High school boys lacrosse

Camden Hills discovers winning formula as season winds down

Windjammers, in push to playoffs, win over Rams, Eagles; get key players back from injury
By Staff | May 19, 2018
Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer Camden Hills' Owen Rokous, front, carries the ball against Lincoln Academy on May 17 during a high school boys lacrosse match in Rockport. The Windjammers beat the Eagles 12-3. It was the first loss of the campaign for the Newcastle-based team.

Rockport — After a slow start to the campaign, the Camden Hills boys lacrosse squad seems to have found their footing — and a winning formula — as the Windjammers make a late-season push to the postseason.

The midway point of the season has come and gone, and the Windjammers have righted course and rattled off three straight wins for the first time this season, with an 11-2 road win over Erskine Academy of South China, a 10-3 road victory over Cony of Augusta and 12-3 decision over Lincoln Academy of Newcastle in recent days.

During the win streak Camden Hills has outscored their opponents 33-8.

“We faced adversity with a tough start to our season, but we improved from those experiences and are now playing some really good team lacrosse in the offensive, midfield and defensive ends," said Camden Hills coach Harrison Rogers.

In the Maine Principals' Association Heal Point Standings for Class B, Camden Hills (4-4, 45.9722 points) is sixth, while Yarmouth (8-1, 90.1389 points) is first in the 15-team division. The top 10 teams qualify for the playoffs.

The Windjammers have five matches remaining in the regular season, including four next week.

The following is a recap of recent matches:

Camden Hills 11, Erskine Academy 2

At South China Monday May 21, the Windjammers sailed to their third straight victory.

Camden Hills scored three goals in the first quarter, five in the second and three in the fourth.

Erskine Academy scored all three of its goals in the fourth quarter.

The Camden Hills' offense was led by Thomas Griebel (5 goals), Owen Rokous (3 goals), Kieran McGrath (2 goals) and Bryce Tyler (goal). Griebel (3 assists), Tyler (2 assists) Charlie Griebel (2 assists) and Andy Pitcairn (assist) also contributed to the offensive stats in the victory.

Windjammer goalie James Lynch made four saves in net.

Camden Hills 10, Cony 3

On Tuesday, May 15 in Augusta, the Windjammers trekked out to Cony and despite rainy, yet warm conditions, the visitors were not fazed en route to the victory.

The Windjammers scored two goals in the first quarter and four in the second and third. The Rams tallied two in the second and one in the fourth.

Kieran McGrath keyed Camden Hills with five goals and an assist, while Thomas Griebel (3 goals, 3 assists), Rokous (goal) and Tyler (goal, assist) also found the back of the net. Charlie Griebel added three assists.

James Lynch (4 saves) proved solid in the net for the Windjammers.

Additionally, Rokous had 10 ground balls, Charlie Griebel seven and Pitcairn five. Rokous had 12 wins and five losses on faceoffs.

For Cony, Nick Robinson, Miqueias Biasuz and Isaac Beloff tallied goals. Cam Gallant made 26 saves in goal.

Rogers said it was the Windjammers' best performance of the season. Camden Hills dominated between the restraining boxes, picking up 35 ground balls to Cony’s 16.

Midfielders Rokous, Charlie Griebel and Andy Pitcairn gave the Windjammers 22 extra offensive possessions in the match, the coach said. Rokous won 12 faceoffs to Cony’s five. Those extra offensive possessions led to Camden Hills outshooting Cony 39-12.

The Windjammer offense was led by McGrath, "who had the first break-out game of his Windjammer varsity career" and Thomas Griebel "continued his outstanding production," the coach said.

“We came into the game knowing we needed to get a win to put us back into playoff contention and we answered that with our most complete game of the season," Rogers said. "We started the game off strong and played with intensity for four quarters.”

“We won the game at the midfield by getting extra offensive opportunities from ground balls, turnovers on rides and winning faceoffs … Our offense dodged downhill with speed on Cony’s defenders, beat their defender, drew the slide with their head up and was able to then find the open players.”

The coach added, "This is one of the games that is just fun to watch as a coach. The offense was clicking today and we showed what we are capable of if we play our game offensively.”

Camden Hills 12, Lincoln Academy 3

On Thursday, May 17 in Rockport, after securing a road win just two days earlier, the Windjammers were back on their home turf against Lincoln Academy, and the hosts' offense fired on all cylinders in the victory over the Eagles.

The loss for the Eagles was their first of the regular season.

The Windjammers tallied one goal in the first quarter, four in the second, three in the third and four in the fourth. The Eagles had one in the first, third and fourth.

Thomas Griebel (4 goals, assist), Tyler (2 goals, assists), Rokous (2 goalsm assist), Matt Nickerson (goal, assist), Charlie Griebel (goal, assist), McGrath (goal), Elliot Matlack (goal) and Dan Lydon (assist) keyed the Windjammer attack.

Lynch made nine saves in goal. Additionally, Rokous had nine ground balls, Lydon nine ground balls and four caused turnovers and Will Nickerson six caused turnovers.

Rokous had 14 wins and five losses on faceoffs.

For LA, Nolen Michael, Liam Cullina and Ethan Avantaggio netted goals and Damon Westhaver made 10 saves in goal.

Camden Hills used a "stout defensive effort" to limit the Lincoln Academy offense to three goals, the coach said. Camden Hills won the ground-ball battle 32-12. The Windjammers also won the battle at the face-off X as Rokous won 14-of-19, which led to a 30-19 shot advantage for the Windjammers.

“We won the game again today with the ground-ball battle and at the face-off X," Rogers said. "The extra offensive possessions led to our goals today. I love the heart and intensity our guys are showing when the ball is on the ground. You win or loss the game of lacrosse with ground balls and today we won that battle. Owen and Dan have been ground-ball machines all season long for us.”

The coach said Will Nickerson had the most important and difficult defensive matchup of the game on Michael, who tallied 13 goals in his previous two games.

“Will is our best shutdown defenseman … and he showcased how good of a player he is today," Rogers said. "He played great fundamental defense all game and helped us limit Nolen to one goal.”

“Our defensive unit played a great game with seniors Will Nickerson, Alex Vokey, Marco D’Amato and Dan Lydon leading the way," the coach said.

“It was great to get back two of our starting midfielders from last year in Matt Nickerson and Elliot Matlack that were recovering from injuries to start this season," the coach said. "Both of them are impact players and it showed today with them clearing the ball, picking up ground balls and having their offensive abilities on the field. It was great to see both Matt and Elliot get goals today after their injuries had prevented them from playing."

Courier Publications' sports staff can be reached by email at sports@villagesoup.com or by phone at 594-4401.

Camden Hills' James Lynch. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Camden Hills' Charlie Griebel, right, along with others. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Camden Hills' Charlie Griebel, left, and Elliot Matlack, right, along with others. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Camden Hills' Kieran McGrath. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Camden Hills players come together — sticks high. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Camden Hills' Bryce Tyler. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Camden Hills' Thomas Griebel. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Camden Hills' Bryce Tyler. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Camden Hills' Thomas Griebel, left, along with others. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Camden Hills' Thomas Griebel, left, and Owen Rokous. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Camden Hills' Bryce Tyler. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Camden Hills' Ian Sullivan. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Camden Hills' Dylan Hastings, right. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Camden Hills coach Harrison Rogers, facing, talks to his players. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Camden Hills' Owen Rokous, left. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Camden Hills' Charlie Griebel, left, along with another. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Camden Hills' Elliot Matlack, middle, along with others. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Camden Hills' Elliot Matlack, front, along with others. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Camden Hills' Owen Rokous, left, and Thomas Griebel. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Camden Hills' Kieran McGrath. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Camden Hills' Elliot Matlack, left, among others. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Camden Hills' Matt Nickerson. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
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