GRAY — If you are looking for a textbook definition of laid-back or humility, speak with Gray-New Gloucester leading scorer Drew LaCerda for a few moments and you’ll get the picture.

But LaCerda was anything but easygoing when he punched in six goals, helping steer No. 4 G-NG (11-2) past No. 5 Erskine Academy (8-5) with a 14-5 victory in a Class B boys’ lacrosse quarterfinal on a rare sunny and warm Thursday afternoon.

In the first quarter, both teams appeared tentative and looked they needed a jolt of java. But once the Patriots found chinks in Erskine’s defense, the goals started going their way, with LaCerda leading the offense.

But in no way does LaCerda find being the leading scorer burdensome.

“No, it is alright. This year I have scored a lot, but our team passes the ball and gives me good opportunities,” LaCerda, a junior, said. “I think we played really well. We found good looks, not for me, but a lot of people scored.

“At first they (shots) weren’t going in, but I felt more comfortable once the game settled in. We played well and I had good shots.” 

Gray-New Gloucester coach Kris Parkin describes LaCerda as “a humble kid, which is good because he has had a lot of success this year. That puts him well into 60s for goals this season.

“I think he can lull people to sleep, but when he gets the ball,  you have to watch out. If his hands get free, he can rip it,” Parkin said.

By halftime, the Patriots were on sturdy ground with a a 6-2 lead before they erupted with five more goals in the third quarter.

But everybody got into the act on offense besides LaCerda, who also picked up an assist. Kyle Mercier turned in a hat trick, with teammates Travis Caron, Scott Lynch, Lawson Dunford, Sabin Merril and Hunter Brown each scoring a goal.

“I thought we played well. We came out maybe a little slow,” Parkin said. “It took a little while for things to get going. That’s typical of us. We tend to not trust ourselves in what we are doing…and it takes a little while to wake up.

“We had seven guys score. Drew obviously contributed quite a bit. But it was nice to see other guys get involved. I thought defensively we played well,” Parkin said. “I thought Brannon (Gilbert) had a great day in net. Erskine played hard the whole game. It was a clean game, which I was happy about. They are a well-coached team. Owen McDuffie on face-offs — he has been the key to our success this year. He does a get great job winning possessions for us. So I am really happy.

For Erskine, Hunter Rushing came away with a hat trick and Yanic Boulet and Myles Nored each scored a goal.

“I thought we battled back in the second half a little bit there,” Erskine coach Jason Wade said. “I think we got off to a slow start, which has been problems for us all year. 

“If we get off to a slow start, we have a lot of trouble recovering from that. I think we want to see more of a ball-movement game, and when we did that, we were successful,” Wade said. “And when decided not to do that, we are not successful. We just didn’t do some of the basic things that we could. I thought (G-NG) was well prepared. I thought they came to play. You know these guys are on their homefield, it is a playoff game and they were here.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Erskine Academy’s Hunter Rushing left, is pressured by Gray-New Gloucester’s Jacob Butler during Thursday’s lacrosse game in New Gloucester. Sun Journal photo by Russ Dillingham

Gray-New Gloucester’s Jacob Butler, right, passes to a teammate over Erskine Academy’s Ethan Furlong during the first half of Thursday afternoon’s lacrosse game in New Gloucester. Sun Journal photo by Russ Dillingham

Erskine Academy’s Gavin Blanchard, left and Gray-New GLoucester’s Owen McDuffie battle for control of the ball during Thursday’s lacrosse game in New Gloucester. Sun Journal photo by Russ Dillingham

Gray-New Gloucester’s Owen McDuffie, left and Erskine Academy’s Sam Smith, right, battle for a loose ball during Thursday afternoon’s game in New Gloucester. Sun Journal photo by Russ Dillingham


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