Eagle lacrosse tops Otters by two

BRISTOL — The Mount Abraham Union High School boys’ lacrosse team on Friday broke into the win column by outlasting visiting Otter Valley, 7-5, in a defensive battle.
The Eagles improved to 1-1, while the Otters, who were playing their second game in two days, dropped to 0-3.
The game was close throughout, but Mount Abe held a slim lead most of the way. The Eagles led, 2-1, after one period, but OV fought back to tie the game at the half, 4-4. Mount Abe scored the only goal of the third period, and then earned a 2-1 edge in the fourth quarter.
Both coaches agreed the Eagles’ ability to defend while a man down proved to be pivotal.
First-year Mount Abe coach Ryan Fitzpatrick credited defenders Matt George, Tyrus Keith and Caleb Cousinoand middies Gus Catlin and Will Pifer for their work holding off the Otters after the Eagles were whistled for 13 penalties.
“Mount Abe survived because of man-down defense today,” Fitzpatrick said. “We spent a lot time in the penalty box, something we hope to correct.”
OV Coach Randy Stewart pointed to the Otters’ failure to capitalize.
“The game was a great back and forth battle of two relatively evenly matched teams,” Stewart said. “It was a well-played game. Unfortunately we threw our chances away. We were unable to score on 13 man-up opportunities. That was really the story of the game, missed opportunities.”
For the Eagles, Patrick Davison stepped into the goal and stopped eight shots. Middie Owein LaBarr and attackers Dylan Weaver and Lucas Richter scored two goals apiece. Catlin also scored, and LaBarr added an assist and a team-high 11 groundballs.
“LaBarr was huge with the ground balls, and Weaver and Lucas made crucial goals,” Fitzpatrick said.
For OV, Colton Leno recorded a hat trick, and Keenan Pratt and Adam Sherwin added a goal apiece. Sherwin, a defenseman, went coast-to-coast to score, Stewart said. Stewart said OV goalie Carson Leary played well, stopping 15 shots, clearing the ball effectively, and picking up an assist.
The Otters were coming off a Thursday home loss to D-I Mount Anthony, 16-2. In that game, freshman Jon McKeighan filled in between the pipes and stopped 15 shots, while Patriot goalie Jackson Thibodeau had four saves. Leno and Pratt scored, and Pratt assisted Leno’s strike in what was the Otters’ opener.
Stewart said the Otters have made progress each time out.
“The best thing is every game we get better,” Stewart said. “The future is bright for Otter Valley lacrosse.”

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