Boys’ lax teams cruise in postseason openers

ADDISON COUNTY — The Middlebury, Mount Abraham and Vergennes union high school boys’ lacrosse teams all won big in first-round playoff games played on Tuesday afternoon and will play road games on Friday. 
Meanwhile, the 12-3 MUHS girls’ lacrosse team earned the No. 4 seed in Division I. The Tiger girls were set to host No. 13 Spaulding on Wednesday afternoon after the deadline for this edition of the Independent.
A win over the 2-13 Tide would mean the Tiger girls would host a game on Saturday at 4 p.m. vs. the winner of another Wednesday game between No. 5 Rice (13-3) and No. 12 Burlington (2-13). This spring, the Tigers edged Rice, 9-8, and easily defeated Burlington twice.
The Tiger boys, seeded No. 8 in D-I, used a big first half to coast past visiting No. 9 Mount Anthony, 14-4. Both teams entered at 8-8, but MUHS played a much tougher schedule that showed as the Tigers led after one period, 3-0, and at the half, 9-1.
Senior attacker Jack Hounchell made the most of his last home game by sparking the Tigers with four goals and five assists. Jack Donahue also scored four times, and Trey Kaufmann tossed in three goals. Jake Peluso recorded a goal and an assist, and Spencer Carpenter andRaven Payne added a goal apiece. Defender Fyn Fernandez picked off a pass at midfield and set up a transition score.
MUHS goalie Doug DeLorenzo stopped six shots, and MAU goalie Jackson Thibodeau made nine saves. Jeremy Bourgeois scored twice for the Patriots.
The Tigers will visit top-seeded Champlain Valley (13-1) on Friday at 4 p.m. The defending champion Redhawks defeated the Tigers twice this spring, 10-4 in Hinesburg and 7-6 at MUHS.
In D-III, No. 4 Mount Abe (8-6) snapped its four-game losing skid with a vengeance, eliminating visiting No. 5 Otter Valley, 17-2. Senior attacker Lucas Richter also had a big day in his last game at Mount Abe, scoring six times, and senior middies Charlie Meyer (three goals, four assists) and Owein LaBarr (a goal and five assists) also enjoyed home cooking.
Also contributing for Mount Abe were Dylan Weaver (two goals, assist), Sebastian Durante andSam Paradee (a goal and an assist each), and Phoenix King,Neo Weaver andRyan Rougier (a goal apiece). Eagle goalie Tucker Paradee stopped eight shots.
Eric Sherman andKeenan Pratt scored for the Otters, and goalies Jon McKeighan (two saves) and Alec Stevens (seven saves) split time. OV finished at 4-13, its best record in recent seasons.
The Eagles will travel to meet No. 1 Stratton (10-3) on Friday at 4 p.m., with a trip to the D-III final at Burlington High School next Tuesday at 5 p.m. on the line. Mount Abe and Stratton did not face one another this spring.
The Commodores, seeded No. 3 in D-III, brushed aside No. 6 Randolph, 12-3. Two more seniors enjoyed lacing their cleats on home turf one last time: VUHS middie Tyler Kepes scored five times and set up three goals, and attacker Tyler Crowningshield netted four goals. Middie Max Ratti-Bicknell contributed a goal and an assist, and Brett Woods andPhilip Armell tacked on the other two VUHS scores.
VUHS goalie Broc Clark stopped 10 shots, and Bailey Pearson made 15 saves for the 2-13 Ghosts.
The 9-6 Commodores are almost certain to travel to No. 2 Hartford on Friday at 4 p.m., with a trip to Tuesday’s D-I final at stake. Hartford (8-5) was set to host No. 7 Montpelier (1-10) on Wednesday afternoon. VUHS and Hartford did not meet this spring. 

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