LEWISTON — The Lewiston Blue Devils found out the hard way how costly penalties can be Saturday.

While they were only whistled for four infractions, the Deering Rams cashed in on three man advantages on their way to earning a 6-1 Eastern Class A semifinal boys’ lacrosse win.

After the two teams battled to a 1-1 stalemate through two quarters, the third-seeded Rams (9-5) erupted to score four times in the third, with two coming by way of a 6-on-5 man advantage in the offensive zone.

Senior Matt Flaherty put the home team up 2-1 early in third when he set up high in the offensive zone and beat his defender one-on-one. Flaherty broke toward the Lewiston goal and fired a bouncing shot past keeper Tom Lepage (nine saves).

“Coach gives me a lot of freedom,” said Flaherty, who scored in similar fashion in the first quarter. “It’s usually in some form of a system. I try to keep it under control.”

Time and again, the Rams put speed on top and tried to beat a Lewiston defender man to man. While they were successful on occasion, the Blue Devils shut most of the attempts down.

“We try to isolate and get against a short stick that we like,” Deering coach Jon Dubois said.

The 2-1 score remained until the seventh-seeded Blue Devils (7-7) were tagged with a slashing penalty at the 4:51 mark of the quarter. Just 14 seconds later, Deering’s Anthony Verville put a spin move on a Lewiston defender in front before spotting up from seven yards out and firing the ball into the back of the net.

Less than a minute later the Rams capitalized again on a Blue Devils’ slashing call. This time Karl Rickett found Rick Murray stationed out in front of the crease. Murray merely turned and beat Lepage who had no chance in stopping the point blank shot, and the Rams led 4-1.

“We run man-up every day in practice,” said Dubois, whose team tacked on another man-up tally in the fourth. “We threw three different looks at them and scored three different goals.”

All three advantage goals came quickly for the Rams, who gave the visitors no time to execute their shorthanded defense.

“We had a couple of lapses and they’re a good team,” Lewiston assistant coach Tim Roy said. “They make you pay.”

The first half saw solid defensive efforts on both ends. The Blue Devils saw the few offensive chances they had go astray as twice a player was open in front, but they couldn’t execute the pass and catch. They also saw Max Bolduc clang a shot off the post while an in-tight attempt was snuffed out by Rams keeper Nick Martin (eight saves).

The Blue Devils had one of their four man advantages carry over to the second half, only to see two shots sail wide, including one off the stick of Tanner Hubbard.

“We had a couple of chances in the first quarter,” Lewiston coach Bill Bodwell said. “We hit a post and the goalie made a big save. We held them pretty well in that first half.”

The lone Lewiston tally began with Matt Melanson setting up behind the Deering cage. After maneuvering around and allowing his teammates to cut through the crease area, the senior midfielder found Chris Johnson open in front. Johnson’s shot from 15 yards out beat Martin to tie the score at 1-1.

Deering would pull away with Isaac Santerre adding the fifth goal and Flaherty tacking on the final score in the fourth.

“We came out and won a lot of (ground balls),” said Flaherty. “Possession was a big thing for us today.”


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