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    Wednesday, June 19, 2024

    Revenge, redemption, rejoicing for ECC champion Stonington boys’ lacrosse team

    Stonington players celebrate after defeating East Lyme 13-6 in the Eastern Connecticut Conference boys’ lacrosse championship on Thursday at Waterford High School. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
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    East Lyme’s Drew Sager (3) leaps in front of three Stonington defenders as he attempts to score during Thursday’s Eastern Connecticut Conference boys’ lacrosse championship at Waterford High School. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
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    Stonington’s Ben Massengale (2) is defended by East Lyme’s Nicholas Maksim (8) during the Eastern Connecticut Conference boys’ lacrosse championship at Waterford High School Thursday, May 25, 2023. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
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    East Lyme’s Aidan Patterson (1) falls while defending against Stonington’s Patrick McGugan (22) during the Eastern Connecticut Conference boys’ lacrosse championship at Waterford High School Thursday, May 25, 2023. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
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    Waterford — It was one of those moments — unscripted, unbelievable — that will live in Stonington High lore and legend: The boys’ lacrosse team hugging anything that moved in the final seconds Thursday, while the girls’ team, on the track awaiting their own title game, counted down the final seconds.

    Indeed, all of Brown Town rejoiced, as the boy Bears achieved revenge (for losing to East Lyme earlier this season) and redemption (after losing in the league championship game last year). The Bears did it with an exclamation point, too, 13-6 over top-seeded East Lyme at Alumni Turf Field.

    “Huge,” Stonington coach Conor Doyle said. “It proves that just because we’re a small school doesn’t mean we can’t win. We may play a soft schedule, but that doesn’t mean we’re not a good team. I hope it helps with the youth program, too. We have 21 kids in varsity and JV right now.”

    The list of notables for the Bears:

    • Goalkeeper Andrew Whitman made 14 saves, five of which came in the third period when the Bears nursed a 5-4 lead.

    • Middie Will French continued to issue clinics during faceoffs — winning virtually all of them, helping his team maintain possession.

    • Five goals from Ethan Mahoney, three from game Most Valuable Player Cam Elenteny, two from Nate Mahoney and singles from Ben Massengale, Tyler Simao and Jackson Hayes.

    “Will is a game changer,” Doyle said. “A nightmare for the other coaches.”

    French said he practices his hand speed and faceoff work “on the carpet at home.”

    “Having possession of the ball is one of the biggest things a team can have,” Whitman said of French. “He’s the best I’ve ever seen.”

    French, headed to Nichols College, joined in the Mutual Admiration Society.

    “We totally don’t win that game without Andrew,” French said.

    Doyle: “Andrew picked up a goalie stick halfway through last season. He’s locked in.”

    Stonington (16-2) led 5-4 at halftime and well into the third period. Ethan Mahoney, Nate Mahoney (twice) and Elenteny scored four straight goals and gave the Bears a 9-4 lead.

    “We told the guys ‘if we outhustle them, we win,” Doyle said. “Our guys were coming off the field gassed. But so were theirs. A great win and effort.”

    Gavin White and Jack Keating scored two goals apiece for the Vikings (10-8).

    m.dimauro@theday.com

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