Upper Valley seniors take the lacrosse pitch one last time

  • Hartford goalie Sarah Howe, middle, photographs herself and her teammates with the VPA Division II championship trophy after winning their final game with Vergennes 10-7 in South Burlington, Vt., on Monday, June 13, 2022. The win caps off an undefeated season for the Hurricanes. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. James M. Patterson

  • Woodstock's Riley Shepherd shoots and scores on Hartford goalkeeper Tarin Prior late in the first half as Jackson Balch (7) and Connor Tierney also defend during their game in White River Junction, Vt., on April 19, 2021. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Geoff Hansen

  • Hartford's Caroline Hamilton drives down the field against Green Mountain Valley's Parker Crawford and Paige Fieldhouse on her during their during their VPA Division II quarterfinal matchup on Friday, June 3, 2022, in White River Junction, Vt. Hartford won, 19-8. ( Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Valley News file — Jennifer Hauck

  • Hanover's Dylan Hendrick runs upfield with the ball against Kennett's Branden Santuccio during their playoff game in Hanover, N.H., on May 31, 2021. Hanover won, 8-5. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Geoff Hansen

  • Lebanon High seniors Griffin Auch, left, and C.J. Childs practice on March 30, 2022, under the gaze of second-year coach Cole Flannery. The Raiders are hoping to prove last season's run to the NHIAA Division III semifinals wasn't a fluke. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Valley News photographs — Tris Wykes —Tris Wykes valley news photographs — Tris Wykes

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 6/20/2022 11:07:05 AM
Modified: 6/20/2022 11:06:45 AM

HANOVER — The high school lacrosse seasons in Vermont and New Hampshire may have officially concluded with the Hartford girls winning their first state championship on Monday, but for 10 just-graduated seniors, there was one more game to be played.

The annual Byrne Cup Twin State All-Star Lacrosse Games took place Saturday at Hanover High School between top senior players from New Hampshire and Vermont, with the New Hampshire girls winning in a 21-7 rout and the Vermont boys coming from behind for an exciting 14-13 victory. None of the all-star teams had a chance to practice together until pregame warmups.

Three girls from the VPA Division II champion Hurricanes participated — goalie Sarah Howe, defender Abigail Vanderpot and midfielder Caroline Hamilton. Attacker Elliot Rupp was also invited but was on vacation. Hamilton, who scored a hat trick in both the semifinal and championship wins for Hartford, had two goals and an assist in a losing effort Saturday. The three-sport athlete will play field hockey at St. Lawrence University in the fall.

“A lot of success comes from team chemistry, so it’s a little hard when you get thrown with a bunch of girls, but it was super fun,” Hamilton said. “It’s a huge honor to play in this game, and I’m super grateful that I got the opportunity to play against these girls (from New Hampshire) who are going D-I and also play with these girls who I’ve played against for the past four years.”

New Hampshire dominated the girls’ game right from the opening draw, leading, 18-4, at halftime as most of the game was played with a running clock. At least six NCAA Division I commits were on the Granite State team, including Rylee Bouvier (Stanford) and Natalie Coutu (Oregon) from NHIAA Division I state champion Bishop Guertin. Bouvier led New Hampshire with six goals and an assist on Saturday, while Coutu had seven assists and scored once.

Lebanon defender Clara Smyrski was the only local player for the New Hampshire girls.

“I’ve played two other sports, and I’ve never been on any other all-state teams, so it was really exciting for me,” Smyrski said. “I’m in Division III, and I’m not going anywhere for lacrosse, so I kind of feel out of place, but in a good way. I can learn from all these people a lot, and they were all very positive and very nice, so I felt welcome.”

The boys’ game was close from start to finish, with Woodstock attacker Keaton Piconi, who had three goals and an assist, opening the scoring for Vermont. New Hampshire quickly took the lead, though, and maintained it until a back-and-forth final quarter.

Defender Evan Kurash also represented the Wasps, with Hartford goalie Tarin Prior and midfielder Gordon Willey also on the Vermont boys roster. Woodstock midfielder Corey White had received an invite but could not play due to a club lacrosse tournament.

Lebanon attacker Griffin Auch had two goals for New Hampshire, including a fourth-quarter equalizer. Also on the Granite State squad were Hanover midfielder Dylan Hendrick and Stevens defender Colby Reed.

New Hampshire led by one at the half and again by a single goal after the third, but Vermont twice rallied to go back in front in the final period, then held on defensively in the final minute — even though the players weren’t sure exactly how much time was left until the last whistle, as the scoreboard clock at Merriman-Branch field malfunctioned throughout the day.

Piconi, who will play next year at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, N.Y., said playing for an underdog, as Vermont almost always is in these all-star games, was nothing new to him because Woodstock is the smallest VPA high school to play Division I boys lacrosse.

“It’s nice to come out and represent Woodstock at the state level,” Piconi said. “At the start, we were down for a while, and we saw the girls’ game, (so) we came together. By the end, everybody was having fun.”

Benjamin Rosenberg can be reached at brosenberg@vnews.com or 603-727-3302.




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