LEWISTON — Even broken, the play Lewiston used out of a timeout late in the fourth quarter against Messalonskee on Friday looked familiar.

The Blue Devils lined up with the ball carrier at the top of the box, four players across the middle and one behind the cage. They worked the ball to the left, to Max Bolduc. After several cuts, the ball was supposed to go inside.

“I was supposed to feed it across to Tanner after our middies set a pick inside, and I saw that Tanner wasn’t open and he tried to cut through,” Bolduc said, “so I rolled right off their defenseman, I saw an opening and I took it.”

Bolduc’s laser from 10 yards through a screen beat Messalonskee keeper Jake Smith over his right shoulder with 1:06 to play in regulation and Lewiston’s defense held on from there as the Blue Devils walked off with a 5-4 win over the Eagles at Bates College’s McDuffee Field.

“We haven’t even practiced that,” Lewiston coach Ben Fournier said. “Yesterday, I mentioned it to the team, I said, ‘You know, guys, if we get in a jam and we need a goal we might throw this in.’ We just went over it real quick.

“Actually, it didn’t even work as I drew it up,” Fournier added, “but Max had enough of a head on his shoulders to pull it out and redodge and score the goal.”

Fournier and brother Jon, both Lewiston High School graduates, had run that play as athletes on the team under their father, Tom, the team’s former coach.

The tally capped a furious fourth-quarter rally from Lewiston, which trailed 4-1 to begin the final 12-minute frame.

“This is our field, and we don’t like to lose here,” Bolduc said. “We played with all that we had.”

Hubbard pulled Lewiston to within two at 9:53 of the fourth when he capped a fast break situation on a feed from Taylor Vaillancourt.

A man-up situation gave Lewiston the chance to score its third, this one from Bolduc on a pass from Hubbard, and Hubbard added another with 2:43 to play to even things at 4-4.

“Defensively, we were just real consistent with our slides in the first half,” Messalonskee coach Tom Sheridan said. “Some kids made some really nice plays from the beginning. In the second half, I think we just gave them a little too much space. We talk about closing down that space, but in the fourth quarter, I think they just got a little more room to shoot.”

“Coach is always talking about changing the plane of our shots,” Bolduc said. “If you’re going to throw from high, go low, don’t go high and then stay high. I think that’s what changed in the fourth quarter, we started taking different angles with our shots.”

Patience has been a mantra for the Blue Devils (4-2) this season. It has to be, given the team’s short bench at the midfield position.

“With these kids, goals are going to come,” Fournier said. “It’s just a matter of time. We don’t have the numbers to run up and down the field with teams like Messalonskee and Mt. Ararat. We couldn’t win 13-12, but we can win 5-4 if we possess, which we did great (Friday) all game.”

“It wasn’t an offensive game, that’s for sure,” Sheridan said. “First part of the season, we came out flying, scoring a bunch of goals, and then it’s slowed down of late. We have to figure it out offensively and keep the tempo up.”

Messalonskee had the edge in the first half, getting a pair of goals from Aidan Calkins and one each from Ben Weeks and Eric Van Der Karr to build a 4-1 lead by halftime.

Driven by the bad memory of a recent home loss to Mt. Ararat, Lewiston recharged at halftime.

“It’s huge, especially coming back after a loss to Mt. Ararat at home,” Fournier said. “We told the kids, ‘There’s two way you can do this. You can pack it in, say we had a good season so far and that’s it. Or you can get to work and figure it out.’ That’s what we’ve done the past few days as practice, and they worked hard and it paid off.”


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