Friday, April 19, 2024

Boys’ lacrosse shows potential during season-opening win over Scarborough

By Matt Pascarella

In its season opener, Windham’s varsity boys’ lacrosse team traveled to Scarborough on Thursday, April 11 to take on the Red Storm and came away a winner.

Windham senior Tobias Perkins keeps a defender away as
he looks to take a shot during the boys' lacrosse
season-opener at Scarborough High on Thursday,
A slow start led to the Eagles being down 3-0 after one quarter. However, this didn’t last long, and Windham came back to pull ahead after three quarters, held on to that lead and kept Scarborough to one goal in the fourth quarter which gave Windham their first ‘W’ of the season with an 8-6 victory.

“I trusted my defense because I knew they could get it done and help,” said Windham freshman goalie Zach Gagne who had an impressive 13 saves during the game. “The defense played amazing ... same as the offense, we all just played as a team. Our mindset as a defense was to just keep pounding, keep getting after it because it can change in an instant.”

Windham moved the ball well, and although the first quarter was scoreless, they had multiple solid shots at goal. They stayed with the ball and remained aggressive, as they worked to recover loose balls.

In the second quarter, Windham defense really intensified as they only let one goal in, while offense scored several. Sophomores Jack Henry and Garrett Winslow each scored. Then senior Tobias Perkins found the back of the net and the game was tied 3-3. Winslow fired another shot that bounced off Scarborough’s goalie post.

Scarborough managed to get one goal before the end of the first half and led, 4-3.

“We play hard as a group, no matter what,” said Henry. “Our mindset was to play as hard as we can, don’t ever give up, and hustle the whole time. Our defense really helped us stay in that game; our goalie really helped us stay in that game. We knew we could come back [after the first quarter]. Something that went really well was our defense and clearing the ball, getting the offense the ball and moving the ball. Getting better shot selections needs work.”

Windham kept up the intensity and Henry quickly tied the game 4-4 in the third quarter. Windham stayed with the ball as the Eagles and Red Storm went back and forth in a close, hard-fought game. Windham pulled ahead after senior Blake McPherson scored before the end of the third quarter.

“After we scored our first goal in the second [quarter] everyone was electric,” said McPherson. “It just woke us up. We stuck together and no one started chirping ... we got the win together, no one really singled it out by themselves. Defense went really well, our sliding when we got beat, our clears went really well. We could have done a little bit better on offense, taking a little better shot selection.”

The Eagles were going after the win, and they played like a team that wanted it more. Senior Landon Buzulchuck scored in the first minute of the fourth quarter. Perkins scored again. Defense remained powerful and Scarborough was unable to recover.

“First game of the season,” said Windham varsity boys’ lacrosse coach Peter Small. “We’ve had inclement weather, how much have people practiced; Scarborough’s a tough opponent, huge tradition ... we knew some things we thought we were doing pretty well. The question was what would happen in live action when you got on the field. You get down like that and people start to doubt themselves, they start to doubt their teammates, they start to get chippy. We didn’t see a single iota of that; [Windham] just kept playing the game. They showed that they trusted each other, and they trusted themselves to keep playing lacrosse. We moved the ball offensively really well and the defense was communicating ... the crisp passes at midfield we felt pretty good about. We can always take better shot selections, defensively moving our feet a little more.” <

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