×

Hanover junior has all the answers: Versatility is a key for Duke commit McCorkle

  • Maddie McCorkle, of Hanover, comes up with the ball after a brief loss of possession while challenged by Marina McMahon, of ConVal, in Hanover, N.H., Wednesday, April 24, 2019. Hanover won 17-6. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Wylie Lucas, of Hanover, breaks through barrage of ConVal defenders, from left, Anna Taylor, Ella Dishong, and Deanna Kashulines, at Hanover High School in Hanover, N.H., Wednesday, April 24, 2019. The Marauders won 17-6.(Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Anna Kirkpatrick, of Hanover, right, fights with Libby Ewing, of ConVal, to get under a loose ball as Rosie Crooker, of ConVal, closes in at left, in Hanover, N.H., Wednesday, April 24, 2019. Hanover won 17-5. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Wylie Lucas cheers on her Hanover teammates during the second half of the Marauders' 17-6 win over ConVal in Hanover, N.H., Wednesday, April 24, 2019. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.



Valley News Staff Writer
Wednesday, April 24, 2019

HANOVER — The Hanover High girls lacrosse program wedged varsity and junior varsity competition into the same NHIAA Division II contest on Wednesday, using the latter squad after halftime during a 17-6 rout of ConVal.

The Cougars, playing their season opener and experiencing their first run on a marked field because of facility problems back in Peterborough, surrendered six goals on Hanover’s first 11 shots. The hosts led, 14-2, at halftime and improved to 2-2.

Jasmine Lou had five goals, Maddie McCorkle had four, Allie McCorkle had two and six others scored once each, including Aiden Stone and Lia Naughton with their first varsity strikes. Hanover outshot the visitors, 19-5, during the first half, and goaltender Allison Lichtenstein made eight saves.

“Too many times, we come out and try to do things we haven’t practiced, so we’re not good at it,” said seventh-year Hanover coach Chris Seibel. “These are the games where kids develop bad habits, but I looked out there today and saw us doing what we’ve practiced.”

Siebel emptied his bench after intermission, resting his varsity players for a week’s worth of upcoming road games at Windham, Londonderry, Bishop Guertin and Pinkerton. The latter three play in Division I.

Running that gauntlet should provide a stout test, although the Marauders have already lost to Division II foes Portsmouth and Winnacunnet by a combined 17 goals.

“We’ve seen final exam,” Seibel said. “We know what we’re in for, but the key is focusing not on other teams but on us. We just have to not beat ourselves.”

Few teams will have an answer for Hanover’s Maddie McCorkle, a junior who has committed to Duke University and might be the best girls player in the state. The daughter of Dartmouth College associate head football coach Sammy McCorkle could have easily scored more than a dozen goals on Wednesday, but has embraced playmaking and defense.

“Some people are really good at assisting or taking a defender one-on-one or doing pick-and-rolls,” McCorkle said. “If you can score eight goals, that’s OK, because that’s your strength and your role, and the team understands.”

They understand because McCorkle is just as likely to fling a 30-yard outlet pass on a line as she is to roar up the center of the field and whip a shot into a corner of the net. She dominated draw controls during Wednesday’s first half and repeatedly chased down ball-carriers from behind.

“Every team knows she’s Maddie McCorkle and she’s going to Duke, so they’re focusing on her,” Seibel said. “The key for us is to make it so they can’t focus on her alone. She has to figure out how to make other players better.”

Said McCorkle: “You can cover so much more ground with passes, and more people get touches on the ball. You get offensive looks you wouldn’t get if you ran the ball all the way down.”

McCorkle could have easily followed what’s recently become a steady stream of Hanover athletes moving on to prep school before their high school eligibility has expired. However, she said she received plenty of recruiting exposure playing for a club team out of the Boston area and enjoys the collaborative aspect of high school lacrosse.

Seibel, whose eldest daughter played NCAA Division I lacrosse at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and whose middle daughter is playing at Division III Tufts University, stays on his star player. Don’t pass sidearm, change the type of dodges you use on a defender and make sure you’re initially stepping with the correct foot when taking a free-position shot.

“I love the school and all my teammates, and I don’t want to go anywhere else,” said McCorkle, whose family moved to Hanover from Windsor before she entered high school. “At our practices, every single kid is out for blood. It’s so competitive that I’m constantly being pushed and getting ready for college.

“Coach Seibel is constantly making me think about what I’m doing instead of just going out there. That’s helpful when we play better teams.”

There’s a slew of those coming up. Hanover has reached a state final three times during Seibel’s six previous seasons at the helm and won the title three years ago but will need to improve if it’s to capture his second crown. McCorkle, who’s also a basketball standout who helped her school win a championship last month, thinks the Marauders have a pretty good chance.

“We have such athletic kids, but our biggest strength is our want,” she said. “We’re such good friends, and every practice there’s such amazing energy that you don’t want to go home after two hours.”

Notes: Seibel said his program includes 30 players this spring after having 42 last year. “I’m hearing it’s a statewide problem,” he said. … Molly Seibel, a freshman midfielder at Tufts who previously attended Phillips Exeter, has appeared in six games this season and has three goals for the Jumbos (13-1). … Lichtenstein, a junior, was Hanover’s backup as a freshman before spending last year in Spain. Seibel said her shot-stopping was the most encouraging part of Wednesday’s game. Her father is Jason Lichtenstein, a onetime reserve placekicker on the Dartmouth football team.

Tris Wykes can be reached at twykes@vnews.com.