NORTH YARMOUTH—G-NG’s impressive debut season as a varsity outfit concluded at NYA on Thursday afternoon, June 7. Patriots Gabe Gendreau, Shayne Splint and Jayden Metivier added goals for the visitors, the eighth-place entrants in this year’s tournament – but a whole host more Panthers notched goals for the home team, piling up a runaway victory, 17-3.
“Preparation for NYA was a challenge, as they have several players that can score, and two or three that proved to be really difficult matchups for us defensively,” G-NG head coach Kris Parkin said, asked about the Patriots’ efforts leading up to the bout. “We went into this game trying to focus on limiting touches for certain players and also focusing on possessing the ball on offense as much as possible. At times we executed this game plan really well, but their experience and level of skill was top-notch. They were a skilled and very well-coached team that made very few mistakes either time we played them.”
Gendreau logged G-NG’s first goal of the outing late in the opening quarter; the Patriots then fell silent for the second and third. Come the fourth, however, they added two more: Splint scored early in the stretch, and Metivier with just minutes left on the clock.
Parkin recounted what he saw on Metivier’s strike, and offered praise for the young laxer: “Jayden Dodged down the middle of the NYA defense and made three NYA players miss before he fired one in to the back of the net,” Parkin said. “Jayden is a freshman who picked up the stick for the first time this March. He learned a lot this year and did a commendable job learning the game and developing his skills.”
Similarly, Parkin commended faceoff man Hunter Brown – “Hunter Brown continued his dominance with 14 faceoff wins” – as well as a number of his other players. “Scotty Lynch, Gabe Gendreau, and Lawson Dunford worked extremely hard on the midfield,” he said. “And, defensively, Felipe Alvarez and Wyatt Edwards played very well and both had five ground balls on the day. Brannon Gilbert played well and recorded 13 saves.” (Gilbert minds the Patriots’ net.)
“I am very proud that the boys played hard for a full 48 minutes,” Parkin said. That’s no small compliment, considering that wringing consistency from a team is frequently one of a high school coach’s biggest challenges. “But I do think that once we got down by 12 or 13, the realization set in that were in a tough situation. We talked as a team about momentum and lacrosse being a game of inches and how things can change quickly but without maximum effort and intensity a lopsided game only gets worse. This is where I think the boys did extremely well – they did not give up, fought hard and played a clean game until the final whistle.”
The Patriots return to the sidelines till next spring at 7-7 – an impressive record for a first-year team. G-NG launched its lax program in 2016; the squad played that season and last season on the JV circuit. They struggled through some growing pains at the start of their schedule this year, but then picked up steam. Happily, only three seniors – Splint, Oliver Grant and Felipe Alvarez –bid the team goodbye; a long list of key talent will eagerly return in 2019.
“This was a great first season for the boys and the coaching staff is extremely proud of the way the boys came together and worked hard, especially down the stretch,” Parkin said. “We had a lot to learn and the boys did an excellent job showing up to practice ready to absorb everything we had throw at them. We played arguably our best lacrosse against Erskine for our first ever home playoff victory. From the start of the season we emphasized to the boys that they would determine the fate of their season through hard work and coming together as a team. This is a great group of young men that gained a lot of varsity experience this year and the future is very promising if we can continue our development as a team.”
Adam Birt can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter: @CurrentSportsME
Patriot Hunter Brown gets throws himself in front of an approaching Panther.
Patriot Scott Lynch juggles the ball.
Kyle Mercier carries for the Patriots.
Shayne Splint ducks away from a Panthers defender.
Jeremy Mazur surveys the field.
Drew LaCerda vies with a Panther for a ground ball.
Patriot Lawson Dunford races upfield.
Zebediah Dufresne fires forward for the Patriots.
Gabe Gendreau added the first of G-NG’s three goals.