by Richard Creaser
copyright the Chronicle 10-23-2013
ORLEANS — All season long, Lake Region Union High School’s Alex Beauregard has been the go-to guy for the Rangers. On Tuesday afternoon, he reminded fans and teammates why as he exploded for four goals in a 4-0 win over the visiting Oxbow Olympians in DIII playdown action at Lake Region.
Beauregard credits his teammates for giving him the opportunities to score goals. A deep lineup with many skilled playmakers enabled Beauregard to cut through the middle and convert.
“Every guy out there is as good as anybody else,” Beauregard said after Tuesday’s playdown game. “We’ve got a really good midfield that can move the ball and get it across to me. They work hard to get it out in front to me, and my job is to finish it.”
And finish it he did. The Rangers had multiple opportunities in the first half, but the Olympians kept Beauregard and the Rangers firmly in check.
On the season, Oxbow and Danville held the distinction of being the only two teams to hand this Rangers squad a loss. Having split the season series 1-1, neither side could afford to take a victory for granted.
“In my 32 years of coaching, this Oxbow team is probably one of the most improved teams I’ve seen in a single season,” Lake Region Coach Tom Evans said. “They went from getting demolished at the start of the year to competing in every single game. Hats off to Oxbow.”
Oxbow started the season slowly, losing their first five games while being outscored 22-5 in that time frame. A 2-1 win over Lake Region snapped their losing streak and helped propel the Olympians to a 5-9 record by season’s end.
Through much of the game the Olympians displayed some of the skill and speed that helped them overcome their early season struggles. Through the first 40 minutes of play, Oxbow battled Lake Region to a scoreless tie.
The pace of the game changed as the Rangers squad, which featured five JV call-ups, overcame their playoff jitters and focused on capturing and controlling the ball, Coach Evans said. The opportunities that went just too wide in the first half suddenly achieved results. Beauregard’s first goal on a pass from Bryant Prue with 27:51 to play in the second half broke open the floodgates and enabled the Rangers to play their kind of ball.
Beauregard would seal the victory four minutes later as he converted a pass from Josh Thibault to cement the Lake Region win. The goals would keep coming courtesy of Dominick Turcotte, who launched perfect shots to Beauregard who converted both a header and a short hop into decisive tallies for the home squad.
Tuesday’s victory was just the first of many for Lake Region as they head deeper into the playoffs, Beauregard predicted.
“This team has what it takes to win it all,” he said.
The Rangers will return to action on Friday facing the winner of Leland & Gray or Rivendell. The game is scheduled for a 3 p.m. start at Lake Region.