LEWISTON – Win and they’re in.
That’s the mantra of the Lewiston boys’ lacrosse team this week, and the Blue Devils took care of business Tuesday night.
Facing a Mt. Ararat team in a chase for the postseason, Lewiston blanked the Eagles in the fourth quarter and broke a tie with a goal from Curtis Robinson and two from Ryan Lemelin to secure a much-needed 12-9 victory at Bates College.
Mt. Ararat (6-5) was ranked eighth in Eastern A, while Lewiston (5-6) was ninth. Lewiston finishes up the regular season with Edward Little on Friday.
“They just rallied together at the end and pulled out a big victory,” said Lewiston assistant coach Tim Roy, who was filling in for head coach Bill Bodwell, who was suspended for one game after an ejection in the previous outing. “This was a huge game for both of us. It had playoff implications for both teams, and one of us is probably going to be left out of the playoffs. Having beaten them earlier in the season, they probably have some better victories than us in the Heal Points. So we really needed this win.”
Lemelin finished with three goals and an assist for Lewiston, while Robinson had a pair of goals and an assist, including the game-winner in the fourth. Elliott Chicoine also scored twice and had two assists. Also scoring for Lewiston were Erik Tiner, Cody Dussault, Chris Rancourt, Caleb Leino and Kurtis Stocker.
“We dont’ have just one guy,” said Roy. “We have a few guys that can take it to the net. We had a lot of different guys score today. It wasn’t just one person. If you’re going to win a tight game like this, you need that.”
It was a back-and-forth game until Lewiston secured the victory in the fourth. The Blue Devils were up 2-0 on goals by Tiner and Lemelin, but Mt. Ararat scored three times in the final 1:37 of the opening quarter to take the lead. Goals by Dussault, Chicoine and Rancourt put Lewiston up again, but another three goals by the Eagles in the final 1:18 of the half put Mt. Ararat up 6-5.
The teams traded the lead in the third, and Stocker scored with 48 seconds left in the quarter to tie it at 9-9.
“In between the third and fourth quarter, I told them that we were going to have to win all the battles in the fourth quarter,” said Roy. “They were going to have to want it more. They were going to have to work harder than them. They really picked it up a couple notches.”
Robinson scored in the middle off a Chicoine pass with 7:37 left in the game. That came just after a Mt. Ararat penalty had expired.
“When he got that, we felt we could just take the rest of it,” said Lemelin.
Lewiston did a nice job maintaining possession and holding the lead. Mt. Ararat had a man-advantage opportunity late, but had limited opportunities in the offensive end. The Blue Devils held the ball and milked the clock. If the Eagles got possession, Lewiston did an excellent job clogging up Mt. Ararat’s offensive zone.
“Coach said that to maintain the lead, we had to get the ball in the 0-zone and possess it as long as we could,” said Lemelin. “They couldn’t get any possessions, and we did really well with that at the end.”
Lemelin padded the lead with a goal with 5:13 left and converted a Chicoine pass with 3 minutes remaining. Though the Eagles had scored in bunches late in the first two quarters, the Blue Devils preserved the lead.
“I just popped out in front of the net, and Elliott gave me a pass on one of those,” said Lemelin. “I was lucky to get a couple of garbage goals.”