2024 Upper Valley high school girls lacrosse guide

Woodstock High's Hannah Gubbins (10) drives against U32 defenders during the Vermont Division II title game on June 10, 2023, at Norwich University in Northfield, Vt. U32 won, 8-4. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Woodstock High's Hannah Gubbins (10) drives against U32 defenders during the Vermont Division II title game on June 10, 2023, at Norwich University in Northfield, Vt. U32 won, 8-4. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. valley news file photograph — Tris Wykes

Lebanon High's Sara Forman runs upfield against Plymouth on May 1, 2023, during the NHIAA Division III teams' meeting in Lebanon, N.H.  (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Lebanon High's Sara Forman runs upfield against Plymouth on May 1, 2023, during the NHIAA Division III teams' meeting in Lebanon, N.H. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. valley news file photograph — Tris Wykes

Eva Bell

Eva Bell

Jette Gallant

Jette Gallant

Lindsey Stark

Lindsey Stark

Staff reports

Published: 04-18-2024 5:49 PM

Modified: 04-18-2024 6:08 PM


Two words best describe Upper Valley high school girls lacrosse: quality and consistency.

All four squads made the playoffs last spring. While none came home with a state title, Hanover and Woodstock made their finals, with the Wasps’ trip coming at the expense of previously unbeaten Hartford.

Meanwhile, all four programs continue with a consistency of coaching other sports in the region would be envious to mirror. All have spent at least five seasons with their programs, with Lebanon’s Sara Ecker nearing her fourth decade in charge.

Here’s a look at the teams:

HANOVER

Coach: Sarah Martin (fifth season).

Last year: 15-2, lost to Hollis-Brookline, 12-11, in state final.

League: NHIAA Division II.

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Returnees: Seniors — Maeve Lee (M), Erin Kirkpatrick (D), Nina Marshall (D); Juniors — Nora Bradley (M), Charlotte Robinson (G).

Newcomers: Juniors — Eleanor Edson (D), Willow Clifford (A); Freshmen — Cassidy Loughman (M), Maeve Bradley (M), Lily Tine (D), Isa Hartridge-Beam (D,G), Sage Fargher (A), Joia Collins (A), Sophie Hopkins (A), Casey Wilkinson (A).

Outlook: The Bears, who lost by a goal in last season’s division title game, return only five players and have 10 newcomers, including eight freshmen. “Our newcomers are working incredibly hard, and we are already impressed with their commitment to being the best they can be,” Martin said. “We anticipate an exciting season focused on growth, tremendous hustle and playing with a genuine love and appreciation for our game.”

Lee has committed to play at NCAA Division III Middlebury next season.

HARTFORD

Coach: Heather Hartford (7).

Last year: 17-1, upset by Woodstock, 12-9, in state semifinals.

League: VPA Division II.

Returnees: Seniors — Dakin Kovatch (G), Addison Cadwell (M); Juniors — Izzy Sirois (D), Madison Barwood (M), Audrey Rupp (M), Martha Crasper (D); Sophomores — Nella Bowen (A), Zoey Zanleoni (G), Braelyn Park (M).

Newcomers: Juniors — Lucy Bloom (A), Summer Eastman (D), Emma Bazin (A), Bradleigh Bushey (D); Sophomores — Tatum Flanagan (A), Hailey Vanasse (M,D), Sadie Mullen (A); Freshmen — Paisley Danaher (M), Grace Blanchard (A), Emma Taylor (A/D), Marina Alcantara (A), Jasmine Stocker (A).

Outlook: The Hurricanes were upset by Woodstock during last year’s playoff semifinals, snapping a 33-game winning streak during what was thought to be a rebuilding season. Hartford, which captured its first state title in 2022, graduated six seniors last June. The program is 79-24 under its eponymous coach and features a standout in Cadwell, who attends Thetford Academy.

LEBANON

Coach: Sara Ecker (30).

Last year: 5-10, lost to Pelham, 15-8, in first round.

League: NHIAA Division III.

Returnees: Seniors — Hadley Rich (A), Maddie Jewell (M,) Abby Ripley (A, M), Lindsey Stark (A); Juniors — Tori Palys (D), Lucy Esbaugh (D), Norah Burns (M), Drew Kantor (G); Sophomores — Audrey Newton (M), Caroline Weber (A), Eden Ames (D), Sara Forman (M), Bella Orlen (D), Abby Auch (A).

Newcomers: Seniors — Angelina McDonald (M,A); Juniors — Savannah Lindsley (M,A), Sage Murray (D), Annie Hanna (M); Freshman — Biff Maher (M).

Outlook: Ecker notes her team remains young overall despite having 13 returnees. A wet preseason and Lebanon’s natural-grass field mean its first game will also be one of the few times it’s been on a lined surface. Combine that with a week of spring break and the Raiders may need time to gain traction. Lebanon lost five of its first six contests last season but made the playoffs, only to lose at Pelham in the first round. Graduation claimed only three seniors.

WOODSTOCK

Coach: Amanda Hull (9).

Last year: 10-8, lost to U-32, 8-4, in state final.

League: VPA Division II.

Returnees: Seniors — Claudia Shoemaker (A), Gracie Laperle (M, A), Hannah Gubbins (M, D), Lila Beckwith (A), Maggie Mello (D), Mikayla Myers (D), Skye Cully (D); Sophomores — Aleks Cirovic (D), Fiona Piconi (A), Maeve Roylance (M).

Newcomers: Juniors — Alice Cayer (D), Olivia Grasso (A), Stella Capurso (A); Sophomores — Jess Baumann (G), Anna Fink (D), Ella Lockhart (A); Freshman — Victoria Johnson (M).

Outlook: Woodstock upset Hartford during last year’s playoffs and advanced to the title game but graduated its starting goaltender and its leading scorer. “Our numbers aren’t big, so there will be players who will be on both varsity and JV, and the bench won’t be as deep,” Hull said. “We have a few players starting the season with injuries.”