LEWISTON – Much different story, same bitter ending.
It’s hard to imagine a lacrosse team improving more dramatically in one month between games against a conference rival than Lewiston High School progressed from mid-April to mid-May.
But it was even harder for the Blue Devils to celebrate style points after the Brunswick Dragons finished Tuesday afternoon with four consecutive goals, capped by Drew Sfirri’s strike 2:23 into overtime, and escaped with an 8-7 Eastern Class A boys’ victory.
Henry Aschauer, Keith Vosmus and Kit Smith scored in succession to spin the final five minutes of regulation in the Dragons’ direction.
Lewiston’s lone possession of the extra session ended with a shot smothered harmlessly in the side of the net. Brunswick made its first march across midfield before Sfirri raced in from the sideline to begin his shift. He flagged down a feed from Aschauer and uncorked a relatively uncontested shot past the reach of goaltender Nate Rivet.
“This is the best team weve played and probably one of the best were going to play,” Sfirri said.
The game-winning goal ended two hours of frustration for Sfirri, who was held without a goal during regulation but not before losing track of the number of shots he rattled off the crossbar and posts.
Brunswick (8-1) similarly kept two of Lewiston’s leading snipers, Jon Fournier and Travis Lebrun, out of the cage.
“Oh, I was frustrated. I was coming off the field and hitting everything on the sideline,” said Sfirri. “Everybody was trying to tell me to relax and my time would come, but it wasn’t working.”
Sfirri didn’t play in Brunswick’s 10-3 home rout of Lewiston on April 17.
The Blue Devils (6-3) have improved exponentially since then. Now firmly ensconced in the No. 3 spot in Eastern A, Lewiston remains on a collision course with the Dragons for a possible regional semifinal playoff game next month that would be played in Brunswick by virtue of the regular-season sweep.
“I wouldn’t mind that,” said Lewiston coach Tom Fournier. “We knew (Brunswick wasn’t) going to just stand around and let us win it. They seemed to have a little more energy at the end than we did, but I’ll tell you what, my kids left it all on the field. If you’re a lacrosse fan, you had to like this game.”
Matt Manley and Zach Sheltra each scored a pair of goals for the Devils, who dominated the second quarter and much of the third to transform a 2-0 deficit into leads of 4-2 at halftime and 6-4 at the end of three.
Sheltra scored a goal in transition with 8:44 remaining, set up by feeds from Jon Fournier and Josh Rivet with the man advantage, to make it a three-goal cushion.
“We played them early in the season and were able to take advantage of it being early,” said Brunswick coach Don Glover. “They’ve obviously improved and gained a lot of confidence. We were prepared for a dogfight, and they came out and hit us right on the chin.”
Josh Rivet and Zack Blauvelt both scored a goal to complement Manley’s two tallies in the final 5:16 of the first half. Smith answered with two of his three goals in the third period before Manley set up J.R. Roy with a pinpoint pass from behind the cage.
Both goalies played splendidly in taking their teams to overtime. Brunswick’s Henry Mills made 19 saves. Nate Rivet deflected 13 shots for Lewiston.
Aschauer and Vosmus each scored twice for the Dragons. Lebrun dished out two Lewiston assists.
“There are three more league games, and then if we’re fortunate enough to advance in the playoffs, we’re playing well enough that we can compete with anybody,” Tom Fournier said.