GRAY — The Gray-New Gloucester/Poland boys lacrosse team got off to a hot start in Saturday’s 17-5 win over Massabesic, scoring 12 of its goals in the first half.

The 26ers (4-4) were led by Aries Plourde’s game-high four goals and hat tricks from Ben Powell and Ashten Golebiewski. Also in the offensive mix was Conner Boulay, Noah Shaeffer and Tucker Nelson with two goals apiece, while Caden Ouellette and Isaiah Portas added one goal each.

Gray-New Gloucester/Poland coach Tyler DeMoore-Gonzalez said the 26ers’ offensive success was generated by ball movement and only taking smart shots. They only had one day to prep for Saturday morning’s game, but watching film helped the players know when to move the ball versus when to take a shot.

“Ben and Aries have been our staples of our offense, and they’ve found success with some of the best teams that we’ve played this year,” DeMoore-Gonzalez said. “So, yeah, it’s pretty normal for them (to score multiple goals a game).”

The 26ers held the Mustangs (3-6) to one goal, scored by Sam Stephenson, in the first quarter. The Mustangs found the back of the net four times in the second quarter, leading DeMoore-Gonzalez to reset the strategy at halftime to prevent a third-quarter run.

“Our game plan the whole time worked against what they were doing,” DeMoore-Gonzalez said. “We just didn’t perform it in the first half, and I think having that second (quarter) and then we meditated in the middle. We always try to do meditation, and I think that kind of woke up got us the spot we needed.”

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Gray-New Gloucester/Poland didn’t allow a goal after halftime.

Mustangs coach Blake Foglio said his players calmed down in the second half and stopped chasing out of the box, which helped them hold the 26ers to only four goals in the second half.

“I think they kind of laid off a little bit in the second half, but getting a little bit more relaxed, getting back a little sooner was helpful,” Foglio said. “I think our fast break worked really well, but just trying to settle and possess a little bit more (would’ve generated scoring opportunities).”

The second half got progressively chippier between the Mustangs and 26ers, and Plourde found himself with a few penalties. Plourde said he was proud that he went two games without a single penalty, but played into the more aggressive style on Saturday.

“They were pretty aggressive team. I got laid out off the whistle, so I talked back a little bit — you know, that’s on me,” Plourde said about his trip call. “I shouldn’t have said that, got a trip call, but that’s pretty much it. It’s only up from here.”

Plourdes also noted that it’s common in boys lacrosse for the trailing team to play increasingly more aggressive, as the Mustangs did when facing a 10-goal deficit.

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Despite his penalties, Plourdes said he took the chance to “be honorable, and know that, ‘Hey, I have other teammates who need to play as well,’ so I took myself out at the end of the game.”

Massabesic also had several players in the box on technical fouls, and at least four players came off with injuries. Powell said the Class B 26ers expected Saturday to be a more evenly matched game against the Class A Mustangs, but he said he felt like the 26ers were better prepared to win.

“We have a lot of open looks on the inside, we just can’t force it,” Powell said. “Just staying patient and moving the ball, if you don’t force the ball where it shouldn’t be, it works out.”

DeMoore-Gonzalez also lauded the play of Gray-NG/Poland goalie Kyle Plummer. Plummer is headed to play at Husson University next season, and he currently sits as the career leader in saves at Gray-New Gloucester.

Additionally, DeMoore-Gonzalez said Ouellete was solid on attack and is creeping very close to hitting 100 career points. Shaeffer is headed to St. Joe’s to play next year, and DeMoore-Gonzalez said he has been a steady at adding points this season.

Foglio said Massabesic junior goalie Alden Densmore kept the Mustangs in the game, especially in the second half when he logged 13 saves on 14 shots.

“It’s his first year starting on varsity,” Foglio said. “The kid’s got two years of JV time and he’s super athletic, like he’s got the most confidence I’ve ever seen in anybody.”


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