AUBURN – It’s hard to win a lacrosse game when you can’t control the ball, and even harder still when the other team spends better than 75 percent of the game in its offensive zone.
St. Dom’s rode a new offensive set, which yielded four goals each from Tavian MacKinnon and Alex Pleau, to a convincing 13-2 win over Westbrook in boys lacrosse Saturday at St. Dom’s.
“After our disappointing loss (to Waynflete) we decided we didn’t want to lose again,” said Pleau. “We’ve really stepped our game up. We changed up our offense a lot to open up the middle a lot more.”
Connor Hughes chipped in with four assists for the Saints, who moved the ball well against the Westbrook defense.
The Blue Blazes (0-6) were flat-footed early, and paid for it throughout the game as they tried to play catch-up.
“We didn’t play to the level that we should have,” said Westbrook coach Zach Conover. “We just did not control the ball the way we normally do.”
The Saints (4-2), meanwhile, not only used their new offense to score in bunches against the Blue Blazes, but used a solid performance on defense to stymie any chance of their opponent making a comeback.
“The offense is coming together and the defense has been working very, very hard, working on keeping their sticks up, blocking the passing lanes and hopping on those ground balls when they’re there.”
Andrew Gilbert scored the first of his two goals to get things rolling for the Saints 4:12 into the first quarter, and Ben Adams followed with his only goal 1:13 later to give St. Dom’s an early cushion.
Two more quick goals by Pleau near the end of the first quarter staked the Saints to a 4-0 lead, and caused Conover to take his team’s first timeout.
St. Dom’s used goals from MacKinnon, Pleau and Gilbert in the second to jump out to a 7-0 lead before Matt Auger put the Blue Blazes on the board with 26 seconds to play in the half.
Early second-half pressure by Westbrook yielded both of the Blue Blazes’ shots and its lone goal of the third quarter, but St. Dom’s responded with three more to put the game away.
MacKinnon and Pleau fired home their last goals and Evan Gove got his lone goal of the game in the fourth to cap the scoring.
Westbrook netminder Danny Redmond took the loss despite 22 saves, several of them coming on tough shots from in tight.
“I can’t be upset with our keeper,” said Conover. “He was getting shelled, shelled from inside ten yards.”