attack on its way to a 25-5 victory.
The Lakers (1-1) got the ball to start and held onto possession for more than three minutes, with a few missed shots along the way. Cameron Lepage found the back of the net 3:23 in, and it was a sign of things to come.
Yet there was a brief moment in the game when the Saints (0-1) looked like they might take control. Robbie Dick scored with a delayed penalty call awaiting seven minutes in to cut the deficit to 3-2. Dick then found Will Fletcher for the tying goal with a two-man advantage less than a minute later.
The Saints were still a man up and had possession, but turned it over and then were called for a penalty of their own. At the other end, Nate Bragdon-Clements scored a man-up goal for the Lakers to give them back the lead. That started a scoring run that got to seven by the end of the first quarter, making the score 10-3.
Five more Lake Region goals in a row came in the second before Devdan Young ended the streak for the Saints halfway through the period.
“They went on a little run there,” Saints coach Tim Matteson said. “I think our execution went away.”
“We just kept doing what we do,” Lakers coach Josh Plowman said. “Just intensity on D, just running our system on offense, and we just told the guys we need to play every play, and focus and play lacrosse.”
What gave the Lakers the leg-up was Brennan Bass on faceoffs. Time and time again, Bass won the ball for Lake Region off the draw, and then the Lakers were able to go down and open fire on St. Dom’s freshman goalie Max Comis.
“He’s a beast at the (faceoff spot),” Plowman said.
“They won a lot of faceoffs there, beat us to the ball off the wings, and they got possession. And we just couldn’t get the ball there for a while,” Matteson said. “My defense is really young. My goalie’s a freshman, and I have two juniors and a freshman playing defense, and the juniors don’t have a lot of experience.
“That’s where we’re least experienced, is on defense, and they took advantage. Obviously we have a lot to work on.”
Bragdon-Clements led the Lakers with seven goals, all of them coming in a first half that ended with Lake Region up 17-5. Caleb Emery added six, Paul Vigna five, and Lepage notched a hat trick.
The Lakers had just three goals as a team in a season-opening loss to North Yarmouth Academy.
“We kind of changed a lot of things up,” Plowman said. “We made a new goalie. Kyle Williams stepped up huge for us. He said he’d play goalie, and he’s a natural. That allowed our goaltender to play out — he’s a real good athlete — to play out and play defense for us. So that shored up our D quite a bit. Offensively, we changed some things up. We put in a new system, really, and the kids have just bought in.”
Fletcher and Dick each had two goals and Comis finished with 11 saves for the Saints, whose only victory last year was against Lake Region. But that was before Matteson came on board to take over a young roster.
“Got a lot of work to do. I mean, this is my first year with these guys, and a lot of them are young,” Matteson said. “We’re going to have a nice, long chalk-talk session tomorrow, go over a lot of things. Like I said, a lot of inexperience. … A lot of these kids are playing in their first high school lacrosse game.”
St Dom’s Max Comis and Braden Pelletier defend the goal against Lake Region’s Nate Bragdon-Clements during a lacrosse game in Auburn on Wednesday. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)St. Dom’s Braden Pelletier keeps pace with Lake Region’s Nate Bragdon-Clements during Wednesday’s lacrosse game in Auburn. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)St. Dom’s Cameron Palmer leans on Lake Region’s Caleb Emery in a physical lacrosse game on Wednesday afternoon in Auburn. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)