St. Dom’s goalkeeper Simone Long makes a save on a shot by Meredith Feller of Freeport during the 2019 season Sun Journal photo by Daryn Slover

Editor’s note: This is the ninth in a series of stories about the effects of the cancellation of the spring sports season.

Don’t tell the seniors of the St. Dom’s girls lacrosse team that 2020 season was going to be a rebuilding year.

The defending Class C state champions lost five seniors and their second-leading scorer in junior Charlotte Gastonguay, but the Saints were ready to get back on the field and defend their title.

“We lost really good players and we lost one of our best players in Charlotte, obviously Avery (Lutrzykowski) and the other (outgoing) seniors,” said 2020 senior Mia-Angelina Leslie, who played midfield. “I think coming back, we would have been really strong. We had really good freshmen coming in and some of the girls coming in from last year’s (team) were coming in stronger.”

Lutrzykowski led the Saints with 47 goals and had 34 assists, while Gastonguay had 43 goals and 16 assists.

The team would also be under new coaching leadership as Leslie Klenk, the mother of Gastonguay, stepped down to become the girls lacrosse coach at Lewiston, where Charlotte has transferred. Athletic director J.P. Yorkey made a hire, but that person had to step down due to health issues and the position is currently vacant.

Mia-Angelina Leslie looks to make a pass during St. Dom’s Class C quarterfinal win over Boothbay in 2019. Sun Journal photo by Lee Horton

While the Saints were a high-scoring team a season ago, there was going to be a different feel to the 2020 squad. Leslie was the team’s top returning scorer with 26 goals and 15 assists during the 2019 season.

“We still had a bunch of good scorers, but they aren’t as strong as they can’t go all the way down the field by themselves,” senior goalie Simone Long said. “It would be more focused on teamwork and actually passing this year instead of hoping one person could get the ball in. “

Long was named second team All-Region goalie last year and was going to play a bigger role on the team this year. She made 111 saves and allowed 126 goals defending the crease last season.

“Simone is and always has been a valuable player on our team,” senior defender Raegan Hachey said. “I think that last season she didn’t get enough credit since the spotlight was often on our offense. She makes amazing saves every game and is also a very vocal goalie which helps us immensely on defense. She frustrated many other teams last year with her ability to stop shots against very good opponents. I think that she would have played a critical role to the team again this season as well.”

Long saved her best performance for her last game, making six saves in the state championship game as St. Dom’s defeated Lake Region 11-8.

“That game was pretty close because during the (regular) season, I remember that game being really close (Saints won 6-4) and Lake Region had a lot of really good shots,” Leslie said. “I know Shauna Hancock was a really good shooter and Simone, like, shut her down.”

Anna Cote of St. Dominic tries to find a path around Rene Carver, left, and Paige Davis of Lake Region during the Saints’ 11-8 win in the Class C girls’ lacrosse state championship game in 2019 at Fitzpatrick Stadium. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

Long limited Hancock to two goals in the state championship game and only once in the regular season meeting.

Long was ready for the challenge of being in the crease for this season.

“I think for the first couple of games (of the season) I would have to be more (focused) with everything,” Long said. “But after the initial nerves that would have gone and past everyone, I think it would be just like last year in terms of how I can play.”

The changing of the guard of this season would have allowed role players such as Hachey to have a bigger role on the team.

“I think that since we lost a lot of talent and leadership that there’s no doubt that I would have loved the opportunity to step up and help the team in any way I possibly could,” Hachey said.

Leslie said Hachey uses her speed and that makes her a good defender. She scooped up nine ground balls last season.

“She didn’t get a lot of recognition before, but I think this year would probably have been her year because she’s a really good defender,” Leslie said. “I think she would have gotten a lot recognition this year, and it’s sad she didn’t.”

Long said she was looking forward to see how junior defender and midfielder Emily Wallingford was going to make an impact this season. Another key player on defense was going to be junior Anna Cote who had 23 ground balls tied first on the team with Leslie and and Lutrzykowski. Cote had 54 draw controls which led the team and forced five turnovers.

The biggest thing all three players were looking forward to this season was being able to lead the team and teaching the younger players.

“I was definitely looking forward to working with the underclassman this season,” Hachey said. “I was especially excited to see (freshman) Natalie Brocke play since she had a great fall season playing soccer and has natural athleticism. I have no doubt that she is going to play a huge role on the team in the future.”

Long, who may go to Colby-Sawyer College in New London, New Hampshire, and try out for the lacrosse team, may help the Saints program and her protégé, freshman Emma Dalgliesh, who Long got to know during the field hockey season.

“I am kind of hoping next year, because I am not going too far away for college, that I can hop in for a couple of days just to kind of help the girls out for goalie lessons, to see if there’s any stress I can take off their shoulders by giving them tips I have learned over the years,” Long said.

Another thing the three were looking forward to was the annual game against Lewiston, this time with Gastonguay and Klenk on the other sideline.

“Charlotte is like my best friend; we definitely had a lot of conversations,” Leslie said. “She thinks she would beat us, but I don’t think so. She’s so good, she can play with both her left and right hands. She’s an awesome shooter. We would have had to double her, triple her, definitely play a zone against her because she’s just amazing.”

Leslie’s athletic career isn’t over. she’s going to play basketball at Westfield State in in Westfield, Massachusetts, while Hachey will be playing soccer at Anna Maria College in Paxton, Massachusetts.

“Besides from our success from last season,”Hachey said, “other memories that I cherish from the past would be playing with Mia and Simone since freshman year, listening to music on long bus rides with the whole team and also getting to learn from the upperclassman I played with throughout the years.”

While there’s disappointment not being able to defend the state title, there is a silver lining.

“I am kind of looking at it as I ended my (lacrosse career) with a state championship,” Long said.


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