South Portland High School’s Kaya Backman (12) and St. Dominic Academy’s Payton Winslow (16) battle for a loose ball during their lacrosse match in Auburn on Saturday. Also in on the play are St. Dom’s Caroline Gastonguay (3) and South Portland’s Amelia Papplardo (26). (Justin Pelletier/Sun Journal)
AUBURN — Emma Theriault and Mia-Angelina Leslie were in position, and this time their teammates found them
Including their low attackers in the offense added another dangerous element to the Saints’ attack, and helped St. Dom’s pull off a 20-6 girls’ lacrosse win over South Portland on Saturday.
Theriault was particularly productive, scoring four goals and dishing two assists. Leslie added one goal.
“One of the things that we noticed in the last game is that we weren’t getting to (Emma) and Mia,” St. Dom’s coach Leslie Klenk said. “Our goal today was to make sure we get the ball down there to those two girls, and I think Mia didn’t get as many, but Emma did.”
The midfielders set up the attackers often, but Theriault hustled her way to her first goal when she tracked down a rebound of her own miss and put the ball in the net to put the Saints up 4-1.
“I kind of was off-course my first shot, I picked up my own rebound and just put it in,” Theriault said.
St. Dom’s opened the season with a rain-shortened 16-4 win over Fryeburg on Thursday. The game was called after about 20 minutes, and wasn’t made official until Saturday afternoon.
Klenk said the Saints struggled in their transition game Thursday, but performed much better against South Portland.
“It’s not to where I want it yet, but it was liked a 75 percent improvement from (Thursday),” Klenk said.
The Saints took control of Saturday’s game quickly. Freshman Charlotte Gastonguay scored off an assists from senior Caroline Gastonguay only 16 seconds into the game.
South Portland had a fast response, tying the game less than a minute-and-a-half later on a goal by Jena Leckie.
That’s where St. Dom’s took off. Theriault set up Charlotte Gastonguay 67 seconds later. Gastonguay’s free-position goal about three minutes later gave her a hat trick barely five minutes into the game.
Two goals by Theriault and another by Caroline Gastonguay made the lead 6-1.
After Leckie’s second goal, the Saints reeled off four straight, and then Caroline Gastonguay’s goal off a faceoff with 10 seconds left capped a stretch of five unanswered goals and gave St. Dom’s a 15-4 halftime lead.
Charlotte Gastonguay scored all six of her goals in the first half. Along with Theriault and the Gastonguays, Leslie, Rileigh Stebbins and Avery Lutrzykowski also had first-half goals.
Theriault and Lutrzykowski (three goals, one assists) scored twice in the second half, while Gastonguay (five goals, five assists) added one.
“They definitely had phenomenal stick skills and they had speed. They just connected as a team,” South Portland coach Leslie Dyer said. “They played a phenomenal game. They passed and caught everything, and they were high-pressure all over the field.”
Saints sophomore goalkeeper Simone Long stopped five shots.
“Simone did a great job coming up and getting the saves that she did,” Klenk said.
South Portland goalie Maya Ellington finished with nine saves.
Paige Fleming matched Leckie with two goals for the Red Riots, wile Kaya Backman and Molly Walker each added one.
South Portland (0-1) had never seen St. Dom’s play and was playing its first game of the season. Dyer compares the Class C Saints to some of the teams the Red Riots will see in Class A South this season, including defending A champ Massabesic.
“They were a good team, and that’s something where we certainly have a lot of work to do for our future,” Dyer said. “I would say that they’re pretty comparable with Massabesic, who also has phenomenal stick skills and has some speed. So, it’s a preview of what’s to come, and, you know, if you want to go far you have to play good teams, and they were a darn good team.”
St. Dom’s (2-0) is off until Monday, May 7, when it hosts Cape Elizabeth.
St. Dominic Academy’s Charlotte Gastonguay, right, in white, fires the ball off the hip of South Portland keeper Maya Ellington and into the cage for an early goal in the teams’ game in Auburn on Saturday. (Justin Pelletier/Sun Journal)
South Portland High School’s Jena Leckie (17) tries to get past St. Dominic Academy’s Hannah Trottier-Braun during their game in Auburn on Saturday. (Justin Pelletier/Sun Journal)South Portland High School’s Amelia Papplardo (26) drives around St. Dominic Academy’s Rileigh Stebbins during their game in Auburn on Saturday. (Justin Pelletier/Sun Journal)South Portland High School’s Paige Fleming (10) and St. Dominic Academy’s Caroline Gastonguay fight for control of the opening faceoff of their game in Auburn on Saturday. (Justin Pelletier/Sun Journal)South Portland High School’s Jena Leckie twists to retrieve an errant pass during a game against St. Dominic Academy in Auburn on Saturday. (Justin Pelletier/Sun Journal)