Maine boys lacrosse: Hawks rout Noble, continue resurgent season

By Al Pike / sports@fosters.com  May 15, 2019

NORTH BERWICK, Maine — The last time the Marshwood High School boys lacrosse team was in serious playoff contention, Henry Honkonen was in middle school honing his skills and admittedly didn’t pay too much attention to how the varsity was doing.

Now a senior co-captain he’s a big part of the program’s resurgence after several down years. The Class B Hawks have already surpassed last season’s win total of four and rebounded from their first loss with a 16-4 victory Wednesday over Class A Noble.

Honkonen finished with a game-high six goals and nine points as Marshwood improved to 6-1. The Hawks scored the first six goals of the game and led 13-2 at halftime.

“We needed it,” said Marshwood coach Ralph Ruocco. “We got beat last week. We were undefeated going in to play Windham and they were undefeated. They’re in Class A and we’re in Class B, and they took it to us (19-6). So our kids needed this game today to get their confidence back up.”

Eight players had at least one goal for the visitors, who scored 23 seconds into the game to set the early tone. Marshwood’s Cooper Ross finished with three goals and two assists, Cullen Casey had two goals and one assist, and Carsen Goodwin added a goal and two assists.

“I thought we played really well together,” Honkonen said. “After a tough loss against Windham last week we needed to bounce back. It’s exactly what we needed to keep our season going in the right direction.”

Andrew Goodwin, Matthew Zinck and Peter Tsamparlis also scored for Marshwood, and goalie Connor Hohn made nine saves.

“Today they played as a team,” Ruocco said. “Fast breaks — they didn’t care who scored. They were hitting the open guy, and our clearing got a little bit better. … Our attack is seasoned so those guys are going to score. Our goal today was to try to get our middies to score, and some of them did.”

Sophomore Jake Costello scored all four goals for the Knights (1-6), who received assists from Jack Stapleton, Evan Flagg and Nolan Winston. Costello’s first goal came on a feed from Stapleton with 34 seconds left in the first quarter to make it 6-1.

Marshwood got that one back early in the second quarter on a fast break. Long-stick midfielder Justin Bryant intercepted pass in the defensive zone, carried the ball upfield where he passed to Honkonen, who found Ross alone in front for the finish to ignite a stretch of four unanswered goals by the Hawks.

“They’re loaded with shooters,” said Noble coach Beau Lambert. “They’ve got kids that will shoot from the inside or the outside. Their defense right from the get-go will pressure outside. We haven’t been faced with a high-pressure defense all season long. They force you to work to get inside of them and shoot.”

“The hustle’s there,” Ruocco said. “The skill level, we’re still working on certain things. We’ll get there. We’re looking ahead to the playoffs, of course, so we want to get better every game.”

Shortly after Marshwood made it 10-1, Costello scored his second goal from his knees after catching a pass from Winston midway through the second quarter, and had the only two goals in the fourth.

The Hawks’ answer came 21 seconds later when Tsamparlis converted an alley-oop pass from Ross with 6:07 remaining in the third.

“After the last couple of seasons it’s really good to see the program turn around and become a competitive team going forward,” Honkonen said. “I think it’s a good momentum builder. We’re looking forward to the next couple games and hoping to get a couple more wins to build off this one.”

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