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Lebanon girls lacrosse makes playoff push

  • Lebanon's Megan Gradijan (4) thanks teammate Izzy Peress for the assist after Gradijan scored in the second half of their game with Interlakes-Moultonborough in Lebanon, N.H., on May 7, 2019. Lebanon won, 12-4. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Lebanon's Sydney Gonyea splits the defense by Interlakes-Moultonborough's Reagan Buhrman, left, and Emily Marra to shoot on goal in the second half of their game in Lebanon, N.H., on May 7, 2019. Lebanon won, 12-4. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Interlakes-Moultonborough's Katie Dubois, right, tries to gain control of the ball near Lebanon's Izzy Peress in the first half of their game in Lebanon, N.H., on May 7, 2019. Lebanon won, 12-4. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.



Valley News Staff Writer
Tuesday, May 07, 2019

LEBANON — If the NHIAA Division III girls lacrosse playoffs began today, the seventh-place Lebanon High girls lacrosse team would be part of the eight-team bracket for the first time since 2016. The trick is maintaining that position throughout the next two weeks.

The Raiders (4-3) finished each of the past two seasons 5-9 and started the current campaign with three consecutive losses. On Tuesday, however, Lebanon posted its fourth consecutive victory, a 12-4 defeat of struggling InterLakes-Moultonborough (0-9).

Emma Hansen had three goals and three assists and Clara Cole added three goals, helping the hosts break a 2-2 tie in the first half.

“We’ve got eight seniors whose dream is to go to the playoffs,” said one of them, Lebnaon midfielder Katie Berthasavage. “We’re gaining more offensive confidence, and we’re more settled with the ball, which we’d been struggling with.”

Megan Gradijan and Sydney Gonyea each scored twice, Izzy Peress had a goal and three assists, Zoe Soule had a goal and an assist and Ashlyn Taber had an assist. Lena Nowell stopped six shots for Lebanon, which hosts Bishop Brady (2-3) on Thursday.

After the Green Giants, however, Lebanon plays next week at Derryfield (6-1) and Pembroke (3-4) and hosts St. Thomas (6-2). Plymouth (3-4) and Pelham (6-0) are opponents during the week’s final season, along with a finale against Belmont (0-4).

The Raiders were 7-7 when they last reached the postseason, so they likely need to win at least three and probably four of their remaining seven games to earn a playoff berth. Lebanon also needs to avoid spinning its wheels out of the gate.

“We started pretty sluggish today, and we’ve found that happens if we have a flat warmup,” Raiders coach Sara Ecker said. “We were dropping a lot of passes in the midfield, but I felt our offense was playing really well.

“We had nice passes going inside and catches, and then we just weren’t finishing. It made it seem like we were playing worse than we were.”

That ball movement will be necessary to beat better teams and get Lebanon’s seniors to their promised land.

“They’re a tight group who are all good buddies with each other,” Ecker said. “This is one of those seasons you don’t want to end because you don’t want to say goodbye to them. I don’t even want to think about it.”

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