BRUNSWICK — After another tremendous all-around campaign, the Camden Hills lacrosse team split two playoff matches to cap an 11-win spring.

The Windjammers took their first step on their annual quest for a state Class B championship in a road match Camden Hills “hosted” on rainy Thursday afternoon, June 9 on the artificial turf at Messalonskee High School.

The No. 5 Windjammers beat No. 12 Morse of Bath/Boothbay Region 19-4 in a prelim match moved from Don Palmer Field in Rockport to the turf at Messalonskee due to wet conditions.

Subsequently, the Windjammers saw their season conclude in a road playoff loss to eventual state champion Brunswick.

After the prelim victory, Camden Hills (11-3) played at No. 4 Brunswick (12-4) on Saturday, June 11 in the quarterfinals, which the Rockport-based squad lost 15-10.

The Dragons beat No. 13 Greely of Cumberland 19-2 in the prelims and also downed the Windjammers 17-9 to end the regular season.

After their quarterfinal win over Camden Hills, the Dragons continued their incredible playoff run as they upset No. 1 Messalonskee of Oakland 14-10 in the semifinals (the Eagles were the only other foe to beat the Windjammers in 2022) and No. 2 Yarmouth 14-13 in the state final.

The Shipbuilders, who also lost to the Windjammers 20-12 in a regular-season match, finished 5-8.

Against Morse, Camden Hills took control early and led 7-1, 13-3 and 17-3 at the quarter breaks.

The Windjammers were led by Finlay Fitch (goal, assist), Jackson Fitch (6 goals), Jakob Johnson (2 goals, assist), Emmet Marshall (3 goals, assist), Willy Doehla (5 goals, 3 assists), Quinn Riordan (assist), Camden Powell (assist), Eben Fagonde (assist), Owen McManus (goal) and Roan Aldridge-Peacock (goal).

Elias Libby had 13 ground balls, Johnson seven and Jackson Fitch five. Logan Odone won 11-of-18 faceoffs and Powell made 13 saves on 17 shots in net.

Camden Hills finished with 33 shots on goal.

Against Brunswick, the Windjammers fell behind 5-0 after the first quarter, battled back in an attempt to cut into the hosts’ advantage, “but couldn’t start a sustained run to cut the deficit because of Brunswick’s strong midfield depth and their extremely good faceoff midfielders,” said Windjammer coach Harrison Rogers.

Camden Hills tied Brunswick 10-10 for the final three quarters, but could not dig out of the early hole. The Windjammers scored four goals in the second stanza, two in the third and four in the fourth. Brunswick netted five in the first, four in the second and three in the third and fourth.

For the Windjammers, Finlay Fitch (goal, assist), Jackson Fitch (2 goals, assist), Marshall (goal, assist), Odone (goal), Doehla (4 goals) and Libby (goal) led the offense. Libby also had 13 ground balls and Odone nine. Powell made 13 saves on 28 shots.

“We had to keep our heads-up and keep pushing forward,” said Libby. “Every goal was important in keeping us in it along with keeping our spirits up. We just had to keep moving the ball and being efficient and in the end that’s what kept the game so close.”

“Our second game against Brunswick was a battle for sure,” said Windjammer Owen Cooper. “Both teams came to play and compete since it was playoffs. Our guys played until the end and although we lost it was a good game and a good one to end on.”

The final career statistics for a few of the Windjammer seniors, who lost their sophomore season due to the pandemic, were: Doehla (90 goals, 40 assists, 130 points, 41 ground balls), Jackson Fitch (76 goals, 40 assists, 116 points, 120 ground balls), Johnson (46 goals, 19 assists, 65 points, 65 ground balls), Libby (203 ground balls), Rory Carlson (108 ground balls) and Cooper (75 ground balls).

Offensive statistical leaders for the Windjammers this season were Doehla (57 goals, 24 assists), Jackson Fitch (40 goals, 22 assists), Johnson (22 goals, 11 assists), Finlay Fitch (19 goals, 6 assists) and Marshall (15 goals, 18 assists).

For ground balls, Libby has 118, Carlson 48, Jackson Fitch 44, Fagonde 35, Odone 31, Johnson 26 and Doehla 23. Odone won 104 faceoffs and Powell had 139 saves on 219 shots.

The Windjammer seniors led the team to a 21-6 overall record the past two years after missing their sophomore campaigns due to the pandemic.

The team’s seniors were Carlson, Cooper, Jackson Fitch, Doehla, Libby, Johnson, Odone, Fagonde, Chris Cammelieri, Powell, Cole Freeman, Alex Kurzius, Vanya Perevalov and Oliver Dietter.

“The past two seasons of lacrosse have been great,” said Fagonde. “Last year I had a chance to play with seniors Levi Guay and Charlie Griebel, who led our team on and off the field. Even with the loss of a very talented senior class we came back stronger this year due to their leadership. We made it farther in the playoffs and competed with [Messalonskee] and Brunswick, which are two very strong programs. I want to thank my teammates for making these seasons fun, my family for always supporting me, and I also my coaches. I hope the Camden Hills lacrosse program continues to grow throughout the years.”

“Lacrosse and other sports for me have always been about having fun,” said Carlson. “As a captain and a teammate, I always try to keep things light and enjoyable, but for me I have the most fun competing and battling opponents. At Camden Hills we have a community of people through numerous sports that also enjoy tough competition. Though four years ago we had quite a lousy record, my fellow seniors (freshmen at the time) and I were able to practice and play against people who now play at the college level. The year off due to COVID-19 was a bummer, for sure, but when we were able to get on the field last year and play, we were ready to battle. The willingness to compete and put everything out there on the field is what carried us to a successful season. This year we were able to improve our skills by competing against each other. That, combined with our love for the grittier aspect of the game, is what allowed us to compete with teams like Messalonskee and Brunswick.”

“I am extremely grateful to everyone who played a part in this season, and our team’s 11-3 record this year,” said Jackson Fitch. “What a fun ride to go on one last time with the friends and family I have been playing with for the last four years. It means so much to me that we competed with Brunswick and Messalonskee, and were able to give them a battle rather than a blowout. Playing Brunswick once in regular season and again in playoffs was some of the most fun I’ve had in high school sports. Both times we gave them a game, but, unfortunately, both times we came up short.

“This team has grown exponentially in the past four years. I remember that tough loss to Gardiner and having a subpar season my freshman year … The growth this program has seen from then to now is insane. Last year we had what we thought was the best season CHILLS would ever have, this season I think we topped that, at least record- and opponent-wise. But the past two seasons Camden Hills lacrosse [had] been driven by the senior class of 2021, Charlie Griebel, and Levi Guay, building a culture that pushed me and the senior class of 2022 to the success we had this year. Big thanks to our coaches for pushing us, and to my fellow classmates of 2022 for bringing the competitive edge that I think defines Camden Hills lacrosse.”

Cooper honored

Cooper, a captain and defenseman, was named to the US Lacrosse All-Academic American Team for Maine Lacrosse. He is the second Windjammer player to receive this award by US Lacrosse.

Rogers said an All-Academic American honoree is a player who “exhibits exemplary lacrosse skills, good sportsmanship on the field, and represents high standards of academic achievement in the classroom.”

Cooper was a three-year varsity starter on defense (one season missed due to pandemic). He helped lead the Windjammer to a 21-6 record the past two seasons and a defense that only allowed an average of six goals a match to opponents during that time, the coach said.

“Owen was the lacrosse team’s top close long-pole defender and a senior captain this year,” Harrison said. “Owen often would get one of the toughest assignments to cover the opposing team’s best attackman, and he used his strong positional defense to help control the opposing team’s top offensive player. He was the leader on our defense that we relied on for our slide packages and our team defense. Owen was also a vital part in our clearing game and he used his excellent stick skills and footwork to get his hands free and make the correct, patient pass to an open midfielder or attackman.”

The coach added: “Owen is a student-athlete who always strives to excel on the field, in the classroom, and in the community. Throughout his high school career, he has volunteered building mountain biking trails for the New England Mountain Biking Association at the Camden Snow Bowl. Owen was also highly involved in CHRHS PEERS helping to guide new students and freshmen around the school, and as a teaching assistant at Camden Hills Regional High School. Owen was also on the mountain biking team all four years and served as captain of that squad senior year, and has refereed youth lacrosse in the region.”

Cooper has been a high-honors student and recently graduated summa cum laude. He will attend Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, N.C. for photography and outdoor leadership in the fall of 2022. He also plans to play lacrosse for the school and is excited to continue mountain biking.