Brunswick’s boys’ lacrosse team whoops it up after receiving the championship trophy following Saturday’s epic, 18-17, overtime win over Scarborough in the Class A state final.
Adam Birt photos.
More photos below.
B- 3 5 5 4 1- 18
S- 5 5 0 7 0- 17
10:37 S Manfra (unassisted)
10:16 B A. Glover (unassisted)
8:14 S Guerette (unassisted)
7:48 B A. Glover (Eno)
6:56 S Neugebauer (unassisted)
5:23 S Manfra (unassisted)
4:35 B Dorr (unassisted)
2:33 S Neugebauer (Manfra)
10:04 B Gramins (C. Glover)
7:06 S Wasser (unassisted)
6:53 B C. Glover (unassisted)
6:34 B C. Glover (unassisted)
5:42 B Eno (unassisted)
5:13 S Guerette (unassisted) (MAN-UP)
4:41 S Manfra (unassisted)
2:06 S Neugebauer (unassisted)
1:10 B Eno (Dorr) (MAN-UP)
25.8 S Thibault (Granzier)
9:16 B A. Glover (Dorr) (MAN-UP)
6:50 B Dorr (unassisted)
6:25 B A. Glover (unassisted)
5:55 B Gramins (B. Palizay)
3:00 B Dorr (A. Glover) (MAN-UP)
11:19 S Neugebauer (unassisted)
9:28 B Doherty (unassisted)
8:22 S Neugebauer (unassisted)
7:41 S Guerette (Parks)
7:24 B C. Glover (unassisted)
5:23 S Guerette (unassisted)
4:40 S Parks (Guerette)
3:49 B Gramins (A. Glover)
2:14 S Guerette (unassisted)
1:46 S Neugebauer (unassisted)
10.3 B Dorr (unassisted)
2:47 B Dorr (A. Glover)
B- Dorr 5, A. Glover 4, C. Glover, Gramins 3, Eno 2, Doherty 1
S- Neugebauer 6, Guerette 5, Manfra 3, Parks, Thibault, Wasser 1
B- Dorr, A. Glover 2, Eno, C. Glover, B. Palizay 1
S- Granzier, Manfra, Parks 1
Faceoffs (Brunswick, 27-12)
B- Jensen 27 of 39
S- Quartararo 11 of 38, Lagerquist 1 of 1
Ground balls (Brunswick, 47-27)
B- C. Glover 12, Jensen 11, Dorr 6, A. Glover 5, Gramins, Hummer, B. Palizay 3, Eno 2, G. Palizay, Pendergast 1
S- Quartararo 6, Joy, Neugebauer, Quirk, Thibault 3, Manfra, Wasser 2, Lagerquist, Manfra, Mazzaro, Murray, Parks 1
Shots on cage:
B (Pendergast) 11
S (Joy) 15
PORTLAND—After a game like this, you can see why Scarborough coach Joe Hezlep feels the need to retire.
That’s because he aged a couple of decades in a couple whirlwind hours Saturday night at Fitzpatrick Stadium.
And wound up with nothing but heartbreak to show for it.
Heartbreak, but appreciation as well.
Appreciation for his opponent, the valiant Brunswick Dragons, and for a game, the Class A state final, that no one on hand will ever forget.
In a rematch of last year’s contest that the Red Storm won with ease, 18-10, it was clear from the onset that once again offense would be plentiful and the only question was whether or not the Dragons could keep up.
They could, and as a result, arguably the most exciting state final ever produced was the end result.
Junior Marco Manfra, Scarborough’s hero of the regional final, opened the scoring, but in a sign of things to come, Brunswick answered right back, as sophomore Aiden Glover scored his first goal.
Scarborough went back on top on a goal from senior Marc Guerette, but again Glover tied the score.
After senior sharpshooter Sam Neugebauer and Manfra gave the Red Storm a two-goal advantage, senior Josh Dorr answered for the Dragons. A late goal from Neugebauer put the Red Storm on top, 5-3, after one period and the fun was just beginning.
After junior Max Gramins opened the second quarter scoring for Brunswick, juniro Brandon Wasser answered for Scarborough.
The Dragons then took their first lead, as senior Christian Glover scored twice in 19 seconds and junior Andrew Eno added a goal, but tallies from Guerette, Manfra and Neugebauer put the Red Storm ahead by two.
Late in the half, Eno and senior Cam Thibault traded goals and the Red Storm were up, 10-8, at the break.
In the third period, Brunswick did the unthinkable, shutting down Scarborough’s prolific attack, and the Dragons raced into the lead behind goals from Aiden Glover, Dorr, Glover again, Gramins and Dorr again to go on top, 13-10.
To no one’s surprise, back roared the Red Storm in the fourth.
Neugebauer’s goal ended a 13-plus-minute drought, but junior Henry Doherty answered for Brunswick. Goals from Neugebauer and Guerette pulled Scarborough within a goal, but Christian Glover countered.
Guerette and sophomore Mason Parks then scored to tie the score, but with 3:49 to play, Gramins put the Dragons back ahead, 16-15.
The Red Storm weren’t finished, as Guerette scored to tie it with 2:14 remaining and 28 seconds later, Neugebauer scored unassisted to give Scarborough a 17-16 advantage.
Brunswick’s title dreams were suddenly on life support, but Dorr single-handedly kept them alive by scoring unassisted with 10.3 seconds on the clock and the game would go to overtime.
After the teams traded turnovers to begin the “sudden victory” overtime, the Dragons executed a perfect play, as Aiden Glover fed Dorr, whose shot got past Red Storm senior goalie Dom Joy and in breathtaking fashion, Brunswick was the Class A champion, 18-17, in the highest-scoring game in Maine state final history.
In a game which featured eight ties and five lead changes, the Dragons completed a perfect 16-0 campaign, won the program’s third state title and in the process, ended Scarborough’s season at 12-3, handing the Red Storm their first-ever loss on the big stage.
“Going into the game, we knew (Scarborough’s) a great program with a great coach,” said Brunswick coach Don Glover. “They’re so skilled. We knew it would be fast break and high scoring. When we scripted it, we knew they’d draw blood and we’d give up goals. We had to counter and move on. The ebb and flow was amazing.”
“This one had everything,” Hezlep said. “We got up, they got up. No one ever quit. Two well-coached teams. It was fun to watch. Neither team panicked.”
Hezlep has led Scarborough to a level of greatness reserved for only a few teams in state annals, but his tenure began anything but auspiciously.
On April 29, 2008, the Red Storm were humbled at home by eventual Class B champion Yarmouth, 19-6.
There was nowhere to go but up from there and that’s where Scarborough went (and stayed). By the end of that season, the Red Storm had lost just once more and after rolling through the Western A field, Scarborough edged Brunswick, 8-6, to give Hezlep his first title (it was the Red Storm’s second, following a 14-2 triumph over Lewiston in 2006).
Scarborough would go on to win Class A again in 2010 (8-6 over Portland), 2011 (6-4 over Lewiston), 2012 (9-4 over Cheverus), 2013 (15-4 over Cheverus) and again last spring (18-10 over Brunswick).
The Dragons have been no stranger to state finals either, even though they haven’t enjoyed as much success.
Brunswick’s first state game appearance resulted in a 15-7 loss to Cape Elizabeth in 2002.
The Dragons won their first championship in 2007, beating Portland in the Class A Final, 12-9. The Bulldogs won a rematch two years later, 9-3, then it took Brunswick five years to get back to the final, where it lost, 10-8, to South Portland in the 2014 contest. The following season, the Dragons avenged that loss by beating the Red Riots, 13-9. Last year, Brunswick simply couldn’t stop Scarborough’s onslaught.
This spring, Brunswick ran the table with just one scare, an overtime home win over Kennebunk. As the top seed in Class A North, the Dragons ousted No. 8 Windham (15-7) in the quarterfinals, No. 4 Cheverus (12-8) in the semifinals and second-seeded Lewiston (14-8) in Wednesday’s regional final.
As was the case in 2008, Scarborough lost its opener this season, 14-13, in overtime, at South Portland. The Red Storm also lost early to Cape Elizabeth, but closed on an eight-game win streak. As the top seed in Class A South, Scarborough earned a bye into the semifinals, then had to rally from four goals down to survive No. 4 Gorham (6-5). Wednesday’s regional final versus second-ranked Thornton Academy was a goal-scoring frenzy, but thanks to nine goals from Manfra, the Red Storm advanced, 20-16.
Saturday, Scarborough scored 17 goals, but a repeat title required even more in a dizzying display of offensive wizardry that left everyone who saw it exhausted and exhilarated.
In a scene that would be repeated throughout the first half, Brunswick senior Christian Jensen won the opening faceoff and the Dragons had the first look, but Gramins shot wide.
The Red Storm’s first possession resulted in the game’s first goal, as with 10:37 to go in the first quarter, Manfra continued his sizzling play with an unassisted goal and a 1-0 lead.
It took Brunswick a mere 21 seconds to pull even, as Aiden Glover beat Joy unassisted.
The Dragons went man-up as well, as junior Eric Quirk was called for unnecssary roughness before the goal, but Joy denied Dorr, a Dorr bounce shot went over the cage, Gramins shot wide, Christian Glover missed wide and Gramins had a shot saved by Joy.
Scarborough went back on the attack and after Guerette missed high, he got the ball back and scored unassisted with 8:14 remaining for a 2-1 lead.
Again, Brunswick came right back, as 26 seconds later, Eno set up Aiden Glover for the tying goal.
Jensen won the ensuing faceoff, but the Dragons turned the ball over and after Guerette had a shot blocked, Neugebauer scored unassisted with 6:56 on the clock for a 3-2 advantage.
This time, the Red Storm got the next goal too as after the teams traded turnovers, Manfra scored unassisted for a 4-2 lead with 5:23 remaining.
Brunswick pulled within a goal with 4:35 to go, as Dorr scored his first goal, unassisted.
Doherty missed high on a chance to tie the score and after Dragons sophomore goalie Connor Pendergast made his first save, denying Thibault, Manfra fed Neugebauer in transition for a 5-3 advantage with 2:33 remaining.
Late in the quarter, Manfra just missed, Doherty was robbed by Joy and Aiden Glover and Eno both missed wide.
Brunswick got possession early in the second quarter and after Christian Glover just missed and Eno was denied by Joy, Christian Glover set up Gramins for a goal to cut the deficit to 5-4 with 10:04 left in the half.
After Neugebauer and Guerette both missed wide and Neugebauer was robbed by Pendergast, Wasser had a shot saved as well, but he managed to knock the rebound into the cage to extend the lead.
The Dragons’ offense then roared to life to produce their first advantage.
With 6:53 remaining before halftime, Christian Glover launched a shot from his longstick which Joy couldn’t stop and it tickled the twine to cut the deficit to one.
Nineteen seconds later, after a Jensen faceoff win, Christian Glover scored again unassisted to make it 6-6.
After Dorr shot wide and Joy robbed Gramins, Eno pounced on the rebound and finished with 5:42 on the clock to give Brunswick the lead.
Scarborough drew even man-up, as after Dragons senior Sullivan Boyd was called for holding, Guerette tied the game unassisted with 5:13 remaining.
Manfra’s final goal, unassisted, put the Red Storm back ahead 32 seconds later.
Christian Glover almost tied the game, but his shot hit the post.
Scarborough then went up by two, as after Pendergast denied Guerette and Manfra, Neugebauer managed to score unassisted while flying through the air.
After Neugebauer hit the post, the Dragons got a goal back man-up, as Dorr set up Eno with 1:10 to go, but with 25.8 seconds remaining, sophomore Andrew Granzier passed to Thibault, who finished to give the Red Storm a two-goal lead again.
Joy denied Aiden Glover just before halftime and Scarborough took a 10-8 lead to the break.
In the first half, Brunswick won 16 of 20 faceoffs and had a big edge in ground balls, as well as a slight 25-22 edge in shots, but Joy made six saves to help the Red Storm keep the lead.
The Dragons then controlled the third period to put themselves in optimal position.
Early in the second half, Brusnwick began to pepper Joy, as they went on a two-man advantage, as Quirk had to go to the box for two minutes, locked in, for an illegal body check to the head.
The goalie held the Dragons off initially, saving a shot by Christian Glover, but with 9:16 on the clock, Dorr set up Aiden Glover to cut the deficit to one.
After Neugebauer shot wide, Dorr had a shot saved.
At the other end, Granzier shot wide and Guerette was denied by Pendergast.
With 6:50 remaining in the frame, Dorr beat Joy to the upper corner to tie the score for the fifth time, 10-10.
Scarborough won the ensuing faceoff, but turned the ball over and at the other end, Aiden Glover scored unassisted, burying a shot up high, for an 11-10 lead with 6:25 to go.
Thirty seconds later, Brunswick got on the board again, as senior Ben Palizay set up Gramins.
Pendergast then denied Neugebauer, Guerette and Neugebauer again.
“One of the tactical pieces we changed in the third quarter was taking a chance on locking off their great attackmen,” Don Glover said. “We had to make things happen and go all-in. We took a chance and it worked out.”
With 3:54 remaining, Neugebauer came off for a minute for an ilegal body check and the Dragons took advantage, as after Joy robbed Eno and Palizay shot wide, Aiden Glover set up Dorr for a 13-10 lead with exactly 3 minutes on the clock.
Down the stretch, Manfra shot wide and Joy denied Gramins and the Dragons took a three-goal advantage to what proved to be a wild final stanza.
Scarborough sophomore Nick Quartararo won the faceoff to start the frame and 41 seconds in, Neugebauer ended the 13:06 drought by scoring unassisted.
Brunswick got the goal back with 9:28 to play, as Doherty fought through the defense and beat Joy.
Neugebauer countered unassisted with 8:22 on the clock and after Pendergast denied bids by Neugebauer and Granzier, Parks set up Guerette for a goal with 7:41 remaining, cutting the deficit to just one, 14-13.
Again, the Dragons refused to give up the lead, as Jensen won the faceoff to Christian Glover, who raced in, shot and scored with 7:24 on the clock.
After Joy kept his team alive by denying Aiden Glover, Joy ran across midfield before passing ahead to Guerette, who scored with 5:23 to play, again cutting the deficit to one.
It took just 43 seconds for Scarborough to draw even, as Guerette passed to Parks, whose shot deflected off a defender, changed directions, and got past Pendergast to make it 15-15.
Jensen won the ensuing faceoff and after Palizay shot wide, Aiden Glover set up Gramins on the doorstep to put Brunswick back on top, 16-15, with 3:49 remaining.
The Dragons almost got an insurance goal, but Doherty just missed wide and Christian Glover had a rocket saved by Joy.
The Red Storm then forged the game’s seventh tie, as with 2:14 to play, Guerette scored unassisted, making the score, 16-16.
Quartararo got the ball back for Scarborough and after a timeout, Neugebauer hit the crossbar with 1:58 on the clock.
The Red Storm kept possession and Neugebauer tried again 12 seconds later and this time, his shot found the net for a 17-16 lead.
Suddenly, Brunswick was on the ropes, but the Dragons never panicked.
Jensen won the faceoff, but a shot by Doherty was saved by Joy, Aiden Glover shot wide and Dorr missed just high.
With time winding down on its season and its title hopes, Brunswick again put the ball on the stick of Dorr and he stutter-stepped to gain separation from a defender then buried his shot with just 10.3 seconds on the clock making it a brand new ball game once more, 17-17.
“I was confident as I could be in that scenario,” Christian Glover said. “We stuck to it and Josh wouldn’t be denied. With that goal, we had the momentum. We felt we could take it.”
“Josh is an exceptional athlete,” said Don Glover. “He’s played with my son at our house since he was a little kid. He was a basketball addict who is now going to Franklin Pierce to play college lacrosse.”
“Good for Dorr,” Hezlep said. “He’s such a tough kid. He’s played so well. Somebody had to make a play and he did.”
Jensen won the ensuing faceoff, but the Dragons couldn’t muster a shot and time ran out on regulation.
After a five-minute break, it was on to a four-minute, “sudden victory” overtime, where, for the first time since Cape Elizabeth beat Yarmouth, 9-8, in 2003, a state game would be decided in extra time.
Jensen won the all-important opening faceoff to Christian Glover and Don Glover called timeout.
Brunswick wasn’t able to muster a shot, however, as Quirk forced a turnover and Hezlep called timeout, hoping to set up a winning play for the Red Storm.
“We got a stop and got it to midfield,” Hezlep said. “Eric Quirk, that was a big play.”
Out of the break, Neugebauer got the ball and tried to get past Christian Glover, but Glover knocked the ball away and the Dragons had another chance.
“We saw them rip apart our defense all day and we knew (Neugebauer) was going to drive to the net hard, but I got a nice takeaway and we got it up the field,” Christian Glover said.
“We went all-in with Christian on a lock-off,” Don Glover said. “It could have gone the other way, but we were fortunate we got the ball.”
“That one is going to haunt me,” Hezlep said.
Seconds later, it was all over.
Brunswick transitioned to offense, got the ball behind the cage to Aiden Glover and Glover waited patiently until Dorr made his cut. Glover delivered a perfect pass and Dorr’s shot, while not sent perfectly into the goal, caught enough of the net to end the season at 8:04 p.m.
“My man was peeking and watching Aiden, because he’s a great player,” Dorr said. “I wasn’t going to let him keep watching. Aiden saw me and luckily, the ball snuck through. I thought it went in and bounced out from where I saw the net move. Luckily, (the officials) got it right.”
“We didn’t rotate fast enough defensively to get over and help Dom,” Hezlep said. “Josh did a great job catching the ball and in typical Coach Glover fashion, it was a great overhand shot low and away and it went in.”
Brunswick 18 Scarborough 17.
“We got pushed around a little bit in the first half and we weren’t going to take that,” Dorr said. “We’ve worked hard all season and pushed each other to get better each day for this moment right here. We weren’t going to be denied. We had a great senior class two years ago. We weren’t supposed to make it back last year. This year, we have a great senior class again. It’s just a great feeling.”
“Winning in overtime is so exciting,” Christian Glover said. “The seniors left it all on the field. That was an emphasis all season. We did it possession by possession. We settled the ball, found our matchups and finished. We executed. That goal was glorious.”
“We have the mantra, ‘It’s we, not me,’ and I’d say this team above all others absorbed that,” Don Glover added. “We had players who didn’t see the field today, but there wasn’t a moment of sulking behavior. They understood their role and got the job done. I’d say this is probably the most special (championship). (My eldest son) Cameron was in the coach’s box with me. He wants to be a college coach. I had (Christian) finishing his high school career. He’s going to Phillips Exeter. I have Aiden playing. All my sons were here with me.
“Their goalie came up huge at times and that put us behind. We had to be patient and make something happen. We just wanted the guys to play. They were ready for greatness. I just wanted them to be the athletes they are. When you score with a few seconds left, you have momentum.”
The Dragons were led offensively by Dorr, who had five goals, including the final two. Aiden Glover scored four times, while Christian Glover and Gramins had three apiece. Eno finished with two and Doherty added one.
Dorr and Aiden Glover both had two assists, while Eno, Christian Glover and Palizay added one apiece.
Pendergast made 11 saves.
Jensen won 27 of 39 faceoffs.
Brunswick had a 47-27 advantage on ground balls (Christian Glover led all players with a dozen and Jensen collected 11).
The Dragons had a 33-28 advantage in shots on frame and only turned the ball over 17 times in a pressure environment.
Brunswick will graduate 13 seniors, including several who were integral to the team’s success. But as always, the Dragons will be a force to be reckoned with in 2018, even if they’re more concerned for now about celebrating what the 2017 squad accomplished in such unforgettable fashion.
“I want to enjoy this,” Don Glover said. “I’m not sure I could handle another game like this. I’m glad it’s a long summer.”
Neugebauer capped his high-scoring career with six goals to lead all players. Scarborough also got five goals from Guerette, three from Manfra and one apiece from Parks, Thibault and Wasser.
Granzier, Manfra and Parks had assists.
Joy bowed out with 15 saves.
Quartararo had a team-high six ground balls.
The Red Storm only turned the ball over 15 times.
After the game, Scarborough players milled around with looks of disbelief on their faces, but they were winners too after such a fabulous, spirited effort and another superb season.
“As tough as this one is, to get to see Coach Glover, the classiest guy in the state of Maine lacrosse, win this game with a son who’s a senior, a son who’s a sophomore and a son from college on the sidelines, that’s pretty special,” Hezlep said. “It’s hard to feel too bad.
“It was more an attrition problem. We were short a couple middies. They won more ground balls than we did. We had enough gas to come back, but we could have had more gas in our tank to not have to work so hard. They had to decide who they’d want to stop. Last week, it was Marco. The week before, it was ‘Neuge.’ This week it was Marc. There was never a time where we felt like we couldn’t score. There’s no quit in our guys. They play their tails off all the time. It’s been such a great group.”
Hezlep won 121 games, seven regional and six Class A state titles in his 10 seasons, but he felt that the time had come to move on, although he could remain with the program in some capacity.
“I’ve done this a long time,” Hezlep said. “I started coaching at 19. Work’s busy. Family life takes a backseat when you coach two sports.
“It’s been amazing. Scarborough’s a special place. We have great kids and great parents who support their kids. They’re taught to succeed not just on the field and in the classroom, but in the community and as quality human beings. They made it easy for me to stay as long as I could.”
Scarborough senior Marc Guerette possesses the ball.
Brunswick senior captain Josh Dorr gets a step on Scarborough junior Reece Lagerquist. Dorr scored both the tying goal with 10 seconds left in regulation and the winner in overtime.
Scarborough senior Sam Neugebauer is stymied by Brunswick senior Gabe Palizay.
Scarborough junior Marco Manfra looks to shoot.
Scarborough junior Eric Quirk keeps a close eye on a Brunswick attacker.
Scarborough celebrates one of its 17 goals.
Brunswick’s bench players celebrate a goal. That group was animated and creative throughout the win.
Scarborough coach Joe Hezlep talks to his team during a timeout. Hezlep’s final game with the program resulted in arguably the most dramatic state final ever produced.
Scarborough senior Sam Neugebauer looks on in disbelief and agony after the loss.
The new Class A state champions.
Scarborough 8 Brunswick 6
Scarborough 14 Lewiston 2
Scarborough 8 Brunswick 6
Cape Elizabeth 15 Brunswick 7