Scarborough boys' lax rallies past Cheverus, 8-7, in OT
SCARBOROUGH—Six days after dropping a frustrating overtime decision to South Portland, the Scarborough boys' lacrosse team found itself on the other end of the spectrum Friday evening.
In a back-and-forth affair against dangerous Cheverus, the Red Storm rallied to tie the score on Matt Mayo's goal with 30 seconds to play in regulation, then, 3 minutes, 10 seconds into OT, earned an 8-7 victory on John Blaisdell's game-winner, balancing their record at 1-1 on the year, while dropping the Stags to 0-2.
"It feels really good," said Mayo, who scored four times. "We knew we had to come out hard, get a win and get our season back on track. This was a good way to do that."
48 minutes not enough
Scarborough was a regional finalist a year ago, then graduated several key players. After falling 8-7 in overtime to the Red Riots last Saturday, the Red Storm were hoping to avoid an 0-2 start.
Cheverus, meanwhile, was eliminated by Scarborough last year in the quarterfinals, 12-1, and entered the 2010 season with plenty of optimism. In their opener Wednesday, the Stags didn't score for nearly three quarters and suffered an 8-3 home loss to South Portland.
Friday, both teams had their moments, but in the end, the Red Storm managed to beat Cheverus for the fourth straight time.
The hosts got on the scoreboard first when Mayo took a pass from Nick Neugebauer and scored with 9:06 to go in the first period. The Stags then enjoyed the first of a pair of three-goal eruptions to take the lead.
With 5:36 left in the quarter, playing two-men up, Cheverus tied the score when Evan Jendrasko fed Garrett Naimie for a goal. A little over a minute later, Peter Matt's unassisted tally put the Stags on top. With 3:58 to go, Jendrasko fed Joey Driscoll for a goal and it was 3-1 Cheverus.
With 1:47 left in the first, playing with a two-man advantage, Neugebauer again set up Mayo and the Red Storm were back within one, 3-2, after one period.
Just 10 seconds into the second stanza, John Wheeler tied the score for Scarborough (Peter Moore had the assist). Then, with 10:41 remaining in the first half, the hosts went up 4-3 on a goal from Mayo (set up by Blaisdell). Just 28 seconds later, the Stags made it a 4-4 game on a goal from Spencer Amberson (set up by Matt), but the visitors wouldn't score again until the final period.
The Red Storm took a 5-4 lead into the half when Wheeler scored unassisted with 20 seconds to go.
The score would remain 5-4 into the fourth quarter as neither team could score in the third.
Forty-eight seconds into the final period, an unassisted goal by Blaisdell made it 6-4 Scarborough and ended a 13 minute, 8 second drought by the hosts.
Then, Cheverus finally came back to life and rode a second three-goal surge to take the lead and put the Red Storm on the brink.
With 9:24 remaining, playing a man-up, the Stags ended a 24:49 drought when Stefano Caiazzo scored unassisted. Exactly two minutes later, Naimie set up Amberson for a goal that tied the score. With 6:47 to go, Caiazzo scored unassisted again and Cheverus was back on top, 7-6.
Down the stretch, Scarborough pushed for the equalizer, but couldn't produce until Mayo took a pass from Tennessee Peters and scored with 30.2 seconds to go.
"It didn't matter who the ball went to," Mayo said. "We just wanted a good look and to get the ball off. It just happened to come to me and I put one in."
Cheverus won the faceoff to start overtime, but turned the ball over. The Red Storm then got a pair of good looks from Moore, but Stags goalie Sean Oddy stopped the first bid and the second went wide.
Cheverus had another chance to end it, but again gave the ball away and Scarborough came down and got the winner. Wheeler found Blaisdell and Blaisdell fired a shot that Oddy had no chance to stop. The Red Storm rushed the field and celebrated their 8-7 victory.
"I felt confident going into overtime," Mayo said. "John's goal was a great goal. We have a lot of new players this year. It's coming together. Each day's getting better."
"It's good for us to realize we have to play every game," added Scarborough coach Joe Hezlep. "It doesn't matter who the opponent is. The league has become much more competitive.
"The difference between this week and last week is that last week we put ourselves in a difficult position from beginning to end. This week, we put ourselves in a tough position for three quarters and were able to clean it up and come back. It's a big win for us."
Mayo had four goals for the Red Storm, while Blaisdell and Wheeler both had two. Neugebauer had two assists, Blaisdell, Moore, Peters and Wheeler each had one. Goalie Matt Galyean stopped four shots.
For Cheverus, Amberson and Caiazzo both scored twice. Driscoll, Matt and Naimie also scored. Jendrasko had a pair of helpers, while Matt and Naimie both had one. Oddy stopped 15 shots.
"Our shots would have gone in on most goalies in this league," said Hezlep. "(Oddy) played exceptional. "
"(Sean) made some big stops inside," added Stags coach Deke Andrew. "Especially in the second half. He's a gifted athlete."
Cheverus was disappointed, but found positives in defeat.
"We had a couple overthrown passes and we had some possessions in overtime, but we showed dramatic improvement effort-wise over the previous game," said Andrew. "It's a game that will bring this group of guys together. That's the most important thing to bring out of this. It was a great matchup. They're young like us. We have to get better. Last time we left this field, it was 12-1, one of the most unpleasant coaching experiences of my life."
The Stags will seek their first victory Monday at Biddeford. Wednesday, they host Marshwood.
Scarborough returns to action Wednesday at Noble. The Red Storm face a tough test next Friday at home versus perennial contender Kennebunk.
Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at email@example.com