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2019 Upper Valley high school lacrosse preview

  • Hartford High's Zoe Pfeiffer (44) sprints into the St. Johnsbury Academy end during last season's Vermont Division II quarterfinal victory over the Hilltoppers. Pfeiffer and the Hurricanes look to build on a breakout season in 2018 and capture the program's first state title. (Valley News - Tris Wykes)

  • Lebanon High's Diego Silva, left, drives against Stevens defender Nick Stone (21) during the NHIAA Division III teams' game last year. (Valley News - Tris Wykes)



Valley News Staff Writer
Saturday, April 13, 2019

Lacrosse season is upon the Upper Valley, and a year after three high school programs reached Vermont semifinal games, it seems possible one or more local squads will break through to claim an elusive state crown.

The Hanover boys and girls are hoping to re-establish their school’s glory days in the sport, although neither program has high participation numbers. The opposite is true at Hartford, where lacrosse has become the dominant spring sport and the Hurricanes are championship threats in boys and girls action.

Lebanon’s boys haven’t enjoyed a winning season in six years and may have difficulty snapping that streak. The Raiders girls might have the talent, if perhaps not the depth, to return to the level at which they played from 2013-15, when they reached three consecutive state semifinals and one championship contest.

Woodstock’s boys feature some high-end skill but must also overcome the graduation loss of several key players. After winning a 2015 state title and reaching the championship game a year later, the Wasps girls have struggled the past two seasons and feature a small roster this spring.

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

BOYS

Hanover

Coach: Ryan Gardner (5).

Last year: 7-11, lost in quarterfinals.

League: NHIAA Division I.

Returnees: Seniors — Duncan Bailey (D), Elijah Putnam (G), Bobby Putnam (D), Simon Roach (D), Kyle Rozzi (A), Eli Silovich (A/M), Griffin Young (M), Mason Winter (G). Juniors — Charlie Baughman (M/A), Brendan Brigham (M), Toño Correa (M), Caleb Morse (M), Sylas Oberting (D/LSM), A.J. Ristino (D), Rowan Wilson (M).

Newcomers: Juniors — Carter Auch (G), Cam Cardona (A), Tage Colberg (M/A), Rioghan O’Toole (M); Sophomores — Noah Bradley (D), Noah Fahey (A), Daniel Pitiger (LSM), Brett Simmons (M).

Analysis: Hanover graduated its top two scorers in Graham Penfield (47 goals) and Brian Pattison (29) and two starting defensemen. This year’s offense is expected to be provided by returners Rozzi and Baughman and a host of unproven talent. Seniors Roach and Bailey look to anchor the defense in front of senior goaltenders Mason Winter and Elijah Putnam. Brigham is one of the top faceoff men in New Hampshire. “We have a gritty, hard-working team this year,” said Gardner. “I look forward to seeing how the younger players develop over the course of the season and fill the shoes of last year’s senior class.”

Hartford

Co-coaches: Grant Whiteway (2), Bill Elberty (10).

Last year: 11-6, lost in semifinals.

Leagues: VPA Division II, Marble Valley League.

Returnees: Seniors — Andrew Knight (M), Nick Porter (D/LSM), Reece Thompson (M), Jonas Spaulding (M), Jacob Derosier (A), Michael Thompson (G). Juniors — Dawson Nalette (A), Colton Schaal (D), Hunter Hutchinson (A), Logan Raymond (M), Cedar Duda (D), Kaj Boeri (M), Trevor Robbins (D), Zach Burek (D). Sophomore — Jackson Balch (M).

Newcomers: Seniors — Max Pfeiffer (M), Trevor LeBrecque (M). Juniors — Andrew Lucke (D), Jake Mayott (A), Nehemiah Arnold (M). Sophomores — Carter Nalette (A), Ethan Schaal (D/LSM), Colston Allen (D/LSM), Remi Lambert (M), Axel Huepler (M). Freshmen — Tarin Prior (G), Willey Gordon (M), Aidan Boonyaharn (A), Bentley Boonyaharn (M).

Analysis: The Hurricanes made a strong return to Division II last season after two years in the now-defunct Division III. Thompson and Porter are two of the area’s best players, and Whiteway, a former UMass player, has improved his players’ understanding and execution of the game. Hartford is 32-15 the past three years and has made itself the spring sport of choice on campus, with more than 40 players in the program.

Lebanon

Coach:Rob Fett (3).

Last year: 3-11, missed state tournament.

League: NHIAA Division III.

Returnees: Seniors — Devin Benson (D), Jeffery Burgos (M), Aaron Damren (A), Mack Gregor (D), Alex Harrington (D), Ryan Hart (D), Patrick Mason (M), John Moorehead (M), Brad Plodzik (M), Ryan Preston (M), Justin Rogers (D), Jack Sandmann (A), Caiden Skakalski (G), Jack Smyrski (D). Juniors — Jon Cloud (A), Brett LaMadelaine (A), Sam Lappin (M), Noah Tyler (D). Sophomore — Jacob Hibner (A/M).

Newcomers: Freshmen — Simon Amaro (M), Griffin Auch (M), C.J. Childs (M), Colbie Delisle (M), Ethan Eshbaugh (D/G), Hunter Grant (M), Luke Greene (D), Ethan Lahaye (D), Noah Mekus (M).

Analysis: After having only one senior last season, the Raiders now have 14. However, the presence of only one sophomore is concerning for the future. Lebanon is 25-75 the last seven years and is trying to create its first winning season since 2012. Damren is a proven attackman, and Skakalski is mentally tough in net.

Stevens

Coach: Scott Guyer (1).

Last year: 0-14, missed state tournament.

League: NHIAA Division III.

Returnees: Seniors — Ian Fitzpatrick (A), Isaiah Forrest (D). Juniors — Quentin Bicknell (A), Phil Mason (D), Alex Simoneau (D). Sophomore — Luke Forrest (M).

Newcomers: Seniors — Jonathan Lanou (M), Adrieanna Maccioli (G). Junior — Logan Steadman (D). Sophomores — Luke Forrest (A), Odin Reed (M). Freshmen — Josh Dupuis (A), Austin Gauld (A/M), Lily Rose Gogan (G), Haydon Grenier (M), Anthony LaCaillade (M), Kaleb Maccioli (LSM), Lauren Noll (M), Noah Osgood (M), Colby Reed (D), Christopher Robison (D), Teah Vasquez (M).

Analysis: The Cardinals have endured back-to-back winless seasons and five such campaigns in the last seven years, a span during which their record is 3-95. Stevens is 1-70 the last five seasons. Six seniors graduated last spring and four of the team’s seven sophomores from 2018 did not return. Four of this year’s players are girls, including both goalies, one of them experienced hockey backstop Adireanna Maccioli.

Woodstock

Coach: Brandon Little (11).

Last year: 14-3, lost in semifinals.

Leagues: VPA Division I, Marble Valley League.

Returnees: Seniors — Peter Borden (A), Lucas Piconi (A), Caden White (A), Gabe Marsicovetere (G), Jed Astbury (M), Isaac Emery (M), Micah Schlabach (M), Charlie Amato (LSM), Ben Marsicovetere (LSM/D), Ora Astbury (D). Juniors — Mike Cimis (LSM/M), Daniel Lessard (M), Trevor White (M), Orion Conger (D). Sophomores — David Willis (A), Parker Kuhnert (A), Louis Mills (D), Charles Green (D), Mason Harkins (D), Andrew Gubbins (M), Riley Shepherd (M).

Newcomers: Freshmen — Colby Eaton (M), Cory White (M), Even Kurash (D), Keaton Piconi (A).

Analysis: The Wasps graduated standout midfielders Cullen McCarthy and Patrick Potter, but this is a program continually fed by the town’s well-established youth teams. White, Piconi and Schlabach are a potent offensive trio. A return to the semifinals doesn’t seem out of the realm of possibility, especially if Gabe Marsicovetere can take the next step in net.

GIRLS

Hanover

Coach: Chris Seibel (7).

Last year: 9-9, lost in quarterfinals.

League: NHIAA Division II.

Returnees: Seniors — Jasmine Lou (M), Aiden Stone (D), Maggie Lee (A). Juniors — Maddie McCorkle (M), Jessica Seibel (M), Miranda Galbraith (M), Anna Kirkpatrick (A/M), Tessa Stewart (D), Allison Lichtenstein (G). Sophomores — Wylie Lucas (D), Emma Taylor (D).

Newcomers: Juniors — Katie Naughton (A), Isla Cotter (D), Lucy Doyle (D), Riley Craft (D). Freshmen — Allie McCorkle (M), Caroline Adams (M).

Analysis: The Marauders graduated nine players, including starting goaltender Katelyn Hurd, last spring and return only three seniors. However, they also have Maddie McCorkle, the area’s best player and a Duke commit. “This is a small group that appears wise beyond its years and knows how to focus on the details that lead to true success,” Chris Seibel said.

Hartford

Coach: Heather Hartford (2).

Last year: 13-4, lost in semifinals.

Leagues: VPA Division II, Marble Valley League.

Returnees: Seniors — Emily Ricker (A), Alice Dwyer (M). Juniors — Paige Blish (D), Makenna Druge (M), Emi Harlow (G), Annaleigh Lynch (A), Greer McCarty (A), Carolyn North (M), Tayler Simmons (A). Sophomores — Zoe Pfeiffer (A).

Newcomers: Seniors — Isabella Lukowitz (A), Lynzie Nichols (D). Juniors — Emma Farnsworth (D), Paige Lucas (D), Daisy Phelps (D), Cecilia Spaulding (D). Sophomores — Jasmine Jenkins (M), Rylee Potwin (D). Freshmen — Caroline Hamilton (A/M).

Analysis: The Hurricanes had gone 15-99 during the previous eight seasons before Hartford, a former Massachusetts high school and club coach, turned the program around in months last year. Her precise skills work, spot-on strategy and demanding but upbeat motivation has the program targeting its first state title.

Lebanon

Coach: Sara Ecker (25).

Last year: 5-9, missed state tournament.

League: NHIAA Division II.

Returnees: Seniors — Libby Stone (D), Katie Berthasavage (M), Ashlyn Taber (A), Anna Wolke (D), Zoe Soule (A/M), Izzy Peress (M), Clara Cole (A), Emma Hansen (A/M). Juniors — Jessie Hastings (M), Megan Gradijan (M). Sophomores — Rachel Harrington (A/M), Sydney Gonyea (A/M), Lena Nowell (G).

Newcomers: Sophomore — Klaleh Punni (M/D). Freshmen — Amalia Hickey (D), Kayla Taber (A/M), Clara Smyrski (D), Ella Longacre (M).

Analysis: The Raiders are 10-18 the last two years, but might be poised for their first playoff berth in three seasons. Each of the team’s eight seniors is an impact player, as are its two juniors. Beyond that, however, there’s little depth or proven talent, although Hickey is starting as a freshman. It’s hoped Nowell can become an above-average shot-stopper, something Lebanon has lacked since 2015 graduate Erin Landry’s reign in net.

Woodstock

Coach: Amanda Hull (5).

Last year: 3-12, lost in quarterfinals.

Leagues: VPA Division II, Marble Valley League.

Returnees: Seniors — Addie Gray (A), Gina Sorrentino (M), Sidney Pilot (M). Juniors — Audrey Eggum (M), Abbey Duane (M), Izzy Jones (M), Sofia Kantola (D). Sophomores — Kelly Gebhardt (M), Avari Shewmaker (A), Molly Shearer (A), Riley Cross (D).

Newcomers: Juniors — Sophie Legget (M), Maddie Reiger (D), Erica Kurash (D), Kai Albers (G). Sophomores — Eliza Dodson (M), Lili Sorrentino (A), Laura Shands (A), Maddie Trimpi (D).

Analysis: Woodstock graduated leading scorer Brittney Poljacik and defensive anchor Annabelle Lessard. Maggie Parker, previously the starting goaltender, left the program after last season. In her place is German exchange student Albers, a newcomer to the sport. Since 2016, when the Wasps reached the state title game for a second consecutive year, they’ve lost nearly 25 players, mostly to graduation.

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