Marauder Lax Edges CVU
The work of goaltender Christopher Washington, left, played a big part in a season-opening win for Hanover yesterday. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Purchase photo reprints »
Hanover boys lacrosse coaches Jeff Reed, right, and Charlie Carroll watch the tense end to the Marauders’ overtime win yesterday. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Purchase photo reprints »
Hanover — Good, but not good enough. That was the consensus among the members of the Hanover High boys lacrosse team yesterday after the Marauders used a Jesse Brown goal 19 seconds into overtime to pin a 5-4 defeat on visiting Champlain Valley Union.
The Redhawks have reached the Vermont Division I semifinals every year since 2004, made the title game six times during that stretch and won the championship twice. That makes yesterday’s triumph in the teams’ opener a nice one for Hanover, but the Marauders know they’ll need better execution if they’re to keep their own streak of playoff success alive.
“I didn’t think it would be that close,” said Hanover coach Jeff Reed, whose team has reached the NHIAA Division I semifinals the last six seasons and routed CVU early last season. “You could see the youth on our team today, where we made decisions that weren’t veteran decisions and it cost us in turnovers.
“We had the lead late and we were trying to hit home-run passes, which we can’t be doing. We have to learn how to have grace under pressure.”
Said Brown: “We were pretty sloppy and we shouldn’t have let it be that close a game. We missed a lot of shots and their goalie made some good saves and some lucky saves. We had 12 turnovers in the first half and we can’t do that. Our attack has to keep possession more.”
Hanover opened the scoring with 15 seconds remaining in the first quarter. Zach Taylor dodged from the center of the field and past several defenders before rifling the ball by goaltender Owen Hudson. The Marauders struck for a 2-0 lead with just 2.5 seconds to go in the stanza, this time on a goal by Brown.
The hosts pushed their advantage to 3-0 a little less than four minutes into the second quarter when Taylor curved from left to right in front of Hudson and beat him with a shot on the run. However, CVU answered with goals six minutes before and three minutes after intermission and trailed 3-2 entering the fourth quarter.
After the Redhawks twice hit the post during the final stanza’s opening eight minutes, Hanover sophomore Brendan Forauer teed up a sidearm shot from an angle to Hudson’s left, ripping the twine behind him while the visitors were a man down because of a slashing penalty.
CVU cut its deficit to 4-3 with six minutes remaining in regulation time, then intercepted a long Hanover pass attempt in front of Hudson with 30 seconds to go. Charging upfield, Redhawks midfielder Chandler Jacobson made defender Josh Martin miss about 30 yards from the goal, then placed a bounce shot past goaltender Chris Washington with 17.6 seconds showing on the clock.
Despite that late tally, fate smiled on Hanover when CVU’s Alex Bulla was penalized for a cross check with five seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. Hanover held the ball until the horn sounded, meaning it maintained possession and was a man up to start overtime.
Using precision passing, the Marauders sent the ball from stick to stick for a little bit, then found Brown, posted up in front of the goal and occupying a soft spot in the Redhawks’ defense. The senior, who hopes to earn a walk-on slot on the Dartmouth roster in the fall, caught a Taylor feed with his back to the goal, then turned and bounced a shot past Hudson for the victory.
“We said we’ll go in a set formation, move the ball around and then look inside for Jesse,’’ Reed said. “He was an attackman last year, so he’s used to playing down there, five or 10 yards from the goal. We expect him to make that shot.”
The 6-foot-3 Brown said he often has to jostle and battle for space so close to the net. But this time, he had a second or two to catch the ball, peek over his shoulder and unload.
“You have to wait for (defenders) to turn their backs, then cut into the openings behind them,” Brown said. “You have to see what’s going on beforehand and know where they’re going to be. The ball’s moving to the left, so they’re going to be moving to the left. So you move right.”
Hanover got a standout performance from Washington, who made seven saves, several of them from point-blank range. The defense in front of him absorbed a blow, however, when starter Teddy Geraghty separated a shoulder and left the game during the fourth quarter. The junior did not return.
The Marauders open New Hampshire play Thursday when they host Concord, then welcome perennial Maine power Falmouth High, which went 14-2 last season, on Saturday. The Yachtsmen lost to Hanover by two goals during their 2012 season opener and also fell in their second contest before running the table the rest of the way.
Tris Wykes can be reached at email@example.com or 603-727-3227.
The caption for a photograph associated with this story has been amended to correct an earlier error. Goalie Christopher Washington was misidintified in an earlier version of the caption.