Greely rallies to earn signature win over Cheverus

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Greely senior Sam Peck (5) is congratulated by classmate Dillon Trelegan after scoring a goal during the Rangers’ 11-9 come-from-behind home win over Cheverus Saturday morning.

Chris Lambert photos

More photos below.

BOX SCORE

Greely 11 Cheverus 9

C- 2 1 5 1- 9
G- 2 2 3 4- 11

First quarter
5:36 C Pierce (Coffin)
4:54 G Kennedy (Borden) (MAN-DOWN)
1:05 G Peck (unassisted)
34.5 C Curran (unassisted) 

Second quarter
7:00 C Curran (unassisted)
4:38 G Coyle (Kroot)
52.4 G Kennedy (Wetmore) (MAN-UP) 

Third quarter
11:13 C Curran (unassisted)
9:27 C Coffin (Pierce)
7:06 C Curran (unassisted)
6:23 G Kennedy (Trelegan)
4:52 C Curran (Pierce) (MAN-UP)
2:49 C Pierce (Curran)
1:20 G Lawless (Peck)
0.0 G Wetmore (Lawless) 

Fourth quarter
11:32 G Peck (unassisted)
6:26 C Curran (Cawley)
4:29 G Trelegan (unassisted)
3:05 G Peck (unassisted)
19.5 G Lawless (Peck) 

Goals:
C- Curran 6, Pierce 2, Coffin 1
G- Kennedy, Peck 3, Lawless 2, Coyle, Trelegan, Wetmore 1

Assists:
C-  Pierce 2, Cawley, Coffin, Curran 1
G- Borden, Kroot, Lawless, Trelegan, Wetmore 1

Faceoffs (Cheverus, 12-11)
C- Nason 8 of 17, Haines 3 of 4, Hatch 1 of 2
G- Williams 9 of 13, Coyle 2 of 10

Ground balls (Cheverus, 46-33)
C-  Nason 8, Curran, Griffin, Pierce 5, Coffin, Conley 4, Baker, Haines, Walsh 3, Cawley, Hatch, Ly 2
G- Wetmore 5, Coyle, Peck, Trelegan 4, Borden, O’Keefe, Williams 3, Eckhardt 2, Graham, Kennedy, Lawless, Parent, Sullivan 1

Turnovers:
C- 18
G- 22

Shots:
C- 35
G- 31

Shots on cage
C- 19
G- 22

Saves:
C (Walsh) 8
G (Sinclair) 13

CUMBERLAND—Greely’s boys’ lacrosse team has been very competitive this spring, but the Rangers hadn’t managed to produce a signature victory.

That changed in a big way Saturday morning.

Hosting red-hot Class A power Cheverus, Greely’s hard work paid off and the Rangers served notice to the top contenders that they’re in this for the long haul.

Greely rode senior goalie Dylan Sinclair’s seven saves and sophomore Ben Kennedy’s two goals to a 4-3 halftime lead.

The Stags roared to life in the second half and got three goals from senior Frankie Curran to go up, 8-5, but the Rangers, who haven’t been able to answer in previous games against the top contenders, rallied and pulled within one when senior Alex Wetmore scored at the horn to cut the deficit to 8-7 with 12 minutes remaining.

Greely drew even on a goal from senior Sam Peck 28 seconds into the final stanza, but a Curran goal with 6:26 remaining gave Cheverus a 9-8 lead.

Again, the Rangers responded, tying the game with 4:27 left when senior Dillon Trelegan scored unassisted.

Then, with 3:05 to go, Peck bulled through the defense and finished to put Greely ahead to stay.

After Curran was denied by Sinclair, junior Josh Lawless iced it with 19.5 seconds showing and the Rangers went on to an inspirational 11-9 victory.

Kennedy and Peck had three goals apiece, Sinclair made 13 saves and Greely improved to 3-3, snapped the Stags’ five-game win streak and dropped them to 5-2 in the process.

“We were encouraged that we were competitive with those top teams, but we needed to pull one of these games off,” said Rangers coach Mike Storey. “Cheverus has a really good team this year, so this is a nice win for us.”

Strangers

Cheverus and Greely’s path don’t traditionally cross. Both teams have been competitive this spring and the crossover contest figured to be a compelling one.

The Stags lost their opener, 11-6, at Thornton Academy, then came to life. Cheverus held off visiting Deering (8-6) and Kennebunk (9-7), posted an impressive 11-4 victory at two-time defending Western A champion South Portland, downed previously unbeaten host Gorham, 9-5, then Tuesday, rolled at home over Bonny Eagle, 15-1.

The Rangers won their first two games, 7-3, at NYA and 19-3, at home over Lake Region. Greely then held its own at home against perennial powers Yarmouth (16-10) and Cape Elizabeth 12-6. Thursday, Greely rallied late, but lost at Kennebunk, 6-5.

Saturday morning, in the first meeting between the teams since May 27, 2006 (a 12-6 Cheverus win in Cumberland), the Rangers got their first victory over the Stags since May 17, 2003 (14-12, in Portland).

In the early going, both goalies came up big, as Sinclair and Stags junior Sean Walsh both made four saves in the first nine minutes.

Cheverus broke the ice with 5:36 to go in the first period, when sophomore Max Coffin set up classmate Jesse Pierce for a 1-0 lead.

The Stags then went man-up and had a chance to add to their lead, but the Rangers, who twice missed open nets in the early going, forced a turnover, then, in transition, junior Billy Borden fed Kennedy for the tying goal.

Greely took the lead with 1:05 to go in the first, when Peck weaved through the Cheverus defense and finished, but 31 seconds later, Curran showed off the physicality which made him such a force on the football field, fighting through two defenders before finishing to make it 2-2 after 12 minutes.

Five minutes into the second period, the Stags retook the lead when Curran scored unassisted, but with 4:38 to go in the half, senior Alex Kroot fed sophomore Tim Coyle at the far post and Coyle beat Walsh to tie the game again, 3-3.

Greely then went ahead courtesy a man-up goal, as Wetmore fed Kennedy with 52.4 seconds remaining and the Rangers took a 4-3 lead to the break.

In the first half, Cheverus won six of nine faceoffs and enjoyed a 23-16 advantage in ground balls, but the Stags turned the ball over nine times and seven Sinclair saves helped Greely, which had a 21-18 edge in shots, cling to a slight advantage.

The Stags surged to start the second half.

Cheverus pulled even 47 seconds in when again Curran had his way with the Rangers’ defense, shaking free, then beating Sinclair to make it 4-4.

The Stags took a 5-4 lead with 9:27 to play in the third, when Pierce fed Coffin on the doorstep for a goal and with 7:06 remaining, after intercepting a pass, Curran drove to the goal with plenty of space in which to operate, and beat Sinclair again to make it 6-4, the first two-goal spread of the contest.

Out of a timeout, the Rangers answered, as after a turnover, Trelegan set up Kennedy for a rocket which got past Walsh.

Cheverus pushed the lead back to two when Pierce fed Curran for a man-up goal with 4:52 remaining in the third.

With 2:49 to go, Curran fed Pierce for a three-goal lead, but Greely roared back.

With 1:20 remaining in the third, Lawless finished Peck’s feed to stem the tide and as time expired in the quarter, Lawless passed to Wetmore, who shot past Walsh to pull the Rangers within one, 8-7.

Greely completed its comeback just 28 seconds into the final stanza, as Peck danced around two defenders before beating Walsh to make it 8-8.

That score stood until 6:26 remained, when sophomore Finn Cawley set up Curran for a rocket which tickled the twine.

The Stags had a chance to add to their lead when they went man-up, but couldn’t convert and Trelegan made them pay with an unassisted tally with 4:29 left.

Kennedy then bid for the lead, but was denied by Walsh, and at the other end, Pierce had a great look, but Sinclair made the save to preserve the tie.

Then, with 3:05 to go, Peck roared into the offensive zone, fought past a defender, then finished for a 10-9 lead.

“I know the attack will finish, so I’m looking to dodge and get open looks,” Peck said. “At the end of the game, I like to take over and do whatever I can to help the team win.”

After Pierce shot just wide with 1:28 left, Cheverus got a golden opportunity 11 seconds later when it went man-up, but a good look from Curran was saved by Sinclair and Greely got possession.

Out of a timeout, the Stags appeared to force a turnover, but they were offsides and the Rangers kept possession.

Then, with 19.5 seconds to go, Lawless took a pass from Peck and scored to ice it and Greely went on to prevail, 11-9.

“We started playing the game we knew how to play for four quarters today,” Sinclair said. “It was the energy of the game. We were always within a couple goals. We all played well when it mattered. We played tough and that’s why we came out on top.”

“I think we’ve been waiting all season to follow through and play smart lacrosse,” Storey said. “The kids responded well. We have a really good team. If we play smart lacrosse and possess the ball, things go well. I was really happy with how we came back when things in the third didn’t go our way.”

Kennedy and Peck paced the offense with three goals apiece. Lawless scored twice and Coyle, Trelegan and Wetmore had one goal each.

“We have a lot of guys and we’re trying to spread it out and give everybody looks,” Storey said. “We look for the matchups instead of the players.”

Borden, Kroot, Lawless, Trelegan and Wetmore all had one assist.

Sinclair came up huge several times and wound up with 13 saves.

“I don’t mind pressure situations at all,” Sinclair said. “I like the pressure. We all feed off of it.”

“We believe in ourselves and we believe in Dylan in net,” Peck said. “We know he’ll make big saves.” 

“Dylan has stepped up for us all year,” Storey added. “He’s been really consistent and he’s made some big saves. He made some down at Kennebunk the other night. He’s had our back.” 

After the Rangers lost seven of the first nine draws, they turned to freshman Jackson Williams, who came up huge, winning nine of 14 opportunities.

“Jackson was great in the faceoff circle,” Peck said. “He just came in and took over.”

Wetmore had a team-high five ground balls.

Greely overcame 22 turnovers.

Cheverus got a huge game from Curran, who had six goals and one assist.

“They were doubling Frank,” said Stags coach Bill Bodwell. “We realized that and tried to get other guys involved. It worked to a certain extent.”

Pierce scored twice and Coffin had one goal. 

Pierce had two assists, while Cawley and Coffin also had an assist.

Walsh made eight saves.

The Stags had a 46-33 edge in ground balls, as senior Alex Nason had eight and they outshot the Rangers, 36-31 (Greely had a 22-19 advantage in shots on cage).

Cheverus committed 18 turnovers.

“We lost our discipline,” Bodwell said. “Greely’s a good team. They’re tenacious. They play in the toughest league in the state. They play tough lacrosse.”

Chasing greatness

Cheverus hopes to bounce back when it has another key test Tuesday night at home versus Scarborough (the game will be played on Deering’s turf field). After playing at Noble Friday, the Stags visit Westbrook, host Portland and close at home versus Marshwood.

“We’ll be fine,” Bodwell said. “We’re learning. I think this is a character builder. I hope we learn from this.” 

Greely returns to action Tuesday at York and welcomes Freeport Thursday. After visiting Thornton Academy and Falmouth, the Rangers go to NYA and finish at home against Kennebunk.

This is a team that could be very dangerous come June.

“The biggest thing for us is just the mental stuff,” Sinclair said.

“We know we can play with anyone,” Peck said. “We believe in ourselves. We step on the field and believe we’ll win every game.”

“It’s a good step in the right direction for us,” Storey added. “We really needed a big win and for us, this is big against a Class A school.”

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

Cheverus sophomore Max Coffin races toward the goal as Greely junior Ryan Sullivan defends.

Cheverus junior goalie Sean Walsh denies Greely sophomore Ben Kennedy.

Cheverus sophomore Finn Cawley attempts a shot.

Greely senior Sam Peck scores one of his three goals.

Cheverus sophomore Jesse Pierce is defended by Greely sophomore Andrew Eckhardt.

Greely junior Ryan Sullivan takes a shot.

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Sports Editor of The Forecaster since 2001. Find detailed game stories at theforecaster.net. I tweet prodigiously at @foresports.