LEWISTON — A little halftime pep talk and a knock to the head were all Henry Nguyen and the Edward Little offense needed to turn things around Thursday to secure just their second-ever victory over Lewiston in boys’ lacrosse.

Nguyen netted three goals in the second half and the Red Eddies’ defense held off a late effort from the Blue Devils as EL topped Lewiston 6-3 at Morgan McDuffee Field on the campus of Bates College.

“Once we got our first goal, we got our momentum going,” Nguyen said. “We started coming out, scoring goals and flying.”

Trailing by a goal at halftime, the Eddies (2-3) continued to generate chances in the early part of the third quarter, but a stout Lewiston defense and some unlucky bounces allowed the Devils to retain their 1-0 advantage.

“We came out pretty flat-footed. They were just locking us down. We couldn’t get open,” Nguyen said.

“They could have put in a few, but the bounces were going our way in the first half,” Lewiston coach Ben Fournier said. “We had a great effort by our defense, and Zach (Paquette) played great in net, made a bunch of really good saves early on. They really kept us in it.”

The dam finally burst 2:26 into the third, when Matt Adams equalized. Calvin Bureau gave the Eddies the lead 4:28 later.

Meanwhile, Nguyen had to come out of the game for some repairs after a collision opened a cut on his forehead. When he returned, he was on fire. He scored 1:05 after Bureau to put EL ahead 3-1, and after a late third-quarter goal from Reilly Bolduc pulled Lewiston within one, Nguyen followed teammate Cam Cormier’s tally with two more, including the game-clincher with 6:21 to play.

“We knew that if we could get a few goals of a lead, we could hold that lead,” Nguyen said.

In particular, Nguyen’s second goal — Edward Little’s fifth — displayed his speed, as he beat a mismatched defender around the left side and laced a shot past Paquette.

“Henry’s a great dodger, and we know he’s going to create space with that first step,” Cobb said. “When you see a short-stick on him, or a flat-footed long-stick, you like to see him take it to the cage.”

The controlled pace of the second half played much better into Edward Little’s plans than the frenetic pace of the first.

“I think we just slowed it down,” Cobb said. “We had a lot of opportunities in the first half. We just didn’t score. We were shooting around the net. We were shooting at the goalie. I think we got some breaks, finally put the ball in the net and found some matchups, like Henry.”

Even with the three goal lead in the waning minutes, though, Cobb — a Lewiston lacrosse alumnus — and his charges weren’t comfortable.

“Never,” Cobb said quickly. “Never. Lewiston’s a very good team, well coached, and they have a lot of speed so they can score really quickly. At no point did we ever feel comfortable.”

For Cobb, who played with Fournier at Lewiston, Thursday’s victory is his first against Lewiston as a coach in three seasons at the helm, and for Edward Little, the win is only the second ever over Lewiston since both teams began sponsoring lacrosse programs.

“We’re growing, we’re going in the right direction,” Cobb said. “I’m really proud of these guys.”

Fournier wasn’t unhappy with the Devils’ (2-4) effort, either.

“We played well, I was happy with the way we played, but EL played great,” Fournier said. “Their goalie (Chris Poisson, 10 saves) played great. He stood on his head for them back there.

“We knew it was going to be a battle, no matter what the records were, because it’s that Lewiston-EL rivalry,” Fournier said. “They happened to come out on top today.”


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