Standard Bear-ers: Hanover girls lacrosse building confidence

  • Hanover High lacrosse players, from left, Emily Perras, Nora Bradley, Kali McDonnell and Hannah Gardner, celebrate their NHIAA Division II victory over Windham on May 12, 2022, in Hanover, N.H. The Bears won, 12-8. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Valley News Valley News photographs — Tris Wykes

  • Hanover High's Sadie Higgins (16) charges past a pair of Windham defenders during the teams' NHIAA Division II game on May 12, 2022, in Hanover, N.H. The Bears won, 12-8. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Valley News —Tris Wykes

  • Hanover High girls lacrosse coach Sarah Martin watches her team rally against visiting Windham during the NHIAA Division II teams' game on May 12, 2022, in Hanover, N.H. The Bears won, 12-8. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Valley News

  • Hanover High's Caroline Adams makes a point during her lacrosse team's halftime discussion on May 12, 2022, in Hanover, N.H. The Bears won the NHIAA Division II game against Windham, 12-8, and Adams scored five times. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Valley News —Tris Wykes

  • Hanover High's Erin Kirkpatrick loses the ball while being pursued by Windham's Chloe Hall on May 12, 2022, in Hanover, N.H. Kirkpatrick and the Bears won the NHIAA Division II contest, 12-8. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Valley News valley news — Tris Wykes

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 5/13/2022 9:33:10 PM
Modified: 5/13/2022 9:31:32 PM

HANOVER — Should the Hanover High girls lacrosse team rise to playoff success in the coming weeks, its members may well point back to Thursday’s 12-8 defeat of Windham as the spark.

Trailing the traditionally powerful Jaguars by three goals at intermission of the teams’ NHIAA Division II contest, the Bears scored all seven of the second half’s goals. It was as if the teams had traded uniforms at the break, for the hosts returned to action a different squad than the one that had shuffled off Merriman-Branch Field’s artificial turf 10 minutes before.

“We started winning the draw and creating a fast break, and it put Windham on its heels,” said third-year Hanover coach Sarah Martin, a former Dartmouth assistant. “We gained momentum and control of the game that way. Whether you score off that or not, you make them worry about you.”

Windham (9-2) probably wasn’t too worried after Emily Perras capped off a three-pass rush with a goal nine seconds into the new half. And the Jaguars’ anxiety likely rose only a bit after Caroline Adams pulled the Bears to an 8-7 score a minute later. When Kali McDonnell scored twice within a 37-second span to give the hosts the lead, however, the visitors’ agitation had to have increased.

“Once we went up one, that’s when we really felt the momentum shift,” said Adams, who finished with five goals and two assists. “Every time one of our girls got a ground ball, slid on defense, got an interception, we used that as a fire under our bellies. The momentum stemmed from all the little things we did.”

Hanover (6-3) put the game away by scoring its final three goals in fewer than five minutes, the last tally occurring with nine minutes to play. The result was redemption for a 9-8 loss suffered at Windham last month and raises the intriguing possibility of a playoff rubber match.

McDonnell had two goals and five assists, Maeve Lee had three goals and three assists, and Lia Naughton and Perras each scored once. Freshman goaltender Charlotte Robinson stopped 15 shots, her poise contributing to her team’s revival.

“Our defense pushed us ahead in that second half,” Martin said. “I’m so proud of them.”

Windham, which suffered its only previous defeat to 10-1 Portsmouth, lost two starting defenders to injury during the opening 17 minutes. Neither player returned. The Jaguars freely carried the ball into Hanover’s end on long first-half runs, but the Bears began to force carriers outside and against the sideline after intermission.

Adams, a senior who’s headed to play lacrosse at NCAA Division III power Middlebury (Vt.) College, was an unstoppable force during the comeback. Powerful, fast and sure-handed, the Norwich resident roared through ground-ball pickups, led repeated fast breaks and forced defenders to scramble backward when Hanover was in its set offense.

“I feel like this is a turning point for us and a standard we’re going to hold ourselves to,” said Martin, whose team next plays Saturday at Timberlane (7-5). “We can’t have any lulls, because we know now that we can compete at this level.”

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




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