Boys’ Lacrosse: Raiders get one to grow on

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RUMFORD — Never mind that Oak Hill knew it could win a boys’ lacrosse game Saturday. The Raiders were convinced they didn’t have a choice.

“This was a no-option game,” senior goalie Will Aronson said.

“This is a game that we really had to step up in, in order to get the rest of our season in line,” echoed senior co-captain Sam Hatch.

Perhaps that self-imposed pressure and the rubber legs wrought by a long road trip combined and conspired to keep Oak Hill off the board early against Mountain Valley.

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Once the Raiders settled in, however, they raced to an 11-2 triumph, their first of the season.

Brian Daniels scored four goals and Trever Samson, Richard Fillion and Nate Rolston added two apiece for Oak Hill (1-5), which notched its most impressive victory in several years.

“It’s a start,” said Aronson, who made four saves. “It’s been a while. We’re just trying to get back on the right track.”

Oak Hill gave up the first goal to Mountain Valley’s Kyle Duguay and needed more than eight minutes to get on the board.

Samson scored off an interception by Dylan Mulherin to tie it. Daniels delivered with help from Keith Madore — again, in transition — to make it 2-1 at the end of the first quarter.

Eric Lapointe and Fillion each found the net and extended the halftime lead to three.

“Today we jelled as a team. It finally came together,” first-year Oak Hill coach Steve Cobb said. “Our offense was clicking. Our defense was aggressive enough and smart enough. We started to fine-tune the little parts of our game.”

Daniels tacked on three goals and Rolston added a pair in the third period as Oak Hill’s skill and depth started to wear down Mountain Valley (0-5).

The Falcons feature only two multi-year starters after graduating a dozen seniors from last year’s squad.

“It’s a work in progress. It’s hard without a feeder system. We have five seniors who had never played before,” Mountain Valley coach Jeff Gilbert said. “Depth has been a major thing for us. Guys just have to keep playing the whole game.”

Travis Blanchard scored the other goal for Mountain Valley. Blanchard also played the fourth quarter in net, combining with David Widger for 12 saves.

Jon Averill assisted three Oak Hill goals. Madore, Mulherin and Cody Rolston were defensive standouts in front of Aronson.

“Our kids are learning,” Cobb said. “They’ve played together for a long time. They haven’t had the best direction. They’re athletic. They’re skilled lacrosse players, and they’re coming together bit by bit as a team.”

Oak Hill’s previous season high in the scoring column was six, in a one-goal, season-opening loss to Morse.

“I think we can compete with anyone in our league. It just depends on whether we show up for the game or not,” Aronson said. “It’s new. All new coaches. New attitude. New practice, drills, everything. Getting rid of the old routines that didn’t work.”

koakes@sunjournal.com

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