Tiger girls’ lax falls to CVU, 15-10; defeats Burlington, Essex

MIDDLEBURY — In the middle of a busy stretch of eight games in its final two weeks due to earlier postponements, on Friday the Middlebury Union High School girls’ lacrosse team dropped a key contest to visiting Champlain Valley, 15-10.
The defending Division I champion Tigers, who the Saturday before suffered only their second loss of the past two years, 12-11 at first-place CVU, had rebounded with decisive wins over Burr and Burton and Essex on Monday and Wednesday before facing CVU (12-1) at home.
CVU’s five unanswered goals in the first 15 minutes of the second half proved decisive.
MUHS senior defender and tri-captain Keagan Dunbar, who has been a steady low defender for the Tigers since her sophomore year, said afterward to get fully get back on track her team needs to “?focus on connecting and trusting each other, and then just cleaning up the little details?. We’ve dropped a lot of passes in our games lately, so fixing that, and upping the communication.”
Neither team let the other gain more than a two-goal lead in Fridays’ first half. MUHS junior Emily Laframboise, who scored a team-high three-goals, started the scoring at 1:35 with a cut towards the net. Two minutes later, senior Ella Nagy-Benson made it 2-0 when she finished a free position shot.
CVU’s Natalie Durieux broke through at 18:28 on a free position to put the Redhawks on the board. During the half CVU got goals from Cate Noel, Bella Rieley, and Lydia Maitland (all three finished with three goals). Maitland scored on a free position with 1.8 seconds remaining in the half to tie the game at 6.
Middlebury added two first-half goals from senior Isabel Rosenberg, another from Laframboise, and one from Dunbar.
After a tally from senior Satchel McLaughlin in the first minute of the second half to make it 7-6, Tigers, CVU came to life. Over the next 15 minutes, the Redhawks picked up goals from Durieux, Rieley, Noel, and Becca Provost (three goals) to give CVU a 12-7 lead.
Tiger senior goalie Raven Payne (11 saves) made two big free position stops with under six minutes left to keep Middlebury in the game, while goals from McLaughlin, Laframboise, and Dunbar closed the gap to 12-10 with three minutes left.
Then CVU took over again. Provost tallied twice and Rieley once, all in the final minute, to cement the win. CVU goalie Ali Wainer made seven saves.
Tiger coach Brandi Whittemore said she noticed a shift at halftime.
“?We need to be able to play the whole 50 minutes. We came out strong, ready to fight, and then dropped off,” Whittemore said.
The loss is the Tigers’ third of the season, a drop-off from last year’s undefeated season. Dunbar spoke to the positives that can come from losses to teams like CVU.
“?We know that we can compete with anyone. The three losses we have were not by much, and they were to good teams, and we know that we can beat them. We just need to connect the dots … and make it work,” Dunbar said.
The Tigers bounced back on Saturday with a 16-1 win over visiting Burlington. Sophomore Malia Hodges and McLaughlin each tallied four times, Laframboise and Nagy-Benson (three assists) each added a hat trick, and Rosenberg and senior Tulley Hescock each scored once.
TIGER SENIOR KEAGAN Dunbar goes for a loose ball after a draw during Friday’s game against CVU.
Independent photo/Trent Campbell
On Wednesday the Tigers defeated visiting Essex, 14-4. Rosenberg, who recently notched her 100th career goal, recorded five goals and two assists. Laframboise, McLaughlin, and senior Sarah Broughton each scored twice. Hodges and juniors Ada Anderson and Lacey Greenamyre added single tallies.
With the playoffs looming after three winnable home games this week, Whittemore wants the Tigers to stay focused and prepare for a deep playoff run.
“?We need to continue learning and working for what we want, which in the end is to be as successful as we were last year,” Whittemore said. “But with that we just have to continue to work hard.”

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