Tiger boys’ lacrosse sinks the Lakers, 15-6
MIDDLEBURY – The Middlebury Union High School boys’ lacrosse team took six minutes to get on the board vs. visiting Colchester on Friday and led by just 3-2 after one period, but kicked it into gear after that on the way to a 15-6 victory.
The Tigers improved to 7-1 at the 3-5 Lakers’ expense and remained in first place in Division I in what has been a solid spring.
Coach Dennis Smith said he was happy once the Tigers got rolling on Friday.
“We were a little sluggish at first, but once we got our feet under us we settled in. Our guys took control,” Smith said. “We had a great game today after the first quarter, basically.”
Senior attacker Connor Quinn provided most of the Tigers’ first-period offense with two of his game-high three goals and one of his game-high three assists. He said the fact MUHS had no classes on Friday may have thrown the Tigers off their routine.
“It took a little bit to get going, but we definitely got it going and figured out what we needed to get done and got it done,” Quinn said.
The Tigers got their feet moving quickly in the second with two early fast-break goals, with sophomore middie Trey Kauffman finishing a pretty end-to-end play assisted by sophomore middie Andrew Gleason. Senior defender Austin Robinson started the play by causing a turnover and feeding Quinn at midfield, and he hit Gleason with a long pass before Gleason fed Kauffman.
At 8:15 senior middie Ashton Bates finished in transition from freshman attacker Jackson Donahue. At 3:44 junior middie Ali Abdul Sater whipped home a bomb from long range, and after Laker Alex Trabulsy scored at 0:31, Quinn beat the halftime horn with a strong curl move and it was 7-3.
A defense led by Robinson and senior Justin Stone allowed only eight first-half shots; starting senior goalie Nate Lalonde stopped five of them. Senior Lucas Plouffe took over in goal in the second half and stopped two of only four Laker bids as MUHS controlled play.
In the third, Donahue converted a feed from senior middie Bobby Ritter, junior attacker Jack Hounchell scooped a loose ball and scored, and Abdul Sater tossed in a behind-the-net assist from Quinn to make it 10-3 at 8:03.
After a Laker man-up score, at 3:34 Ritter shrugged off a slashing penalty and two body checks to score from just outside the crease. Gleason converted another Quinn assist to make it 12-4 before the period ended.
In the fourth, Abdul Sater, Spencer Carpenter and Kaufmann added goals for MUHS. Overall, Jack Stebbins and Abe Trabulsy scored two goals each for Colchester, and goalie Camden LeClair stopped 11 shots.
Smith said the Tigers still need to work on some areas, citing defensive communication, crisper substitutions, and maintaining poise when things don’t go their way against top opponents.
“It just comes down to playing good lacrosse, staying healthy, and getting better as the season goes on. There are still things we can improve on, and the kids know that,” Smith said. “We feel if we can play at our capability, we can play with anybody.”
Quinn said what has been working is teamwork, positive attitudes, scoring balance and goaltending.
The Tigers have a number of tough games the rest of the way, notably at home vs. South Burlington and Champlain Valley and home and away vs. Essex.
“We’re very confident moving forward, but we know we have to show up for all those games,” Quinn said. “We’re just excited to play a bunch of really good teams moving forward, and a lot of those games are at home, so it should be a really good opportunity.”
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