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Teams Ready to Hit the Fields

  • Stevens High goaltender Joseph Marsinelli can't stop a shot during practice Friday at Monadnock Park. The Cardinals, 2-12 last season, have been bolstered by an influx of freshmen from Claremont's middle school program.<br/>Valley News — Tris Wykes
  • Hartford High and senior defender Skylar Gay, right, hope to show marked improvement this season. The Hurricanes were 1-13 last spring.<br/>Valley News file — Tris Wykes

When spring gets a late start in the Upper Valley, it means the same for local high school lacrosse teams.

Sara Ecker, the 20th-year coach of the Lebanon High girls program, can’t recall a season where her team has been stuck in the gym this late. Many squads aren’t likely to see their first home game action until late this month.

Nonetheless, the season is here, and player and coaches must make do. Passing may be a bit off, faceoff and shooting skills in need of refinement and the transition game a mess, but the regular season wraps up in roughly six weeks.

At Hanover, the Marauders boys team hopes to return to the state semifinals for the seventh time in eight years after missing them last spring for the first time since 2006. The girls team is considered a serious state title contender of its own. At Lebanon, the boys program hopes to rebuild under new coach Lochrane Gary, a former Florida State University club player, while Ecker’s girls aim for a return to the NHIAA Division III title game.

Hartford’s girls have the same head coach in back-to-back seasons for the first time in five years, and the boys program is benefitting from a large influx of freshmen created by the town’s recreation department teams. Kearsarge’s girls are hoping to reach the state finals for the fourth time in six years after exiting in the semifinals last spring, and the Woodstock boys must overcome the loss of several graduated standouts and the lingering disappointment of last season’s .500 record.

Can Oxbow’s girls maintain their momentum with a new coach who’s also new to the game? Can the Stevens boys translate an influx of 14 freshmen into a few more victories? Will Woodstock’s Annie Arthur top her 54-goal total of a year ago?

Stay tuned. The answers are forthcoming.

Boys

Hanover

Coach: Jeff Reed (9).

Last Year: 14-5, lost in division quarterfinals.

League: NHIAA Division I.

Who’s Back: Seniors — Jude Arbogast (A), Worthy Gardner (M), Teddy Geraghty (D), Andrew Huizenga (M), Noah Huizenga (D), Stephen McCarthy (D), Tom Peters (A), Chris Washington (G). Juniors — Ben Acker (A), Conor Austin (M), Dan DeRoy (G), Brendan Forauer (A), Jin Kim (M), Gus Lyons (M), Joey Porter (D), Gavin Ratliff (M), Ethan Winter (D), George Geraghty (A).

Who’s New: Seniors — Alex Tariot (D), Michael Mayo (A), Matt Leskovar (A), Jack Boillotat (D), Tucker Cadow (M), Ben Hartman (M). Juniors — Andrew Kazal (M), Nate Spitz (M). Sophomore — Tenzin Tashi (D).

Who’s Gone: Jesse Brown (M), Zach Estes (M), Alex Hoehn (D), Carl Keating (D), Josh Martin (D), James Montgomery (M), Hunter Simpson (M), Austin Taylor (A), Zach Taylor (M).

Strengths: Defense, goaltending, offensive depth, experience.

Weaknesses: Need to reduce turnovers and replace Brown’s presence and scoring ability. Uncertainty on who will emerge to take faceoffs.

Players to Watch: Boillotat is 6-foot-4 and the son of former Marauders coach Mark Boillotat. Father and son lived together in Texas before Jack returned for the current school year. Austin moves from attack to bolster the midfield, and Gardner is poised for a breakout season.

Toughest Foes: Bishop Guertin, Pinkerton, Londonderry, Souhegan, Exeter.

Etc.: Former Marauders in college include Ryan Brigham, St. Lawrence’s top faceoff man, Michigan midfielder Christian Wolter and Haverford reserve goaltender James Washington.

Coach’s Final Thoughts: “This is a very unselfish, talented and athletic group that can compete for a state title if it protects the ball, limits turnovers and wins its share of faceoffs.”

Hartford

Coach: Bill Elberty (5).

Last Year: 6-7, lost in division quarterfinals.

Leagues: Vermont Division II, Marble Valley League.

Who’s Back: Seniors — John Borchert (M), John Lewis (M), Kyle Kolenski (M), Andrew Atkinson (A), Taylor Thompson (D). Juniors — Josh Avery (D), Willy Todt (D), Kevin Ladka (D), James Young (G), John Bielecki (A). Sophomores — Jason Bielecki (M), Sam Dwyer (A), Walkker Judd (M), Bryce Landon (A), Will Mayfield (M).

Who’s New: Seniors — Zach Arnold (M), Jeremy McGlone (M), Kiefer Harrelson (M), Jeff Lyford (A). Juniors — Riley Strawbridge (M), Gareth Stevenson (M). Sophomores — Justin Pero (A), Gavin Shropshire (M), Keaton Simmons (A). Freshman — Bailey Nott (D/M).

Who’s Gone: Joe Wood (A/M), Luke Butterfield (M), Zach Summersell (M), Donovan Kelly (M/D).

Strengths: Midfield.

Weaknesses: An inexperienced group of defensemen and long-pole midfielders.

Players to Watch: Borchert, Lewis, Thompson, Atkinson, Young.

Toughest Foes: Rutland, Burr & Burton, Woodstock, Green Mountain Valley School.

Etc.: A boom sparked by a strong middle school program has resulted in more than 50 Hurricanes in the program and some freshmen pushing for playing time.

Coach’s Final Thoughts: “Our midfield is deeper than it has ever been. We have a solid attack and our defense should be solid once we get to run our sets on a full field.”

Kearsarge

Coach: Mike Heffernan (4).

Last Year: 10-7, lost in division quarterfinals.

League: NHIAA Division III.

Who’s Back: Seniors — Will Aufranc (G), Andrew Vanhooydonk (A), Keatton Hansen, (D), Travis Newman (A), Bailey Kane (A). Juniors — Matt Pickman (M), Bryson Barthol (D), Ben LaPrade (D) Tristan Rowe (M). Sophomore — Lucas Muzzey (M).

Who’s New: Sophomore — Austin Hogancamp (D). Freshmen — Leland Heckel, Sam Kelly (M), Justin Norris (M), Gunnar Nurme (A), Colton Wilhelm (M).

Who’s Gone: Peter Allen (M), Oliver Gallo (M), Robbie Lutz (M), Jordan Barthol (D), Alex Wilson (A), Ben Gambino (D).

Strengths: Goaltender, youthful energy.

Weaknesses: Inexperience.

Players to Watch: Aufranc, Hansen, Vanhooydonk, Pickman.

Toughest Foes: Derryfield.

Etc.: Allen now plays at Plymouth State.

Coach’s Final Thoughts: “The coaches are excited to be working with this group of guys. We expect them to improve as the season progresses and learn to work with one another.”

Lebanon

Coach: Lochrane Gary (1).

Last Year: 1-13.

League: NHIAA Division III.

Who’s Back: Seniors — Jake Mellish (A), Lucas Gerow (M), Scott Colburn (M), Bryan Terrill (D), Joe Grout (D), Matthew Woodcock (M), Christopher Lovejoy (A), John Jasinski (M), Tanner Singleton (M). Juniors — Kyler Tang (G), Ryan Damren (A).

Who’s New: Sophomores — Jeremy Corbin (A), Walker Tuttle (M), Tavian Tobin (M), Nick Haidari (M), Ethan Didehbani (M), Tate Singleton (M). Freshmen — Nate Damren (A), Jordan Hammond (M), Sam Buckman (D).

Who’s Gone: Phil Hwang (M), Jeff Taylor (D), Hunter Crowe (M), Dylan Drew (M).

Strengths: Offense, defense.

Weaknesses: Goaltenders.

Players to Watch: Mellish, Ryan Damren, Nate Damren, Corbin, Haidari, Gerow, Tate Singleton.

Toughest Foes: Merrimack Valley, Plymouth, Kearsarge.

Etc.: The Raiders’ 2013 record tied them for last in a 22-team division. Former coach Nick Yager is coaching elementary school lacrosse in town.

Coach’s Final Thoughts: “Our defense is fast, smart, and aggressive, with lots of talented athletes. Our offense is stout, with a core of trigger-happy shooters. We look to bring a new breed of lacrosse to the Upper Valley.”

Stevens

Coach: Jed Hart (4).

Last Year: 2-12.

League: NHIAA Division III.

Who’s Back: Seniors — Owen Ritondo (M), Spenser Root (M). Juniors — Bryton Burrows (A/M) Robbie Knight (D), Joseph Marsinelli (G).

Who’s New: Senior — Christian Stone (M). Juniors — Adam Barr (M), Kaleb Kinney (M), Tommy Sewall (M). Sophomore — Angelika Seaman (M). Freshmen — Logan Bateman (D), Nick LaCaillede (A), Timothy Berry (M), Dillon Hannigan (M), Devon Burgess (D), Nick Eagan (M), Spencer Morin (M), Cody Schoolcraft (M), Matt Leclair (A), Dylan Kemp (D), Chris Lafont (M), Max Salls (A), Devin Porter (M), Zach Stanhope (D).

Who’s Gone: Josh Casey (M), Kieran Cochrane (A), Cullen Eaton (A), Nick McCall (D), Forrest Powers (D), Daniel Seaman (M), Chris Shattuck (D), Nathan Wright (M), Joseph Tarantino, Martino Donelli, Will Heighes.

Strength: Endurance.

Weaknesses: Experience.

Players to Watch: Burrows, LaCaillede, Leclair.

Toughest Foes: Hopkinton, Derryfield.

Etc.: Former Cardinals player Zach Knight, Robbie’s older brother, is now a military policeman in the Navy and is stationed in Georgia.

Coach’s Final Thoughts: “Developing a middle school program last year has paid dividends, as athletes are coming in with greater knowledge of fundamentals than in the past.”

Woodstock

Coach: Brandon Little (5).

Last Year: 8-8, lost in division quarterfinals.

Leagues: Vermont Division I, Marble Valley League.

Who’s Back: Seniors — Oliver Vicar (A), Oliver Kaija (M), Nick Donaldson (D), Ben Orr (G). Juniors — Haven Lantz (A), Connor McCarthy (M), Graham Melville (M), Nehemiah Wood (M), Will Gault (D), Connor Fegard (D), Justin Forgione (A). Sophomores — Jackson Wood (A), Nikolai Davis (M), Braden McCarthy (M).

Who’s New: Senior — Bradley Hinson (A). Junior — Campbell Boswell (M). Sophomores — Colby Dalton (M), Wynn Falvey (G), Ryan Blanchard (D), Lucas Godfrey (M). Freshman — Connor Black (D), Jack Arthur (A), Patrick Bald (A), Jonas Kantola (A), Daniel Robinson (A).

Who’s Gone: Hunter Schmell (A), Ed Doton (D), Marc Findeisen (M), James Durand (A), Jesse Davis (D), Taylor Lessard (M), Reid Langona (M), James Morgan (D), Austin Cawley-Edwards (M), Travis Gault (A), Evan Sawyer (G), Jared Stewart (D).

Strengths: Defense, goaltender.

Weaknesses: Offense.

Players to Watch: Kaija, Orr.

Toughest Foes: Middlebury, Essex, Mount Anthony.

Etc.: Schmell now plays for Stevenson (Md.) University, an NCAA Division III program.

Coach’s Final Thoughts: “We’ll need some time to develop cohesion within attack to balance our strong returning middies, solid defense and returning goalie.”

Girls

Hanover

Coach: Chris Seibel (2).

Last Year: 17-2, lost in state final.

League: NHIAA Division II.

Who’s Back: Seniors — Hannah Seibel (M), Liesel Robbins (M), Evie Keating (M), Rachel Boghosian (A), Eileen Daley (D), Grace Croitoru (D), Emily Gougelet (G). Juniors — J.J. Daniell (M), Sophie Lubrano (M), Christine Croitoru (A), Pema Tashi (D), Mason McNulty (A). Sophomore — Georgina Stern (D).

Who’s New: Junior — Elsa Davis (D). Freshmen — Maddie Lyons (M), Molly Seibel (A), Lilian Stout (M), Johanna Copeland (M), Amelia Lubrano (D), Mahler Meyerrose (D).

Who’s Gone: Claudia Noonan (A), Georgia Lubrano (M), Suriya Lacey (D), Araya Lacy (D).

Strengths: Depth, chemistry, athleticism.

Weaknesses: Nearly a third of the roster is comprised of freshmen.

Players to Watch: Seibel, Keating, Boghosian.

Toughest Foes: Londonderry, Exeter, Bedford, Windham.

Etc.: Seibel, Keating and Boghosian have all been recruited to play in college.

Coach’s Final Thoughts: “Expectations are high. We need to focus on the little things and not get too far ahead of ourselves.”

Hartford

Coach: Katherine MacPherson (2).

Last Year: 1-13, lost in first round.

Leagues: Vermont Division II, Marble Valley League.

Who’s Back: Seniors — Sadie Gay (D), Skylar Gay (O), Megan Potter (C), Alexis Lowell (D), Mona Abdelghani (D), Leea Seaver (G), Danielle Hodgdon (M). Juniors — Esme Cole (A), Amanda Dombroski (O), Justina Terino (M). Sophomores — Lilian Duda (D), Morgan Furlong (M), Amanda Locke (D), Shayla Prior (M), Emily Ruffing (A).

Who’s New: Freshman — Natalie Yoder (G).

Who’s Gone: Aberash Ladd (M), Emma Pilczymski (M).

Strengths: Defense.

Weaknesses: Lack of varsity experience in goal.

Players to Watch: Yoder has shown promise as a netminder. Sadie Gay is a standout defender.

Toughest Foes: Woodstock, Rutland.

Etc.: Hartford is a combined 7-64 the past four seasons.

Coach’s Final Thoughts: “The Hurricanes are ready to come out strong this season. We are thriving with effort and have a strong defensive and offensive line-up to carry us into the season.”

Kearsarge

Coach: Scott Slogic (6).

Last Year: 14-1, lost in a double-overtime state semifinal to Lebanon.

League: NHIAA Division III.

Who’s Back: Seniors — Libby Brooks (M), Kate Scheuch (D), Haley Brook (A), Jonnalyn Burt (A), Emma Tilley (D). Juniors — Geneva Heffernan (M), Lianna Blakeman (A), Hannah Anderson (A). Sophomore — Eleanor Angus (D).

Who’s New: Junior — Ali Sailor (A). Sophomores — Ellie Chadwick (A), Mary Devers (A), Bryna Carey (G). Freshmen — Maici Hansen (M), Maggie Lee (M), Anya Nowick (G), Courtney Lauster (D).

Who’s Gone: Gemma Bready (M), Christie Ross (D), Morgan Galluzzo (G), Caitlin Anderson (A).

Strengths: Eight returning starters.

Weaknesses: The four graduated seniors were standouts and workhorses for the Cougars. Finding a reliable goaltender is a question mark.

Players to Watch: Brooks, Scheuch.

Toughest Foes: Lebanon, Hopkinton, Plymouth, Kingswood.

Etc.: Bready now plays at Maine’s Colby College and Galluzzo at Pennsylvania’s Wilkes University.

Coach’s Final Thoughts: “This team continues to rebuild itself every year because of attrition. We need to develop a more productive attack and give our defense a chance to mature. We will rely heavily upon our sophomore class.”

Lebanon

Coach: Sara Ecker (20).

Last Year: 13-5, lost in state final.

League: NHIAA Division III.

Who’s Back: Juniors — Emily Perryman, Emma Forman, Lindsey Merrill, Kyra Taylor, Erika Moffitt, Heidi Martin, Christine Jones, Erin Landry (G), Izzy Walker, Sam Roberts. Sophomores — Brenna Peterson, Rachel Billings, Anwen Morgan (G), Caroline Wren, Elle Brine.

Who’s New: Freshman — Sage Bullard.

Who’s Gone: Amelia Gage (M), Mo Moran (A), Hallie Bergwall (M), Sarah Wilder (D), Hannah Garipey (D), Shauna Rankin-Byrne (A), Taylor Friedman (D).

Strengths: Cohesiveness and an experienced junior class.

Weaknesses: Roster size.

Players to Watch: Perryman was a second-team all-state midfielder last year, but Ecker touts the entire junior class.

Toughest Foes: Kearsarge, Hopkinton, Plymouth.

Etc.: Because the team hasn’t practiced outside, Ecker has yet to assign positions, with the exceptions of goaltenders Landry and Morgan.

Coach’s Final Thoughts: “We are a small group this season but also a committed one. This year’s team is full of hardworking and enthusiastic young ladies.”

Oxbow

Coach: Donna Hatch (1).

Last Year: 8-7-2, lost in division quarterfinals.

League: Vermont Division II.

Who’s Back: Seniors — Jasmin Clark (M), Savannah Fay (G), Mikayla Hodge (M), Lauren Tomlinson (M), Drew Pierson (A), Eliza Russ (A), Amber Stock (A), Taren Gendron (A). Juniors — Morgan Brill (D), Maddie French (D), Madi Smith (A), Amber Speck (M), Kelsie Chaffee (M). Sophomores — Felicia Brocar (G), Meghan Boardman (D), Kafre’ O’Connell (A), Angela Fraser (A), Madison Hart (D).

Who’s New: Freshmen — Rosie Fraser (A), Kayle Christy (D).

Who’s Gone: Rebecca Calhoun (D), Ashleigh Stearns (A), Dilan Clements (A/D), Emily Speck (M), Sarah Smith (D), Vanessa Valley (M).

Strengths: Upperclass leadership.

Weaknesses: Adapting to a third coach in as many years.

Players to Watch: Hodge, Fay.

Toughest Foes: Burr & Burton, U-32.

Etc.: Hatch has coached middle school softball and basketball, but not lacrosse. However, she is the wife of former Hanover and Kearsarge boys coach Herb Hatch, and he will be assisting her. Had the Hatches not stepped forward recently, there was a chance the program would have gone dormant for a year.

Coach’s Final Thoughts: “We have strong leaders and a senior laden team. Last year, our team made it to the quarterfinals. Our expectation is nothing less this year.”

Woodstock

Coach: Hannah Nichols (4).

Last Year: 7-11, lost in division quarterfinals.

Leagues: Vermont Division II, Marble Valley League.

Who’s Back: Seniors — Elizabeth Kamb (A), Annie Arthur (M). Juniors — Holli Olson (D), Clancy Farrand (M/A). Sophomores — Lauren Kaija (M), Abby Kaija (M), Megan Dalton (G).

Who’s New: Seniors — Karli Weinburg (D), Katherine Tucker (M). Sophomores — Grace Vosburgh (M/A), Carli Langan (D), Lauren French (A), Nikki Sweeny (A), Anna Tracey (D). Freshmen — Lily Doton (M), Erika Gebhardt (D).

Who’s Gone: Ana Haimovitz (D), Sam Harrington (M), Delaney Little (M), Nicole Stone (A), Alexis Blanchard (A), Asa Waterworth (D), Lauren Horsman (M), Kelsey Harrington (M), Emma Astbury (G), Jocelyn Werle (M).

Strengths: Grit, speed, fundamentals.

Weaknesses: Youth.

Players to Watch: Arthur, who scored 54 goals last spring, and Lauren Kaija, who had 29.

Toughest Foes: Rutland, Brattleboro, Mount Anthony, Burr & Burton.

Etc.: The Wasps had no preseason scrimmages but play nine Division I opponents during the regular season.

Coach’s Final Thoughts: “The older kids on the team will bring along the younger girls, which is a great strength. This team is working harder and having more fun than any team I’ve coached.”

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