GARDINER — Cody Rodrigue and Troy Haefele swapped positions on the lacrosse field during their sixth grade year.
Haefele’s quickness and ability to pull the trigger were the hallmarks of an attackman. Rodrigue’s hand-eye coordination was befitting a goaltender.
Four short years later, undefeated St. Dominic Regional High School hopes the gamble is only beginning to pay dividends.
Rodrigue registered the first shutout of his high school career Monday afternoon, while sophomore classmate Haefele scored four goals and dished out four assists in the Saints’ 15-0 rout of Gardiner at Hoch Field.
“Troy’s dad (St. Dom’s coach David Haefele) was a goaltender and he thought I could do it,” Rodrigue said. “I wasn’t that good of a middie or an attack forward.”
Conversely, as a communicator with his teammates and as someone unafraid to stand in the line of fire, Rodrigue has emerged as one of the best in the state.
Rodrigue made 13 saves against Gardiner (7-4), many of them in spectacular fashion. The sophomore saw most of his action in the second half, with a double-digit margin on the scoreboard hastening running time and the Tigers desperate for a goal.
Shutouts in lacrosse are different and far more rare than goose eggs in soccer and hockey. Baseball’s no-hitter is probably closer to an equivalent accomplishment.
“The defense has been great,” Rodrigue said. “I talk to them a lot. They work hard out there.”
St. Dom’s relentless pursuit and fundamental footwork at the defensive end gave Gardiner precious few one-on-one looks at the cage.
Trevar Haefele scooped up eight groundballs to help the Saints (10-0) dominate time of possession. Tim Day and Anthony Fagone chalked up four apiece, with three each by Matt Adams, Dylan Rodrigue and Kevin Costello.
“Our defense was staying inside and doing exactly what they’re instructed to do,” David Haefele said. “It’s good for them to get the notoriety.”
That attention usually goes to the prolific St. Dom’s front line, which isn’t a surprise when you’re averaging 16 goals per game.
Adams had a stake in almost every goal for the Saints, scoring six and setting up five. Trevar Haefele added three goals and three assists. Day tacked on two of each.
The one-sided win was a far cry from St. Dom’s narrow 5-4 victory over Gardiner in the season-opener. Adams amassed four goals and two assists in the first quarter alone as the Saints served up a 7-0 lead.
It was 11-0 at halftime.
St. Dom’s followed its first meeting with Gardiner by surviving a 16-14 shootout with Morse. That rematch was a rout, too.
Since their first two games, the Saints — ranked No. 2 in Eastern Class B behind powerful Yarmouth — have overpowered their foes by a combined margin of 138-35.
“Trevar Haefele was away (on a senior missions trip) the first time we played Gardiner, and Tim Day was coming off a broken hand,” Rodrigue said. “We did fine in those games, but now the defense is really coming along. We’re only giving up three or four goals a game.”
Zero won’t hurt that average.