×

2018 Upper Valley High School Lacrosse Preview

  • Hanover High's Calen Thomas (6) sprints upfield to clear the ball against visiting Champlain Valley on April 9, 2018. Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Purchase a reprint »

  • Stevens High sophomore goaltender Tucker Derosier, shown on April 18, 2017, figures to see plenty of shots this spring for a team working to improve on a winless campaign last year. Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Purchase a reprint »

  • Lebanon's Libby Stone carries the ball past a ConVal opponent on May 13, 2017. The junior midfielder will likely log plentiful minutes for a Raiders team with a small roster. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Purchase a reprint »

  • Hartford High's Michaela Ricker charges past Woodstock defenders Brittney Poljacik (2) and Emma Maiden (9) during the Vermont Division II teams' playoff game last May. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Purchase a reprint »



Valley News Staff Writer
Friday, April 20, 2018

Each year seems to bring new and more trying weather challenges for the Upper Valley’s high school lacrosse teams. The 2018 campaign certainly has continued that trend.

Despite winter weather lasting more than halfway into April, the campaign has nonetheless arrived and is being played in dribs and drabs until precipitation goes down and grass blades grow up.

At Hartford, the boys team is coming off back-to-back appearances in the VPA Division III finals but has moved up to Division II because of the lower classification’s elimination. Keep an eye on longstick midfielder Nick Porter, who often runs his own fast break, and powerful midfielder Reece Thompson.

The Hurricane girls have been taken over by first-year coach Heather … Hartford, a long-time club and high school boss from Massachusetts. They seem likely to post the program’s first-ever winning season.

Hanover’s girls feature standout sophomore midfielder Maddie McCorkle, who was the region’s best girls player by the end of her freshman season. The Marauder boys returned to the playoffs after the first absence in school history in 2016 and have their own standout in attackman Graham Penfield.

The Woodstock boys almost always start slow and finish strong and ended last season with four victories in five games. The Woodstock girls, 2015 VPA Division II champions and 2016 finalists, dropped to 3-11 last spring but hope for a rebound. The Stevens boys are in the same camp, looking to improve on a winless 2017, their fourth such campaign in the last seven seasons.

Lebanon’s girls have suffered a drop in numbers this spring and will need time to overcome player injuries suffered during the winter. Among those is a broken hand endured by star defender Anna Wolke. On the boys side, second-year Raiders coach Rob Fett needs a stiffer defense than the one that surrendered 10 or more goals 10 times last spring.

A team-by-team look at the Upper Valley’s lacrosse squads:

Boys

Hanover

Coach: Ryan Gardner (4).

Last year: 10-8, lost in quarterfinals.

League: NHIAA Division I.

Returnees: Seniors — Michael Mackall (D), Brian Pattison (M), Graham Penfield (A), Colin Rozzi (M), Mike Staiger (D), Pete Warhold (M), Robbie Barnum (M), Fletcher Kaplan-James (D), Taigue Fullerton-Meaney (M), Alex Mosenthal (LSM). Juniors — Eli Silovich (A), Simon Roach (LSM), Kyle Rozzi (A), Mason Winter (G), Griffin Young (M). Sophomores — Charlie Baughman (M/A), Caleb Morse (M), Hill Carter (A), Toño Correa (M).

Newcomers: Seniors — Azor Goodwin (A), Brook Leigh (M), Calen Thomas (M). Juniors — Duncan Bailey (D), Eli Putnam (G), Spencer Brown (M), Bobby Putnam (D); Sophomores — Brendan Brigham (M), Sylas Oberting (D/LSM), Colter Lingelbach-Pierce (A), Rowan Wilson (M), A.J. Ristino (D), Eriq Bowie (D).

Analysis: Penfield had 50 goals last season and will be the focus of every opposing defense until others can draw away some of that attention. The starting defense features seniors Mosenthal, Staiger and Mackall, but Winter needs to improve his shot-stopping if the unit is to truly shine. The diminutive Brigham is a formidable faceoff man, both with his hands and at corralling ground balls.

“It’s a team that has more of a blue-collar work ethic,” said Gardner, who has a junior varsity team featuring 17 freshmen. “The players are very tight off the field, and we have a lot of three-sport seniors who’ve had success in other sports. This is their last chance to play together.”

Hartford

Co-coaches: Bill Elberty (9) and Grant Whiteway (1).

Last year: 11-3, lost in VPA Division III final.

League: VPA Division II.

Returnees: Seniors — Andrew Daley (A), Adam Parker (A), Joe Batchelder (M), Kyle Prior (G), Patrick McGlone (M), Alex St. Martin (LSM), Austin Shepard (D), Mehdi Orogi (D). Juniors — Nick Porter (LSM), Reece Thompson (M), Andrew Knight (M), Jonas Spaulding (M), Justin Bettis (D), Jacob Derosier (A), Michael Thompson (G), Dawson Nalette (A), Colton Schaal (D), Austin Shepard (D). Sophomores — Hunter Hutchinson (A), Logan Raymond (A), Cedar Duda (D), Kaj Boeri (M).

Newcomers: Sophomores — Trevor Robbins (D), Zach Burek (D). Freshmen — Jackson Balch (M), Sully Rikert (G).

Analysis: The Hurricanes, 21-9 the last two years in the now-defunct Division III, should face a higher level of competition with a move to Division II. Thompson, Daley and Parker combined for more than 90 points last spring on a team that outscored its opponents, 101-58, and tallied 10 times or more in five contests. Prior is a first-year goaltender who suffered a major knee injury last season as a field player. “We will be fast and athletic again but with a much higher game IQ than last year,” Elberty said.

Lebanon

Coach: Rob Fett (2).

Last year: 4-10.

League: NHIAA Division III.

Returnees: Seniors — Luke Sandmann (D/LSM). Juniors — Devin Benson (D), Nate Chickering (A), Aaron Damren (A), Ryan Hart (M/G), Colin Kiernan (A/M), Patrick Mason (M), Brad Plodzik (M), Justin Rodgers (D), Jack Sandmann (M), Caiden Skakalski (G/A), Jack Smyrski (D). Sophomores — Jon Cloud (A), Brett Lamadeline (A/M), Sam Lappin (M), Ethan Sullivan-Suppose (D).

Newcomers: Juniors — Mackenzie Greger (D), John Moorhead (M), Ryan Preston (D/M). Sophomores — Jack Chamley (M), Coleman Gross (D). Freshmen — Jonathan Carrier (D), William Gross (D), Jacob Hibner (M), Diego Silva (M).

Analysis: Lebanon has been 4-10 each of the last two seasons and is 22-64 the last five years. The Raiders last made the playoffs in 2015 and won’t be able to field a JV team this spring. “We may be somewhat low in numbers, but we’re very strong in character and familiarity with our formations and schemes,” Fett said.

Stevens

Coach: Peter Lynch (2).

Last year: 0-14.

League: NHIAA Division III.

Returnees: Seniors — Alex Devre (M), Donovan Putnam (M), Nick Stone (D). Juniors — Ian Fitzpatrick (A), Isaiah Forrest (D). Sophomores — Quentin Bicknell (A), Tucker Derosier (G), Phil Mason (D), Keaghan McAlister (M), Duncan Florence (M), T.J. Provencher (M), Alex Simoneau (D).

Newcomers: Seniors — Alex Baker (A), Joe Desilets (D), Hunter Durkee (M). Freshmen — Luke Forrest (A), Odin Reed (M).

Analysis: The Cardinals are 3-81 the past six years, but Lynch is optimistic. “We’re a better team than we were last season despite losing key players,” he said. “I believe we will surprise quite a few teams this year. If we can possess the ball longer as the season goes on, I think we will be fine.”

Woodstock

Coach: Brandon Little (10).

Last year: 9-7, lost in quarterfinals.

League: VPA Division I.

Returnees: Seniors — Cullen McCarthy (M), Patrick Potter (M), Griffen Van Niel (M), Rudy Torrijos (D), Elliot Shoemaker (D). Juniors — Caden White (A), Lucas Piconi (A), Jed Astbury (M), Micah Schlabach (M), Isaac Emery (M), Wade Hirschbohl (M), Ora Astbury (D), Ben Marsicovetere (LSM), Gabe Marsicovetere (G). Sophomore — Trevor White (M).

Newcomers: Junior — Charlie Amato (LSM). Sophomore — Daniel Lessard (A). Freshmen — Field Willis (A), Andrew Gubbins (M), Riley Shepherd (M), Louis Mills (D), Mason Harkins (D), Charles Green (D).

Analysis: The Wasps are trying to reach a state semifinal for the first time in four years. If they don’t, it would be the longest such drought since Woodstock made its 1993 playoff debut. Little is the longest-tenured of the Upper Valley’s boys lacrosse coaches. Several members of this team won a recent hockey state title.

Girls

Hanover

Coach: Chris Seibel (6).

Last year: 11-6, lost in semifinals.

League: NHIAA Division II.

Returnees: Seniors — Perrin Milliken (M), Lyla Stettenheim (D), Cate Wagner (D), Tessa Cahoon (D), Isabelle Sangha (M), Natalie Smith (A), Hanna Kingston (A), Katelyn Hurd (G), Maddie Wallace (D). Juniors — Jasmine Lou (A), Aiden Stone (D). Sophomores — Maddie McCorkle (M), Jessica Seibel (A), Sabin Mitchell (M).

Newcomers: Senior — Daphnie Friedman (A). Junior — Maggie Lee (D). Sophomore — Miranda Galbraith (A). Freshmen — Wylie Lucas (M), Emma Taylor (D).

Analysis: McCorkle, daughter of Dartmouth College associate head football coach Sammy McCorkle, had 27 goals and eight assists last season, and her powerful style is more than many defenses can handle. “Our offense in gelling and working more as a unit than we did last year,” Seibel said. “We have one of the best goalies in the state, with outstanding, smart defensive players to support her.”

Hartford

Coach: Heather Hartford (1).

Last year: 6-11, lost in quarterfinals.

League: VPA Division II.

Returnees: Seniors — Morgan Pero (M), Madison Druge (D), Allie Bartlett (D), Havailah Arnold (D), Michaela Ricker (M). Juniors — Caitlin Gaudet (A), Emily Ricker (A), Alice Dwyer (A). Sophomores — Emi Harlow (G), Tayler Simmons (A), Paige Blish (D), Greer McCarty (A), Makenna Druge (M).

Newcomers: Sophomores — Carolyn North (D), Megan Libuda (D), Anna Lynch (M). Freshmen — Zoey Peiffer (A), Alex Gray (G).

Analysis: A program that’s gone 15-99 the previous nine seasons is on the rise after reaching the state quarterfinals for the first time since 2008. The Hurricanes have started this season 3-0 after winning three of their last four contests last spring. Hartford, the coach, exudes an air of expertise and decisiveness, and her troops feed off that confidence.

Lebanon

Coach: Sara Ecker (24).

Last year: 5-9.

League: NHIAA Division III.

Returning: Seniors — Cecilia Webber (D), Josie Hastings (A), Emma Thibodeau (G). Juniors — Libby Stone (D/M), Katie Berthasavage (M), Ashlyn Taber (A), Anna Wolke (D), Zoe Soule (M), Izzy Peress (M), Clara Cole (A), Emma Hansen (A). Sophomore — Jessie Hastings (M).

Newcomers: Sophomores — Celia Barnett (G/D) Abby Smith (A), Haley Bishop (A). Freshmen — Ana Goodwin (A), Sydney Gonyea (A), Lena Nowell (G), Lily Barber (D), Rachel Harrington (M).

Analysis: Lebanon is 54-39 the past five years, but might be headed for a second consecutive losing season because of injury and depth issues. The Raiders were outscored, 167-108, and allowed 10 or more goals nine times last spring, but they always come on strong down the stretch under Ecker. “The energy is positive and the leadership is outstanding,” said the coach.

Woodstock

Coach: Amanda Hull (4).

Last year: 3-11.

League: VPA Division II.

Returnees: Seniors — Annabelle Lessard (D), Brittney Poljacik (M). Juniors — Gina Sorrentino (A), Sidney Pilot (M) Sophomore — Maggie Parker (G).

Newcomers: Junior — Addie Gray (A). Sophomores — Izzy Jones (M), Sofia Kantola (D), Audrey Eggum (D), Abbey Duane (D). Freshmen — Riley Cross (D), Avari Shewmaker (A), Molly Shearer (M), Kelly Gebhardt (M).

Analysis: Woodstock has lost a combined 19 players to graduation the past two years, a group that was 25-11 during the 2015-16 campaigns, when it reached two state title games and captured the 2015 crown. That’s left Hull with a small, young roster that features only two seniors.

Tris Wykes can be reached at twykes@vnews.com or 603-727-3227.