Three high school lax teams fall in playoffs, MUHS boys’ game suspended

ADDISON COUNTY — Tuesday’s stormy weather forced suspension of two local high school teams’ lacrosse playoff games and the postponement of a third.
When they finally played on Wednesday afternoon, the biggest stunner came in D-I girls’ lacrosse, where No. 11 Essex knocked off No. 5 MUHS. In a milder upset, No. 9 Stratton eliminated No. 8 Mount Abraham in D-II boys’ action, where also No. 4 Rice ousted No. 13 VUHS.
In D-I girls’ lacrosse on Wednesday, visiting No. 12 Essex bolted to a 5-0 lead in the first 12 minutes, and No. 5 MUHS never really recovered in a 15-11 loss. The 6-10 Hornets led by at least three goals the rest of the way; high scorers were Anna Olsen (seven goals) and Charlotte Stuart (four). Essex goalie Haley Drury stopped 10 shots.
Emily Robinsonled MUHS, which reached the D-I final in each of the past three years, with five goals and an assist. Also contributing wereKatie Holmes(two goals, assist);Emma Donahueand Sophia Abdul Sater(a goal and an assist each); andEmily Kiernanand Alexis Ouellette(a goal apiece). Tiger goalieBaily Ryanstopped eight shots as MUHS finished at 10-5.
In D-II boys’ lacrosse in Bristol on Wednesday, visiting No. 9 Stratton bested the No. 8 Eagles, 13-9. The game had started on Tuesday, but was suspended after eight minutes with Stratton leading, 2-1.
Stratton led at the half, 6-5, and slowly pulled away after the break as Finn McNamara poured in six goals overall. Stratton goalie Sean Pomerantz stopped three shots as his team improved to 7-5.
For the Eagles, who finished above .500 at 8-7,Charlie Meyerled the attack with three goals and an assist,Gus Catlinand Travis Bachandeach scored twice,Tyler Willey and Lucas Richteradded a goal apiece, and goalieTucker Paradeemade eight saves. Coach Paul Low said given that the Eagles had only 18 players, he was happy with their season and their effort on Wednesday.
“Our team played hard throughout the game and left nothing on the field. It was a close game until the end and I am proud of their performance,” Low said. “We are a young team and relatively small, but we never give up on ourselves.”
Finally, another young and inexperienced D-II lax squad, the No. 13 VUHS boys, fell at No. 4 Rice, 14-2.Erik Eisenhowerscored both of his team’s goals as the Commodores wrapped up their season with a 4-12 record.
In Division I, No. 5 Middlebury took a 6-1 lead over visiting No. 12 Spaulding with 2:30 remaining in the first half before a second lightning delay convinced officials to suspend the game at about 6:15 p.m. The game had started at 4 p.m.
Although the 1-12 Tide had lost to the 11-4 Tigers, 20-0, in the regular season, Spaulding officials — the school’s athletic director was at Fucile Field as well as the program’s coach — refused to concede the contest.
Because Spaulding said no bus was available on Wednesday, the game will be completed on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. from where it was suspended on Tuesday.
Before a 90-minute delay, senior middie Nathan Hermann sparked the Tigers with three first-quarter goals as the Tigers took a 4-0 lead. Junior middie Bobby Ritter set up the first of Hermann’s strikes, which came at even strength, and then the Tigers struck for three man-up goals.
The first came from Sam Usilton, on the first of three assists contributed by junior attacker Connor Quinn, and Hermann scored the final two, both from Quinn.
Rain contributed to what was already a somewhat sloppy game in the second quarter. Ritter tacked on an unassisted goal to make it 5-0 two minutes in before Spaulding scored its first goal against MUHS in 64:51 of action, a transition strike by Nick Belcher assisted by Kalen Busano. Most of the time, however, the Tide struggled to get past midfield. Usilton made it 6-1 at 5:52 before the heavy weather moved in.
After the Tigers dispatch the Tide on Thursday, they will travel to No. 4 Brattleboro on Friday for a quarterfinal. The Tide finished 12-4 against a softer schedule than the Tigers took on, playing four D-II games and not facing the top two seeds, Champlain Valley and South Burlington, the only teams to defeat MUHS.
If the Tigers get past the Colonels, they will almost certainly face No. 1 CVU in a Tuesday semifinal at 4:30 p.m. The Redhawks own two hard-fought wins over the Tigers, including rallying for a 12-11 win in Hinesburg on May 31.

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