Jun. 8—AUBURN — Caleb Strout will remember Monday’s performance at Walton Field for the rest of his life.
The senior attacker paced Edward Little with six goals and an assist in a 14-7 victory over the Deering Rams in an first-round Class A boys lacrosse playoff game.
“The fact that this is probably the last game on this field and the fact I am a senior,” Strout said, “it really gave me drive to really try my best, seeing this would the last time (playing at home).”
The Red Eddies’ next game is on the other side of the Androscoggin River against rival Lewiston (6-6) on Wednesday at 8 p.m.
Caleb Davis had three goals while Wesley Clements and Tyler Smith each added two goals for Edward Little (4-9), which scored nine of its 14 goals in Monday’s second half.
“In the second half, we made a good adjustment to be more aggressive on offense, and that’s where that second-half difference came from,” Red Eddies coach Tom Smith said. “Our offensive guys became more aggressive.”
The Rams (3-10), who started the game with only two available substitutes, struggled to keep up with the Red Eddies in Monday’s heat. The game was originally scheduled for 4 p.m., but was moved to 8 p.m. due to the forecasted high temperatures.
“We played hard to the very last second, but with two subs and them getting hurt and having a long period of time with no subs, almost half the game …” Deering coach Bob Rothbart said. “They gave it everything they possibly could give. I can’t be more proud of them for their effort.”
Strout opened the scoring 22 seconds into the game by beating Deering goalie Aidan Foss (11 saves) to give the Red Eddies a 1-0 lead.
The Rams tied the game at 1-1 when Andrew James scored while Deering was a man-up nearly four minutes into the first quarter.
Davis, an attacker, put Edward Little on top 2-1 midway through the first quarter, and then Robert Johnson responded for the Rams a minute later.
Deering took the lead, 3-2, with four minutes remaining in the first quarter on a goal by Finnan Swanson.
Strout capped off the first-quarter scoring, and tied the game at 3-3, with a goal on a shot from about 20 yards out that was set up by Davis’ pass from the sideline to Strout in the middle of the field.
The Red Eddies scored a handful of goals from 20-25 yards out during Monday’s.
“Our guys enjoy shooting out there,” Smith said. “I am constantly asking them to get a little bit closer before getting that shot off, but they like shooting from there.”
Johnson put the Rams on top 4-3 in the first two minutes of the second quarter. Deering nearly made it 5-3, but the referees waived off a goal by Swanson due to a crease violation.
Deering’s lead held until midway through the second when Strout’s third goal tied the game. He scored his fourth goal of the game in the final minute of the second quarter to give the Red Eddies a 5-4 lead heading into halftime.
Edward Little capitalized onDeering’s lack of depth in the third quarter when the midfielders started to get in on the scoring. Clements scored two goals in the quarter. Tyler Smith, the Red Eddies third attacker also scored.
James did have some gas in the tank for Deering when he took the ball from midfield and turned on the afterburners and beat Red Eddies goalie Daulton David (13 saves). Andrew Burke tallied a goal for the Rams in the third quarter. After three quarters the Rams trailed 9-6.
“He’s a senior, he knew what was on the line and he has given everything to this program for longer than four years,” Rothbart said of James. “He wanted it. That individual effort shows what he does (well).”
The Red Eddies added five more goals in the fourth quarter pull away: Two by Strout, and one apiece by Davies, Smith and Jonah Guay.
James completed a hat trick for Deering in the final quarter.
Edward Little has won three games in a row, including an overtime win over Lewiston last week in the final game of the regular season.
“It really gives us some momentum, it makes us feel good, we kind of got in our grove,” Strout said. “We are hoping we can keep it up and follow through.”