Scarborough rediscovers its offense, outscores TA

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Three nights after being shut out at Cape Elizabeth, Scarborough’s boys’ lacrosse team engaged in 14 goal celebrations during its 14-11 home win over Thornton Academy.

Mike Strout photos.

More photos below.

BOX SCORE

Scarborough 14 Thornton Academy 11

TA- 3 0 4 4- 11
S- 4 6 4 0- 14

First quarter
10:50 S Guerette (unassisted)
8:49 S Manfra (unassisted)
7:30 S Guerette (unassisted)
6:07 TA Giroux (unassisted)
5:23 TA Levasseur (unassisted)
2:22 S Neugebauer (Guerette)
:56 TA Ruff (unassisted) 

Second quarter
10:33 S Neugebauer (Manfra)
7:22 S Guerette (Nigro) (MAN-UP)
6:18 S Thibault (unassisted)
4:11 S Nigro (Neugebauer) (MAN-UP)
2:16 S Neugebauer (Manfra) (MAN-DOWN)
1:31 S Neugebauer (Manfra)

Third quarter
11:51 S Guerette (Thibault) (MAN-DOWN)
11:29 TA Giroux (Katz)
10:23 TA Giorux (Katz) (MAN-UP)
10:04 S Neugebauer (Jacob)
7:53 TA Labreck (unassisted)
6:15 S Neugebauer (unassisted) (MAN-DOWN)
5:56 TA Cadorette (LeBlanc)
1.3 S Thibault (unassisted) 

Fourth quarter
11:53 TA Pike (unassisted)
10:11 TA Giroux (Pike)
8:27 TA Katz (LeBlanc)
3:51 TA Labreck (unassisted) 

Goals:
TA- Giroux 4, Labreck 2, Cadorette, Katz, Levasseur, Pike, Ruff, 1
S- Neugebauer 6, Guerette 4, Thibault 2, Manfra, Nigro 1

Assists:
TA- Katz, LeBlanc 2, Pike 1
S- Manfra 3, Guerette, Jacobs, Neugebauer, Nigro, Thibault 1

Shots on cage
TA- 30
S- 18

Saves:
TA (E. Patry) 4
S (Joy) 19

SCARBOROUGH—Three nights after its most frustrating offensive effort in memory, Scarborough’s boys’ lacrosse team returned to form.

And as it turned out, the Red Storm needed to score a lot of goals when rival/recent nemesis Thornton Academy paid a visit to the Kippy Mitchell Sports Complex.

Scarborough, which was shut out (a rarity in boys’ lacrosse) Saturday night by three-time defending Class B state champion Cape Elizabeth, needed just 70 seconds to rediscover the net, thanks to a tally from junior Marc Guerette, and the onslaught was just beginning.

Sophomore Marco Manfra and Guerette again scored moments after for a quick 3-0 lead. While the Golden Trojans drew within 4-3 after one period, the Red Storm scored six unanswered goals in the second quarter, three coming from junior Sam Neugebauer, to take a commanding 10-3 halftime lead.

Another goal from Guerette just nine seconds into the second half gave Scarborough its biggest lead, but Thornton Academy began to wake up on offense and trailed, 14-7, heading for the fourth period.

There, the Golden Trojans made things very interesting with four straight goals, but the Red Storm managed to hold on behind the heroics of junior goalie Dominic Joy and prevailed, 14-11.

Neugebauer led all players with six goals, Guerette added four and Joy made 19 saves as Scarborough improved to 4-2 and dropped Thornton Academy to 3-1 in the process.

“The other night, we couldn’t get shots on cage and Cape makes you pay for mistakes,” said Red Storm coach Joe Hezlep. “We didn’t finish, but tonight we did. We got the looks we wanted and we put shots on cage.”

Wide open region

In a year devoid of a favorite in Class A, Scarborough and Thornton Academy should be heard from throughout.

The Red Storm opened 2016 with a 9-8 double-overtime home loss to Gorham, but bounced back to win at Biddeford, 10-3, then downed visiting South Portland, the two-time defending regional champion, 13-10, and gave Hezlep his 100th victory with a 16-9 triumph at Westbrook before falling at Cape Elizabeth by a humbling 10-0 margin.

Thornton Academy downed visiting Cheverus (11-6) and Marshwood (26-3), then won at Waynflete, 10-6, courtesy a second half rally, to get off to a fast start.

Scarborough had won 12 of 15 all-time meetings between the schools (see sidebar below), but Thornton Academy has captured the big ones the past couple seasons.

In the 2014 Western A semifinals, the Golden Trojans snapped an 11-game skid against the Red Storm and ended Scarborough’s four-year Class A title reign with a 13-4 win. 

Last spring, the Red Storm won a pitcher’s duel in the regular season encounter, 4-3, in Saco, but in the rematch, also at Thornton Academy, the Golden Trojans held off a furious Scarborough rally to prevail, 11-8

Tuesday, Scarborough got back on track and delivered a dose of revenge in the process.

A pair of unassisted tallies from Guerette, sandwiched around an unassisted goal from Manfra, gave the Red Storm a quick 3-0 lead.

Thornton Academy got on the board with 6:07 remaining in the first period when junior John Giroux finished unassisted. 

Forty-four seconds later, freshman Thomas Levasseur beat Joy unassisted to cut the deficit to 3-2, but with 2:22 to go in the first, Guerette set up Neugebauer’s first goal and the lead was back to two.

With 56 seconds remaining, an unassisted goal from Golden Trojans senior Gregory Ruff made it a 4-3 game heading for the second quarter.

Scarborough really took off in that frame, as Manfra set up Neugebauer 1 minute, 27 seconds in and after a slashing penalty gave the Red Storm an advantage, Guerette finished senior Cam Nigro’s feed for a man-up goal with 7:22 left in the half for a 6-3 lead.

The goals kept coming, as junior Cam Thibault scored unassisted with 6:18 to go, Neugebauer set up Nigro for a man-up goal two minutes later and after Guerette was sent off for two minutes for hitting a defenseless player and Giroux hit the post, Manfra twice set Neugebauer up for man-down goals, extending the advantage to 10-3.

“We need to work on staying out of the box, especially those extended penalties, but we’re not going to stop playing offense,” Hezlep said. “The more chaos for us sometimes the better.”

When Scarborough scored nine seconds into the second half, as Thibault fed Guerette, it appeared a blowout was imminent, but with 11:29 to play in the third quarter, Thornton Academy ended a 13 minute, 27 second drought and the Red Storm’s 7-0 run when Giroux finished a feed from senior Charlie Katz and scored a man-up goal. The tandem converted another man-up goal a minute later to cut the deficit 11-5.

Neugebauer (from senior Sam Jacob) answered with 10:04 to go in the third, but Golden Trojans freshman C.J. Labreck scored unassisted with 7:53 showing to make it a 12-6 game.

Neugebauer’s final goal, unassisted and man-down with 6:15 remaining in the frame, was countered by a man-up goal from Thornton Academy junior Cameron Cadorette (set up by sophomore Wyatt LeBlanc). 

Then, with 1.3 seconds to go, Thibault’s unassisted goal made it 14-7 and appeared to end the competitive phase of the contest, but the Golden Trojans would dominate the fourth period and make for some anxious moments.

Just seven seconds into the final stanza, off a faceoff win, junior Thomas Pike scored unassisted to cut the deficit to six.

Giroux (from Pike) scored with 10:11 left and with 8:27 to go, LeBlanc set up Katz and the lead was just four, 14-10.

Joy then made sure the score didn’t get closer, as he denied Giroux, Levasseur, senior Justin Masteller and Labreck before Labreck got a rebound and finished with 3:54 showing, making it 14-11.

Thornton Academy would draw no closer, however, as the visitors took three penalties in the waning moments, and Scarborough went on to victory.

“(Saturday) was very frustrating,” Neugebauer said. “We didn’t execute the way we wanted to. Tonight, we came right back. It’s always a close game with these guys. We wanted to come out from the start and take it to them.”

“It got a little frustrating because I think we thought we had it in the bag,” Joy said. “We didn’t keep playing our game and when we play our game, we limit goals.”

“They have some great kids and Coach (Ryan) Hersey does a great job,” Hezlep added. “They play hard the whole time. I knew it would be a tough game until the end. We did just enough to hold on. “

Neugebauer sparked the Red Storm’s offensive resurgence with six goals and an assist.

“I was just cutting and going behind the defense and my teammates saw me,” said Neugebauer, who took a toll physically Tuesday, yet was unstoppable with the ball on his stick.

“We’ll have to buy Sam some Robo-Cop armor,” Hezlep said. “He took Cape especially hard. He was determined to put the ball in the net tonight and he definitely did.”

Guerette had four goals and an assist, Thibault scored twice and had an assist and Manfra and Nigro both scored once. Manfra had three assists and Jacob and Nigro added one each.

Joy, a backup a year ago, stole the show with 19 saves.

“When we keep them out of the middle and limit shots right in close, I can normally keep them out,” said Joy. “The defense slid well and forced them to take longer shots.”

“Playing lacrosse with fewer guys on the field is hard for a goalie and (Dom) played huge tonight,” Hezlep said. “He took another step in his maturation.”

For Thornton Academy, Giroux scored four times, Labreck had two goals and Cadorette, Katz, Levasseur, Pike, Ruff each added one. Katz and LeBlanc had two assists apiece, while Pike finished with one. Freshman goalie Ean Patry made four saves.

The Golden Trojans had a 30-18 advantage in shots on cage, but suffered their first loss nonetheless.

Second half

While Thornton Academy plays its fifth game Friday when Deering pays a visit, Scarborough will begin the second half of its schedule Friday at Portland. The Red Storm are home next week against Deering and three-time defending Eastern B champion Yarmouth. 

While Scarborough is rounding into top contender status, it still has plenty of work to do.

“We’re improving each game,” said Joy. “I think we’re playing well. All teams will get better throughout the season.  We have potential. When we do what we’re taught, we’ll be up there. We have to just play our game.”

“We’re working well as a team, but we lose focus when we get down on ourselves,” Neugebauer said. “We just have to keep our focus.”

“Senior Night is in 18 days,” Hezlep added. “We’ll have a lot of time at the end of the season and we’ll fill that in with other games. I like where we are. It gives us a good idea of what we need to work on. We’ll focus more in practice on the whole instead of in parts. We need to make things click to make a run. The league is so open this year. On any given night, a lot of teams can do a lot of things. It’ll be fun to see what happens.”

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

Scarborough junior Sam Neugebauer, who scored six times, fires a shot.

Scarborough junior goalie Dominic Joy denies Thornton Academy junior John Giroux for one of his 19 saves.

Scarborough senior Cam Nigro splits Thornton Academy defenders sophomore Noah Edberg, left, and junior Jaden Wells.

Scarborough junior Cam Thibault winds up for a shot.

Scarborough senior Cam Jepson is shadowed by Thornton Academy sophomore Cameron Houde.

Scarborough juniors Sam Neugebauer, left, and Marc Guerette celebrate after a goal.

Recent Scarborough-TA results

2015
Scarborough 4 @ Thornton Academy 3
Western A semifinals
@ Thornton Academy 11 Scarborough 8 

2014
@ Scarborough 7 Thornton Academy 6 (2 OT)
Western A semifinals
Thornton Academy 13 Scarborough 4 

2013
Scarborough 10 @ Thornton Academy 6 

2012
@ Scarborough 15 Thornton Academy 4
Western A semifinals
@ Scarborough 7 Thornton Academy 1

2011
@ Scarborough 10 Thornton Academy 0
Western A Final
@ Scarborough 8 Thornton Academy 3

2010
Scarborough 6 @ Thornton Academy 4
Western A Final
@ Scarborough 5 Thornton Academy 3

2007
@ Scarborough 16 Thornton Academy 0

2006
Scarborough 15 @ Thornton Academy 3

2005
@ Scarborough 16 Thornton Academy 6

2004
@ Thornton Academy 11 Scarborough 10

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