WALES — The Oak Hill/Lisbon/Monmouth Raiders wanted a test, and they got one Saturday at Stacen Doucette Memorial Field.

They got one, and they aced it.

Oak Hill defeated Portland 13-9 to improve to 6-0 halfway through the boys lacrosse season. It’s the second time in five days that the Class C Raiders beat a Class A opponent — following Tuesday’s 19-2 win over Edward Little.

“It feels good to have a (tough) game on the schedule,” Oak Hill/Lisbon/Monmouth attacker Tiger Hopkins said. “I feel like they played really well, and their coach did a good job defensively marking up our guys. They made a lot of good adjustments in the second half.”

Portland’s Nicholas Walsh shoves at Oak Hill/Lisbon/Monmouth’s Tiger Hopkins during Saturday’s game in Wales. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

Prior to Saturday’s game, the Raiders’ closest contest this season was Thursday’s 20-10 win over Maranacoock/Winthrop/Spruce Mountain.

Hopkins led all players with four goals, while teammates Travis Caron and Lukas Bergeron each had three goals and an assist. Carlos Braceras led Portland (2-3) with three goals.

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“They did a great job in transition all four quarters, and got ahead early,” Portland coach Mike DiFusco said. “We couldn’t catch up to them.”

Saturday’s victory was Oak Hill’s fourth in five days. The Raiders, the Class C state runner-up in 2021, finish up the regular season with a challenging second-half schedule that includes games against Class B contenders Brunswick (4-1) and Messalonskee (6-1), and a matchup with fellow Class C contender North Yarmouth Academy (5-0).

“We did OK (this week). We have definitely a lot of things to work on to where we want to go,” Hinkley said. “We will keep charging at it. We have some big games in the next two weeks coming up. It’s not an easy stretch. Four games in five days isn’t an easy stretch, but we have some tough games coming up.”

TAKING LEAD

Portland had controlled possession for the first three minutes of Saturday’s game, but Oak Hill jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals by Hopkins and D’Andre Daniels midway through the first quarter.

Oak Hill coach Joey Hinkley said the Raiders like playing from ahead.

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“It was big to get the kids into it,” Hinkley said. “Anytime we score first, it definitely gets the kids hyped up and gets them going from there.”

Jack Watson’s long-distance shot beat Oak Hill goalie Nate Michaud (nine saves) through Michaud’s five-hole at the 9:06 mark of the opening quarter.

That was the first of four goals between the two teams in a 66-second span. Lukas Bergeron scored for Oak Hill, Ben Littell answered for Portland, then Hopkins netted his second of the game to put Oak Hill/Lisbon/Monmouth up 4-2 lead 10:12 into the first quarter.

Oak Hill/Lisbon/Monmouth’s Tiger Hopkins is tripped up by Portland’s Herbie Bryant while in pursuit of the ball during Saturday’s game in Wales. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

Watson scored 51 seconds into the second quarter to get the Bulldogs within one goal.

Hopkins scored his third goal of the contest by picking up a loose ball and shooting past Portland goalie Clyde Spencer (10 saves).

Bergeron stretched the lead to 6-3 with his second goal at the 5:36 mark of the second quarter.

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Brady Toher scored 16 seconds later for Portland. Oak Hill’s Gavin Leet won the ensuing faceoff and scored on bounce shot that beat Spencer, extending the Raiders’ lead to 7-4.

Leet’s goal started a three-goal run by the Raiders. Caron scored the second and Hopkins the third after picking up the ball on a Michaud clear and shooting it into the back of the net.

“My teammates set me up; we have been practicing a lot,” Hopkins said. “We have been moving the ball and getting everybody some the love.”

Five different players scored for the Raiders on Saturday.

The Bulldogs added one more goal before halftime. Braceras ran from Portland’s defensive zone to the offensive zone, deked Michaud and shot the ball into the half-open net, cutting Oak Hill’s lead to 9-5 at the break.

Both teams played a more defensive game in the second half. Caron scored Oak Hill’s lone goal of the third quarter.

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Hinkley wasn’t concerned about the Raiders scoring only one goal in the third quarter because he wanted quality scoring chances instead of shooting for the sake of shooting.

“We settled (the game) down, wasted some time, and try to work (the ball) around for one good shot instead of three or four bad shots in a row,” Hinkley said.

Oak Hill/Lisbon/Monmouth’s Lukas Bergeron passes the ball as Portland’s Issak Muse attempts to block him during Saturday’s game in Wales. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

After Caron’s goal, Harry Rubin and Braceras scored to get the Bulldogs within two, 10-7, after three quarters.

Caron scored in the first minute of the fourth quarter to give the Raiders an 11-7 lead, but Braceras responded for Portland with his third goal of the game.

Every time the Bulldogs’ got within three goals, Oak Hill pushed the lead back to four. Bergeron scored his third goal of the game off an assist by Gage Spier for a 12-8 lead.

Hopkins said Caron and Bergeron stepped up in the second half.

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“I think we do our best when our team is involved,” Hopkins said. “It’s not good for me to press and try to look out for me when we got guys like Lukas Bergeron and Travis Caron getting the ball in the second half.”

Rubin scored halfway through the fourth quarter to again get the Bulldogs within three goals, but the Raiders only allowed two more shots on goal the remainder of the contest.

“We were looking for better quality shots, and we were trying to possess the ball the best we could,” DiFusco said. “We tried to force them to turn the ball over.”

Leet scored his second goal of the game to cap the scoring and give the Raiders a 13-9 lead with three-and-half remaining in the game.

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