Camden Hills boys lacrosse splits first two contests of the season

Tue, 04/26/2022 - 10:45pm

ROCKPORT — The Camden Hills varsity boys lacrosse season has begun its 2022 campaign, starting the season with a dominating victory before falling to an incredibly tough competitor familiar to the Windjammers. 

This year, the Camden Hills lacrosse program is 40 players deep with 10 seniors that returned from last season, all starting and described as “huge contributors” by head coach Harrison Rogers. 

“They are all seniors that helped lead us to one of our best seasons in Camden Hills lacrosse history last year where we were extremely competitive against some of the strong Southern Maine Programs for the first time ever,” said Rogers. 

Willy Doehla (captain) and Jakob Johnson are both senior attackmen that return for the Windjammers, while seniors Jackson Fitch (captain) and Eben Fagonde are returning midfielders. Elias Libby, a senior who was first team All-KVAC last season, returns as a long stick midfielder. 

Doehla is the Windjammers’ best attackman, according to Rogers, and the team’s second leading scorer in 2021 with 48 points.

“He will look to lead the team and eclipse Levi Guay’s point production this year with being our offensive quarterback at attack,” Rogers said. 

Libby defensively leads the Windjammers in both lacrosse and ice hockey teams in the defensive end, noted Rogers.

“Elias is our best defensive player on both teams, he said of the defensive standout that guided Camden Hills to its first ice hockey state championship and was a first team All-KVAC player in ice hockey this season and the Hobey Baker Award winner for the ice hockey team. 

“Last year, Elias led our defense in lacrosse that allowed only 72 goals all season in 13 games (the most goals an opposing team scored against us in a game was 10 all season), continued Rogers. “He was voted unanimous 1st Team All-KVAC for lacrosse in 2021. He led our team with 77 ground ball recoveries and always shut down the opposing team’s best defender.”

Fitch, meanwhile, is regarded by Rogers as the team’s best offensive midfielder and best all-around lacrosse player on the team. He will attend Connecticut College next school year and will be a member of its lacrosse team.

“He was third on our team in scoring last year and third in ground balls [and] did everything for us at the midfield position,” said Rogers. “He is our best short stick defender, best clearing midfielder, and can beat anyone 1v1 to initiate our offense.” 

Defensemen Owen Cooper (captain), Rory Carlson (captain), and Christopher Cammelieri are returning to a defense that allowed only 72 goals in 13 games of last season, according to Rogers, who noted the most any team scored against Camden Hills was 10 goals. Senior goaltenders Camden Powell and Cole Freeman will lead the defense from the goalie net this season.

“We are also returning key sophomores in attackmen Emmet Marshall who will be a key starter in our offense this year,” said Rogers. “Sophomore midfielders Quinn Riordan, Cameron Lawrence, and Max Ergas will be key contributors in our midfield. Returning defensive sophomores of Ethan Butler, Oliver Castle, and Mason Thomas will provide key roles this year on defense.”

Last year, the Windjammers finished with a 10-3 record with the losses coming against Messalonskee in an early season game, to Class C champion Waynflete in double overtime 8-7 in the regular season finale and to southern Maine powerhouse Greely in the playoffs 10-8.

Players to watch that are new to the program that, according to Rogers, will provide an immediate impact are senior faceoff midfielder Logan Odone, senior midfielder Vanya Perevalov, junior midfielder Aiden Aselton, sophomore midfielder Owen McManus, sophomore midfielder Eben Weislogel, and sophomore long pole defender Owen Hotchkin.

Camden Hills has a dozen freshmen, four sophomores, three juniors and three seniors new to the program that “are very athletic and talented that will provide us depth this year and will get experience to lead the program next year and in the future,” said Rogers.

Rogers and the team are excited to build on their achievements from last season despite losing two talented players to graduation in midfielder Charlie Griebel (academic All-American, Bob Scott Award Winner, and first team All-KVAC) and attackman Levi Guay (91 points last season, first team All-KVAC, leading point scorer in program history).

Below is how the program performed in its first two contests of the season. 

Camden Hills 11, Lincoln Academy 0 (April 14) 

Camden Hills held quarterly advantages of 4-0, 7-0 and 11-0 en route to its season opening victory. 

Scoring for Camden Hills were Jakob Johnson (three goals, two assists), Jackson Fitch (two goals, two assists), Willy Doehla (two goals, one assist), Emmet Marshall (two goals), Eben Fagonde (goal, assist), Quinn Riordan (goal). Logan Odone also contributed an assist, while Elias Libby had two assists and 13 ground ball recoveries. Owen Cooper and Owen McManus had three ground ball recoveries each. 

In the goalie net for the Windjammers, Camden Powell worked the net for three quarters, making one save on as many shots. Cole Freeman guarded the net for the final quarter and also made one save on as many shots. 

Camden Hills, meanwhile, had 36 shots with 11 finding the back of the net, 10 being saved and 15 traveling wide of the net.

Logan Odone won most of his faceoffs, 8 out of 10.

Messalonskee 15, Camden Hills 8 (April 26)

Messalonskee entered the contest with a perfect 3-0 record, compared to the perfect 1-0 record Camden Hills sported, and had outscored its opponents 55-1. 

Although the Windjammers were handed its first loss of the season, Camden Hills certainly fared much better in finding the back of the net than Messalonskee’s first three opponents. 

Messalonskee held quarterly advantages of 6-2, 8-3 and 12-5 en route to the 15-8 victory. 

Scoring for Camden Hills were Willy Doehla (four goals, two assists), Jakob Johnson (two goals, assist), Jackson Fitch (two goals, assist). Emmet Marshall and Logan Odone contributed an assist each. 

Camden Powell recorded 15 saves in the goalie net for Camden Hills. 

The Windjammers recorded 21 shots on goal compared to 30 for Messalonskee.

Following the contest, Camden Hills head coach Harrison Rogers solicited post-game from some of his players. Below are those thoughts, lightly edited only for clarity.

Owen Cooper (Senior Defensive, Captain): 

Messalonskee had a strong offensive game especially on fast breaks playing the 2 on 1s.

We slept on defense in the beginning but started playing aggressively as a team in the second quarter using our rotations. We can use this going forward to work countering fast breaks and getting after it early in the game.

Jakob Johnson (Senior Attackman): 

We started off a bit slow around the whole field and took a couple goals from them and a couple turnovers on the attack side to get rolling but we soon started to settle down after our first goal. Our GBs were definitely not there today and usually they are the strong suit on our defensive end and I believe that’s where most of our struggle came from. Once we started winning the 50/50 battles we started controlling the game more in the offensive zone.

Messalonskee had a very strong offense especially with fast breaks off the faceoff. Their faceoff midfielder is very talented (Bryce Crowell) and does not lose the faceoff often. When he wins those faceoffs they are off and they are able to get guys alone with our goalie giving them a lot of chances. That gave them a lot of leverage throughout the entire game.

It took a little bit of time but once our defense and middies started winning the GBs we were able to come up with fast breaks. Fast breaks with our offense is one of our strongest assets as we have an entire attack line that can finish on any goalie.

Rory Carlson (Senior Defensive, Captain):

It was our first real opponent since last year and they had us on our heels during the beginning of the game. They had a strong fast break game and were able to capitalize on it multiple times. We also struggled on our ground balls and some fundamentals during the beginning of the game.

As the game progressed we started to work harder and smarter which paid off. We were able to clear the ball from the defensive zone and maintain possession on offense. At times our offense was on point making the easy help pass after drawing the slide to put the ball in the net.

The game was by no means a blowout, it was a battle throughout all four quarters. Though we didn't win, it became an important learning experience for us. We were able to vastly improve our game and it's going to help us in the future.

Willy Doehla (Senior Attackman, Captain):

The offense played well today for it being our second game (after a two week break). The game started off slow with a lot of dropped passes and turnovers. But, the offense slowly came together and scored a few goals. Our offense lacked possession time and was forcing the crease today. But, that will be a main focus for the rest of the year.

The Messalonskee team played very well and they are a very good test for our team. I’m very excited to see how our Camden Hills team does for the rest of the season!

Jackson Fitch (Senior Midfielder, Captain):

Messalonskee has the best defensive unit in the north easily, so it was a big challenge for us to put up points against them. They also were extremely efficient in transition catching us man down on the defensive end more than once.

It took us a minute to wake up, and actually get into the game as a team… but once we did get into it the momentum of the game shifted slightly and we felt like we could compete with these guys. Once we actually got the ball and ran our offense, we put the ball in the net. This game was a huge learning experience for us on both ends of the field… we just have to really focus on the little things, efficient offense, and of course limiting turnovers.

I hope we see them again in the playoffs. Standout players on the defensive end were Camden Powel in net, Logan Odone and Elias Libby causing havoc off the faceoffs, Rory Carlson, Owen Cooper, and Owen Hotchkins really held us in this game on the defensive end."

For offense, Willy Doehla, Jacob Johnson, and Jackson Fitch were able to make an impact on a very tough defensive unit.