Sunday, June 3, 2018

A History of Middlebury Union High School Boys Lacrosse ~ Middlebury Tigers ~ Vermont

Middlebury Tiger Lacrosse

The Traditions Begins: Spring 1984
Coach and Founder: Vin Fucile
1984 Record: 0-4
Club Team
In the late winter of 1994, Vin Fucile gathered a group of willing, enthusiastic, young men to discuss forming a lacrosse team. The meeting was held in a basement room of one of the senior's houses and we discussed raising money, buying and borrowing equipment, and learning the game. Those early years included T-Shirt Sales, Bottle Drives, Lining the field ourselves, having Carrerra's weld us goals from heavy pipes, clearing brush, and attempting to learn the game of lacrosse. That first year we played tough with Hanover but lost by two, played Woodstock twice and Barre-Spaulding once. We did not have a win that year but built the foundation for a program that would do great things.

1987 - "Mountain States Senior All Star Game" 
Kris Kelton
Eric Langrock
Tom Strolle
Pete Carey, Captain

Vinny Fucile's Last Year as Head Coach

Gary Starr -  Head Coach

Gary Starr -  Head Coach

Gary Starr -  Head Coach

The Coach Chapin Years Begin 
Head Coach: Jono Chapin
Assistant Coach: Pete Carey, '87







Tiger boys' lacrosse falls in semifinal

Posted on June 12, 2014 | 
By Andy Kirkaldy

TIGERS SAM SMITH, LEFT, and Ali Abdul Sater fight for possession of a ground ball during Tuesday's Division I semifinal game against CVU. Middlebury lost the game, 16-1. Independent photo/Trent Campbell
MIDDLEBURY — In the end, the Middlebury Union High School boys’ lacrosse team had to settle for an honorable bronze medal in Division I this spring.
On Tuesday, top-seeded host Champlain Valley ended the Tigers’ season with a decisive 16-6 victory in a D-I semifinal, and the 16-1 Redhawks advanced to a weekend final against No. 2 South Burlington (15-2).
The Tigers finished at 13-5, with every loss coming against those top two teams. The Tiger boys’ team résumé includes two decisive wins over No. 3 Woodstock, 17-5 and 6-2, and a 20-8 quarterfinal rout over undeserving No. 4 Brattleboro, which, like Woodstock, the Vermont Principals’ Association rewarded at seeding time for playing a soft schedule.
That four-goal win at Woodstock was the closest game the Tigers played all spring other than four competitive results vs. those top two teams: one-goal regular-season losses at CVU and at home vs. SBHS, a three-goal loss at the Rebels, and a four-goal loss at home vs. CVU.
Coach Dennis Smith agreed the Tigers did well this spring.
“The only losses we had were to CVU and South Burlington, and it looks like they’re probably the top two teams in the state. On any given day any one of those three can beat anybody,” Smith said. “Our kids had a great season.”
But the Tigers did not play their best game on Tuesday against the Redhawks, who returned almost all of the key players who won the 2013 title.
“They’re a very good team. They’re a very deep team,” Smith said. “We don’t have to play a flawless game, but you’ve got to play with fewer mistakes, a lot fewer than we made today. We just made a lot of mistakes, and they played aggressive.”
With CVU middie Steele Dubrul controlling most of the faceoffs and the Tigers turning the ball over when they did get their sticks on it, the Redhawks bolted to a 6-1 first-quarter lead.
Five Redhawks scored in the period, including two goals by Griffin DiParlo, with Hoyt McCuin picking up three of his four assists. Junior middie Bobby Ritter tallied the lone Tiger goal, picking up a pass from sophomore Ali Abdul Sater in the slot and bouncing a shot home.
With senior defender Sam Smith winning faceoffs early in the second period, the Tigers made a run. Senior attacker Keenan Bartlett netted a behind-the-net feed from junior Connor Quinn 38 seconds in, and at 10:40 senior attacker Sam Usilton converted a crease roll after a Redhawk penalty to make it 6-3.
At 9:30, Usilton duplicated that feat with the sides at even strength, and it was 6-4. Then a long-range bomb from Alex Bulla and the second of CVU attacker Nevin DiParlo’s four goals pushed the lead to 8-4 at 6:43. The Tigers got one more goal in the period, again on a crease roll from the left side, this one at 1:54, but CVU responded 1:14 later when McCuin set up the second of Matt Palmer’s four goals to make it 9-5 at the break.
It turned out that Usilton’s goal was the last the Tigers would score for more than 13 minutes. By then Dubrul (from Palmer), McCuin and DiParlo (from Elliot Mitchell in transition) had pushed CVU’s lead to 12-5. The Tiger goal came from Bartlett, again from Quinn, and made it 12-6 after three.
CVU tacked on four more goals in the fourth quarter. Smith said the Tigers were unable to build on the momentum they generated early in the second period.
“We did answer there in the second quarter and brought it back, but we just went level again,” he said. “We just didn’t make a lot of good plays today.”
Tiger junior goalie Nathan Lalonde made several good stops among the eight with which he was credited. CVU goalie Owen Hudson recorded seven stops.
Among the nine seniors who will graduate from the Tiger program are several mainstays, including Usilton and Smith, the captains; Bartlett; midfielders Nathan Hermann and Nick Audet; attacker/middie Seth Wright; and long-stick middie Max Livingstone-Peters. Middies Christopher Ewell and Kevin Galenkamp also saw action.
Some will still see some action in upcoming all-star games.
“There are a few seniors that still have a game left, in the Senior Showcase, and a couple of them are playing in the Vermont-New Hampshire game,” Smith said. “You could see on today’s field. They stood out and made great plays, and it’s where they belong.”
Andy Kirkaldy may be reached at

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.

CVU pulls away from Tigers, 12-8 in lacrosse

Posted on May 19, 2014 | 
By Andy Kirkaldy

MIDDLEBURY UNION HIGH School junior Connor Quinn pushes his way toward the CVU goal during Saturday's game played at Middlebury College's Alumni Stadium. The Tigers lost hte game, 12-8.
MIDDLEBURY — In a showdown between two of the top Vermont boys’ lacrosse teams, defending Division I Champlain Valley pulled away from host Middlebury in the late going on Saturday to earn a 12-8 victory at Middlebury College’s Alumni Stadium.

MUHS boys lax whips Woodstock

Posted on April 9, 2014 | 
By Andy Kirkaldy

MIDDLEBURY UNION HIGH School junior Connor Quinn outsteps a Woodstock defender during Saturday's game at Middlebury College's John Field. Quinn had four goals and four assists in the Tigers' 17-5 win. Independent photo/Trent Campbell
MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury Union High School boys’ lacrosse team opened its season on Saturday by thumping rival Woodstock, 17-5, in a game played on the turf surface of Middlebury College’s Kohn Field.
The Tigers, who return almost all of the key players from last spring’s 11-win squad, got a combined 14 goals from the starting attack of Sam Usilton, Connor Quinn and Keenan Bartlett; strong defense from Austin Robinson, Justin Stone and Sam Smith; and a combined five saves from goalies Nathan Lalonde and Lucas Plouffe.
Coach Dennis Smith said he and assistant Grover Usilton were pleased with the Tigers’ quality of play for an opening contest.
“We felt very good for the first game,” Smith said. “We moved the ball well. We obviously have a few things to work on, but we’ll get better for the next games.”
Smith said what has to improve is communication and “working together offensively and defensively,” issues that he expects will improve as the Tigers spend more time competing in games.
“For a first game we were very happy,” he said.
On the day Usilton scored six times, Quinn scored four times and set up four goals, and Bartlett found the net four times. Robinson stepped into the attack and scored once, and middies Ryan Biette and Jack Hounchell added a goal apiece. Lalonde stopped four shots in three-plus quarters in goal, and Plouffe, making his debut in the sport, denied the only shot he faced in half of the fourth period.
Woodstock’s Oliver Kaija and Nehemiah Wood each scored twice, and Wasp goalie Benn Orr stopped seven shots.
After earning a 1-0 first period edge, the Tigers blew the game open by outscoring the Wasps in the second period, 7-2. Usilton and Quinn scored three goals apiece in that decisive quarter.
Looking ahead, Smith wouldn’t mind seeing more production from his starting midfield, but given how well his attackmen were playing on Saturday he had no complaint.
“The attack did a great job, and it’s not like the middies didn’t play well. They were getting the ball to them,” Smith said.
The Tigers, who have high hopes this year after graduating just a couple starters from last spring’s 11-win squad, will next play at Rutland on Saturday at 11 a.m.; that game was moved from Middlebury due to field conditions. Their Wednesday game at Essex was postponed. 

Dennis Smith - Head Coach

Coaches' all-state, 

all-league lacrosse teams

Division I
First team
Attack: Brennen Zolsniski, Brattleboro; Brendan Gleason, Essex; Cam Nolting, South Burlington. Midfield: Jack Gagnon, Brattleboro; Elliott Mitchell, CVU; Kyle Murakami, South Burlington. Defense: Austin Robinson, Justin Stone, Middlebury; Nick Altand, Mount Anthony. Goalie: Mike Blauvelt, South Burlington
Second team
Attack: Matt Palmer, CVU; Connor Quinn, Middlebury; Damon Young, Mount Anthony. Midfield: Tanner Cioffi, BFA-St. Albans; Bobby Ritter, Middlebury; Chase Wright, Rutland. Defense: Pat McCue, Sam Wilkins, CVU; Will Gault, Woodstock. Goalie:Andrew Lounsbury, Essex
Metro Division
First team
Attack: Brendan Gleason, Essex; Connor Quinn, Middlebury, Cam Nolting, South Burlington. Midfield: Elliott Mitchell, CVU; Bobby Ritter, Middlebury; Kyle Murakami, South Burlington. Defense/LSM: Greg Talbert, Sam Wilkins, CVU; Austin Robinson, Justin Stone, Middlebury.Goalie: Mike Blauvelt, South Burlington
Second team
Attack: Matt Palmer, CVU; Henry Adams, Essex; Dylan Avery, South Burlington. Midfield: Tanner Cioffi, BFA; Dylan Schaefer, CVU; Teo Olsen, Essex. Defense/LSM:Pat McCue, CVU; Alex Corrigan, Colchester; Colby Trudeau, Essex; Peter Camardo, South Burlington. Goalie: Andrew Lounsbury, Essex

MUHS boys' lacrosse falls to CVU in D-I state final

Posted on June 15, 2015 | 
By Andy Kirkaldy

MUHS Lax.png
TIGER SENIOR CONNOR Quinn gets around CVU defender Pat McCue last Thursday night in Castleton. Independent photo/Trent Campbell
CASTLETON — Ultimately, just like both Division I boys’ lacrosse semifinals had earlier last week, Thursday night’s final between Middlebury and two-time defending champion Champlain Valley at Castleton State College came down to one dramatic late goal.
This time, it came from the stick of Redhawk attacker Matt Palmer.
Palmer capped a furious flurry that saw the Tigers and the Redhawks each score twice in the final 2:19 by whipping home the game-winner with 20.2 seconds to go, giving CVU an 11-10 victory and their third straight title and sixth overall.
Palmer’s strike, his fourth of the game, denied the 15-4, top-seeded Tigers their first crown since 2002 and eighth overall. They had reached the final by defeating No. 4 Essex, 13-12, on senior Connor Quinn’s overtime goal two days before.
The 13-6 Redhawks had earned their trip to Castleton by defeating No. 2 South Burlington, 6-5, on Monday, when middie Dylan Schaefer scored the game-winner with two minutes to go.
MUHS Coach Dennis Smith said he believed all along the difference between the semifinal teams was paper-thin.
“These four teams at the end, I thought anybody could win,” Smith said. “And these two teams tonight, it was just back and forth. It was just which team made the little mistakes. And we started making a few mistakes at the end, and they capitalized on it. But that’s what happens in these big games. I give my team credit, and I give them credit. It was just two great teams that played their hearts out, and one team is going to lose.”
With both teams playing tough, the Redhawks and Tigers did make mistakes. The Redhawks took nine penalties to the Tigers’ three, although two key fourth-quarter calls went against MUHS, while the Tigers struggled with turnovers, especially after taking leads of 6-3 in the second quarter and 7-5 in the third.
Smith said although the Tigers’ face-guarding tactics held the Redhawks to fewer goals than in either of their 13-10 and 13-9 regular-season losses to CVU — and the Tiger defenders did also force their fair share of turnovers — there were still a couple breakdowns in the back by a defense that has been a team strength all season.
“We did some things different than we did in the past against them, and we held them in check, but we also made some mental mistakes,” Smith said. “It’s just a little ball-watching here and there.”
Although CVU took an early 2-1 lead on goals by Palmer and Charlie Bernicke, MUHS took a 4-2 lead after the first period, scoring twice with a man advantage after CVU penalties. Senior middie Cullen Hathaway, from freshman attacker Jack Donahue, and Donahue, from junior attacker Jack Hounchell, scored man-up goals. Senior middie Bobby Ritter scored unassisted from long range, and Hounchell also set up a Quinn goal.
TIGER SENIOR JUSTIN Stone chases down a loose ball near center field during last Thursday’s state championship game played at Castleton State College.
Independent photo/Trent Campbell
Despite turnovers in the second quarter, the Tigers stretched the lead to 6-3. Hathaway, from the top of the box, twice found Hounchell on the doorstep for man-up goals. The second came at 3:09 and established that three-goal lead. To that point in the period, MUHS had allowed only an Owen McCuin goal, thanks in part to Tiger senior goalie Nathan Lalonde’s back-to-back stops early in the quarter on Palmer and Elliot Mitchell.
After Hounchell’s second goal, Palmer’s solo move at 2:50 made it 6-4. The Tigers won the draw, but turned the ball over. Ritter won the ball back, but the Tigers coughed up the ball again. Lalonde (six saves) stopped Palmer and snared the groundball, but the Tigers were flagged for a penalty on the play, a call that MUHS coaches disputed. Regardless, CVU got the ball back again, and McCuin made it 6-5 with a man-up goal, a score that stood at the half.
The Tigers restored their two-goal lead at 10:19 of the third, when Hounchell found the lower right corner after curling from the left side. But Mitchell and Palmer scored goals 34 seconds apart, with Palmer’s coming at 9:05, and it was 7-7.
At 4:47, the Tigers took their last lead, courtesy again of Hounchell, who whipped home a behind-the-net feed from Quinn. Hounchell finished with a game-high six points on four goals and two assists. “Hounchell had a great game,” Smith said.
But with 20.9 seconds left in the period, Griffin DiParlo finished off Palmer’s feed from the left side, and the score stood at 8-8 entering the fourth.
It remained that way for almost six minutes, in part because Lalonde stuffed Bernicke’s man-up bid at the nine-minute mark. But at 6:23, Bernicke won the duel, stuffing in a curl move from the right side, and CVU had its first lead since 2-1.
At 2:19, Ritter drew a CVU foul while winning a ground ball, and seven seconds later Quinn made it 9-9 with a 20-yard bullet high into the net. But CVU won the draw, and at 1:34, DiParlo bounced a shot into the net’s right side to make it 10-9.
Thirteen seconds later, the score was tied. Junior middie Ali Abdul Sater won the draw, raced down the middle of the field and found Donahue cutting in from the right side. Donahue beat CVU goalie Matt Murikami (five saves) to the far corner for his second of the game, at 1:21.
Then came a wild scramble for the next faceoff. The Tigers had chances to scoop the ball as it rolled toward the CVU end, but eventually a Redhawk defender controlled and CVU called for time at 1:05.
The Redhawks worked the ball down the field successfully, and the Tigers were called for a hold. Palmer wandered loose for a second on the right side, and made no mistake when he received the ball from the far side, firing a bullet just inside the right post.
The Tigers won the draw, but had no time to get a potentially tying shot on goal as the program’s best spring in 13 years came to an end.
“It’s been a good season. We came here, but we just came up short,” Smith said.
He remains hopeful for the future of the program, although a senior class that includes Quinn, Ritter, Hathaway, Lalonde, middies Ashton Bates and John McAninch, reserve goalie Lucas Plouffe, and defenders Austin Robinson, Justin Stone and Sam Killorin will be missed.
“We’ve got a great senior group. They’ve been together for a long time, and it all started with the feeder program,” Smith said. “As long as we can keep numbers, we can compete at this level.”
Andy Kirkaldy is at andyk@
MIDDLEBURY UNION HIGH School goalie Nathan Lalonde faces a point-blank shot by CVU’s Charlie Bernicke during last Thursday’s Division I state championship game.

Independent photo/Trent Campbell


Head Coach - Brian Carpenter

Victory versus Rutland moves Tigers lacrosse to 1-1

Posted on April 18, 2016 | 
By Andy Kirkaldy

TIGER JUNIOR ANDREW Gleason, above, fights for a ground ball during last Wednesday’s game against Essex. Below right, Tiger goalie Douglas Delorenzo comes up with a big save against Essex. Independent photos/Trent Campbell
MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury Union High School boys’ lacrosse team finally opened its season last week, splitting a pair of home games on Fucile Community Field.
On Wednesday, Essex earned a 9-5 victory, and on Saturday the Tigers outlasted Rutland, 5-4, getting the late game-winning goal in transition from junior middie Trey Kaufman, who netted a feed from senior attacker Jack Hounchell.
Saturday’s result gave first-year coach Brian Carpenter his first varsity coaching victory.
Carpenter said he saw positives in the two games. He cited solid work from his low defense of juniors Nick Wilkerson and Brett Viens and sophomores Fyn Fernandez and Brian Kiernan, and senior long-stick middie Jerry Niemo. Against Rutland, uncontested shots on the Tiger goalies were rare. Senior middies Ali Abdul Sater and Nick Coe and junior middie Andrew Gleason also did well defensively on Saturday.
“In any settled situation we really did a good job of playing the man,” Carpenter said on Saturday.
Junior goalies Eli Miller and Doug DeLorenzo also played well. Eli Tucker played the first half against Essex and allowed five goals and made five saves, and in the second half vs. the Raiders je made eight saves while allowing three goals. DeLorenzo, made eight saves and allowed four scores in Wednesday’s second half, and stopped seven shots while allowing one goal vs. Rutland.
Carpenter said at least for now the goalies will share the job.
“They’re both playing really well,” he said. “They’ve both earned an opportunity.”
Meanwhile, Carpenter acknowledged he would like to see the Tigers score more than five goals per game. 
“We’ve got a couple things we’re going to work on,” he said.
Carpenter believes some of the issues will work themselves out when he and assistants Dave Donahue and Booth Hodde iron out lineup kinks, particularly by identifying the right groups to play together at midfield and allowing them to develop cohesion and the proper mix of offense and defense.
“We’re trying to figure out how we can get the lines to balance,” he said.
The Tigers have also tended to wear down in games — Rutland dominated ground balls in Saturday’s second half, a factor as the Raiders rallied from a 4-1 halftime hole to tie the game before the Tigers’ late strike.
Carpenter said more poise and fewer turnovers on offense will help, as will the coaches’ ability to work more players into the lineup as the season progresses.
“Maybe we have to slow the game down so the guys keep some fresh legs,” he said. “If we can get our settled offense a little better, then our guys won’t be running up and down the field as much. We gave the ball away too many times today.”
Vs. Essex, Spencer Carpenter led MUHS with two goals, and Hounchell, Kaufmann and Jake Peluso added one apiece. Niemo scooped seven ground balls, and Gleason and Abdul Sater picked up five each. While the Tiger goalies combined for a dozen stops, the Hornets’ Avery Lanphere made three saves. Henry Adams sparked the Essex offense with four goals.
TIGER JUNIOR SPENCER Carpenter cuts around two Essex defenders in Middlebury last Wednesday afternoon. Middlebury lost the game, 9-5.
Independent photo/Trent Campbell
On Saturday vs. the Raiders, the Tigers got off to a quick start. Abdul Sater helped them win four of five first-quarter draws as they took a 3-1 lead after the first quarter.
Kaufmann started the scoring by tossing in a bomb from the top of the Hornet defense 52 seconds into the game. At 9:10 sophomore attacker Jackson Donohue made it 2-0, cutting in from the right side after taking a transition feed from Kaufmann.
At 0:29, senior attacker River Payne made it 3-0 from just outside the crease, converting a pass Donahue threaded in from the right. Essex then won its only draw of the quarter, and Connor Balestra made it 3-1 at 0:07 with an assist from Ben Davine.
At 10:35 of the second, Hounchell’s unassisted man-up goal made it 4-1, and the Tigers appeared ready to coast. But Raider goalie Kevin Macfarlane made stops on Abdul Sater and Hounchell, and the Tigers — like Rutland — had trouble hanging onto the ball. The teams’ best chances came in the final minute, when DeLorenzo made a kick save on Jacob Sabourin at one end, and then Macfarlane blocked Peluso’s point-blank underhanded bid at the other.
The Raiders controlled the third period and cut the lead to 4-3. Bobby Bergen got the first score of the quarter, a high shot that deflected in past Miller off a Tiger stick. At 7:09, Balestra curled from behind the net and converted from close range. Miller denied Davine with the Raiders a man up with five minutes to go, and twice stopped Balestra in the final minute.
But at 9:00 of the fourth, Balestra made it 4-4 after another Raider ground ball win, netting a pass from Bergen.
Finally, after a Miller save, the Tigers broke out in transition and caught the Raiders flat-footed. Hounchell moved in on the Raider goal with one defender back and Kaufmann to his left and dished to Kaufmann for the high finish at 2:00.
Both teams turned the ball over in the final two minutes, but Kaufmann and finally Niemo won ground balls to seal the win.
Carpenter hopes to see more of those results as he and coaches fit the pieces together. 
“We’ve got some real talented players,” he said. “We’re putting it together as a team, still.” 


MUHS boys' lax works overtime to trim MMU and move to .500

Posted on May 12, 2016 | 
By Andy Kirkaldy

TIGER SENIOR JERRY NIEMO, above, breaks away from a pair of Mt. Mansfield defenders Monday afternoon in Middlebury. Below, MUHS senior Jackson Hounchell fires around Mt. Mansfield defender Jacob Wechsler and past leaping Cougar goalie Will Macone to score the first of his two goals Monday afternoon. Hounchell also scored the game-winner in overtime. Independent photos/Trent Campbell
MIDDLEBURY — After a couple of disappointing two-goal losses last week, the Middlebury Union High School boys’ lacrosse team bounced back on Monday to earn a victory over visiting Mount Mansfield and move back to .500 at 4-4.
But it wasn’t easy. The Tigers needed senior middie Ali Abdul Sater’s late goal to force overtime, and then a key defensive play to set up senior attacker Jack Hounchell’s game-winner 1:27 into the extra session as MUHS defeated the Cougars, 9-8.
The decisive play started when junior defender Brett Viens knocked the ball loose from a Cougar attacker, scooped it and fed junior middie Trey Kaufmann. Kaufmann carried down the right side, beat a defender and fed sophomore attacker Jack Donohue to the right of the goal.
Donohue drew the last defender and fed Hounchell at the far post. Hounchell threw one quick fake before depositing a low shot past Cougar goalie Will Macone for his second and more important goal of the game.
Hounchell insisted he had the easiest job in the Tigers’ winning coast-to-coast effort.
“That was nice. Trey Kaufmann, I was telling him to slow down because we didn’t have a break or anything. But he beat his guy, and my man slid to the guy he passed to, and I was wide open on the crease,” Hounchell said. “It wasn’t much of me doing anything. It was just catch and finish. It definitely was fun. It felt good to get the win for our team. It was definitely exciting.”
Viens’ timely forced turnover was not the only one caused by the Tiger defenders. After Abdul Sater spun off his man and tossed the tying goal home with 2:55 left in regulation, the Cougars won the faceoff and controlled possession before calling for time at 1:02 to set up a play. But with 34 seconds to go, sophomore defender Brian Kiernan whacked the ball loose from a Cougar attacker and scooped the ground ball to preserve the tie and send the game to overtime.
Tiger Coach Brian Carpenter praised all his defenders — Viens and sophomore Fyn Fernandez saw the most time, Kiernan and junior Parker Gross shared minutes, and senior Jerry Niemo and junior Nick Wilkerson excelled as long-stick middies — and in particular the critical plays to close out Monday’s game.
“The D has done a stellar job all season, and they stepped up when it really mattered,” Carpenter said. “They put the ball on the ground and got the ball up the field and gave us the opportunity to close that out.”
Doing so was vital for the Tigers after losing 12-10 at South Burlington on Saturday and 11-9 on Wednesday, and knowing St. Albans (which they defeated on the road, 9-8, on May 2) would be challenging them on a game played this Wednesday.
“It was definitely important. It was a pick-me-up for the guys to get one under the belt after a tough loss to South Burlington,” Hounchell said.
Monday’s game opened on a promising note — Abdul Sater whipped a long-range shot home on the Tigers’ first possession. But their offense did not generate good looks for the rest of the period, and Cougar Mason Bouffard scored at 3:51 to make it 1-1 after one quarter.
The second period turned into a penalty fest, with four assessed on the Cougars and three on the Tigers. The Tigers converted on the first man-up situation, at 10:38, with Hounchell setting up freshman Jake Peluso. The Tigers won the faceoff, and 28 seconds later Hounchell dodged in from the left side to make it 3-1.
The Lakers then took a penalty, and Macone (six saves) made good stops on Hounchell and Peluso to slow the MUHS momentum.
After Cougar Josh Brown scored a man-up goal at 6:56 and Donahue set up Peluso to make it 4-2 a minute later, the Cougars went on a three-goal run. After Brown scored twice, Dom Mosca put MMU on top, 5-4, at 2:34.
Kaufmann set up junior Spencer Carpenter for a turnaround shot in traffic shortly afterward, and the score stood at 5-5 at the half despite a penalty apiece in the final two minutes.
The teams traded goals in the third. Abdul Sater made it 6-5 in the first minute, but Brown tied the score a minute later. Donahue broke free on the right side and made it 7-6 at 5:49, but Mosca tossed home a man-up bomb past Tiger goalie Eli Miller (five saves) at 1:45, and it was 7-7 entering the fourth.
Both defenses held firm in the fourth period until 4:13, when Cougar freshman Jaden Elsinger squeezed a 20-foot shot home off Miller from the left side. But that effort just set up the late drama, and a boost for the Tigers’ morale.
“We had to get the W,” Carpenter said. “We needed something to get us moving back into the win column so the guys will start believing in themselves.”
Carpenter and Hounchell said once the Tigers develop a little more consistency on the offensive end they should start adding to that win total.
“We just have to work on finishing, and as the season goes along we’ll get much better,” Hounchell said.
Carpenter has also just shifted some personnel, including Spencer Carpenter to midfield and Kaufmann to attack, and believes that the changes will help.
“There are flashes that look really good,” Carpenter said. “They’re getting used to the different roles.”
The Tigers followed up Monday’s win with another victory on Wednesday, defeating visiting BFA-St. Albans, 11-5.
Hounchell scored five times and added an assist, and Kaufman added three goals and two assists to spark the Tigers as they moved to 5-4. Donahue, Peluso and Andrew Gleason chipped in a goal apiece, and Doug DeLorenzo took his turn in the Tiger goal and stopped nine shots.
James Konrad led the 3-4 Bobwhites with three goals, and BFA goalie Killian Shea-Smith made seven saves.
Andy Kirkaldy may be reached at 
MIDDLEBURY UNION HIGH School sophomore Jackson Donahue fights for a ground ball during Monday’s game against Mt. Mansfield. Middlebury won the game, 9-8.
Independent photo/Trent Campbel


Tiger boys' lax uses grit to defeat Rutland

Posted on April 17, 2017 | 
By Andy Kirkaldy

s lax5950.jpg
TIGER JUNIOR JACKSON Donahue is checked by a Rutland defender during Friday’s road game. Donahue had three goals and three assists in Middlebury’s 11-9 win. Independent photo/Trent Campbell
RUTLAND — When Rutland’s Ben Davine scored back-to-back goals late in Friday’s third period against the visiting Middlebury Union High School boys’ lacrosse team, the Raiders had taken the lead for the first time, 8-7.
The Tigers led by as many as three, 6-3, at 4:44 of the second period, but Rutland seized the momentum with a 5-1 run over the next 13 minutes, thanks in part to Tiger turnovers.
But Tigers responded with their own run. The defense continued to make life tough for the Raiders, and senior attacker Andrew Gleason and junior attacker Jackson Donahue each scored and assisted each other in the final minute of the third period to restore the Tiger lead at 9-8.
Then at 10:13 of the fourth period, Gleason found sophomore attacker Jake Peluso curling around the crease, as Peluso deposited what proved to be the game-winning goal as the Tigers went on to win, 11-9. 
Gleason, a tri-captain, said the Tigers told themselves to focus on fundamentals when they lost the lead.
“It just starts from the back. We’ve got to work up from our defense, get the ball on offense, possess, can’t make any stupid turnovers,” Gleason said. “Then we just worked it around on offense, got the looks we wanted and were able to put it away.”
Gleason also cited the work of freshman goalie Cam Devlin (11 saves) and the defense of senior Brett Viens, juniors Fyn Fernandez and Brian Kiernan, and the long-stick middie rotation of freshman Quinn Berry and senior Doug DeLorenzo.
In the last few minutes that group forced rushed shots by Raiders Jared Migliore and Aiden Reilly that Devlin either stopped or went wide, senior midfielder Eli Miller forced one turnover, and in the final minute Viens stole the ball from a Raider attacker to end the final threat.
“That was something else,” Gleason said. “They handled themselves really well, and Brett had a nice takeaway right there at the end. That kind of sealed the deal. We played some nice team D today, and Cam had some pretty timely saves.”
Coach Brian Carpenter praised the Tigers for answering the Raiders’ challenge.
“They showed grit. They didn’t cave. They didn’t panic. They just played the game and made their own breaks,” Carpenter said. “We played solid D. We were doubling the ball at times and putting it back on the ground and coming back on offense and moving the ball around and getting effective shots.”
The Tigers took a 6-4 lead in the first half. They led after one, 3-1. Raider Cam Slenker scored first, but Gleason (three goals, two assists) answered with two goals, one set up by Donahue (three goals, three assists), and Donahue added a score.
Devlin made a couple stops, one on quick Raider goalie Cam Wilk (eight saves), who at one point raced the length of the field to shoot on net and then darted back to made a stop. The Raiders also hit a post or the crossbar four times, three by Migliore.
Rutland’s Reilly made it 3-2 to open the second period. Kolby Farnsworth, from Kaufmann, answered, but Migliore scored with MUHS a man down to make it 4-3 at 6:05.
The Tigers then scored twice in 1:04 to take their biggest lead. Kaufmann tossed in a man-up goal, and Peluso curled out front and buried a Donahue feed at 4:44 to make it 6-3. At 2:40, Davine buried a cross-crease pass from Joe Torres and it was 6-4.
The Tigers for a long stretch struggled offensively, mainly due to turnovers. Carpenter said they will be fine when they remember to translate practice onto the field.
“We’ve looked better in practice banging the ball around, and we allowed it to sit in one man’s stick where they could play him and we weren’t moving to get open,” Carpenter said. “Maybe they’ll learn a lesson from this game.”
Migliore scored to open the second half and set up a Dawson Cole goal, and it was tied. The Tigers dug back in on defense, and at 5:11 Berry stepped into the attack and converted a doorstep feed from Farnsworth, and MUHS led, 7-6. But Davine’s goals appeared to shift things the Raiders’ way.
But the Tigers answered, as they did again when Torres scored at 6:52 of the fourth to make it 10-9. At 4:27 Tiger junior middie Jakob Boeckermann found Donahue cutting for an insurance goal, and the Tigers held the fort down the stretch.
Carpenter acknowledged Friday’s lapses, but said the Tigers played well when they had to — something he attributed to their attitudes.
“I feel really good about this team,” he said. “They support each other on the sideline. They’re not heckling when somebody does something wrong. They’re just encouraging them to pick it up and go. I think the chemistry is good, and we’ll continue to improve as we work on some of those mistakes we made today.”
   MIDDLEBURY UNION HIGH School junior Jakob Boeckermann fires a shot on goal during Friday’s game against Rutland.
Independent photo/Trent Campbell

Middlebury Tiger Lacrosse
Captains: 1984-Present
Middlebury Union Tiger Lacrosse Captains
1984-Matt Murdock, Mike Laberge, Mike Stearns
1985-Carl Strolle, Todd Astor
1986-Carl Strolle, Brendan McLaughlin
1987-Kris Kelton, Eric Langrock, Tom Strolle, Pete Carey
1989-Paul Carey, Justin Liberty, Roy McKinnon

Tigers Who Played in College
Image result for middlebury lacrosse
1984-Dan McIntosh (baseball in HS)
1986-Carl Strolle (Bowdoin)
1987-Tom Strolle (Brandeis), Kris Kelton (Plymouth State), Pete Carey (Bates)
1989-Andy Morse (UVM), Paul Carey (Wesleyan),Roy McKinnon(Middlebury), Justin Liberty (Hobart), Nate Beams (Hobart)(UVM)
1990-Merritt Eddy

2015 - Connor Quinn (Middlebury),