Capsule outlook of the area’s high school lacrosse teams
High school lacrosse outlook
Coach: Ross Mondello (3rd year)
Last year: 13-3, lost in semifinals
Returning starters: Matt Sanford, jr., A; Devin Calkins, jr., A; Michael Fanaras, sr., A; Alex Rietze, jr., LSM; Derrick LaBranche, jr., D; Dan Crisman, sr., MF; Riley Keenan, sr., MF
Top newcomers: Dylan LaBranche, so., A; Tucker Johnson, so., D; Alec Tellifson, so.; Michael Angarella, so., G; Corey Plumb, jr., D; Charley Reagan, jr., D; Luke Laboe, jr., MF; Trevor Garrett, jr., MF; Travis Beauchain, jr., G; Colby Desmarais, sr., MF
Outlook: According to Coach Mondello: “We have a great mix of returners and newcomers that have formed such a great bond. They have set their goals high and have been working very hard during the offseason and preseason. I love how hard they work day in and day out. The players know how hard it is to win in our division. From top to bottom it is such a competitive division. I have never seen a team so focused on being successful in all my time coaching. It has been fun coaching this group so far.”
Teams to beat: Portsmouth, St. Thomas, Goffstown, Bedford
Coach: Ralph Berry (1st year)
Last year: 2-12, did not make tournament in Division II
Returning starters: Jonathan Berry, , sr.; Evan Hall, sr.; Jason McKay, sr.; Carter Lee, sr.; Ryan Kirk, sr.; Devon Sheehan, sr.; Tom Palangas, sr.; Hunter Migneault, sr.; Blake Whitcomb, sr.; Evan Tyros, jr.
Top newcomers: Derek Drouin, jr.; Zach Frament, fr.; Byron Welch, fr.
Outlook: With 15 seniors (12 being returning varsity players) and strong underclassmen on the team, the Green Giants with have a nice blend of veterans and youth. That mix of players, combined with moving down to Division III, should mean that Brady will be very competitive with the top teams in the division come the end of the season.
Teams to beat: Derryfield, Hollis-Brookline, Hopkinton
Coach: Doug Maynard (6th year)
Last year: 10-6, lost in quarterfinals
Returning starters: Matt French, jr., G; Bennett Mosseau, sr., D; James McCluskey, so., D; Ned Metcalf, sr., MF; Henry Merrow, sr., A; Ben Thompson, jr., A
Top newcomer: Jake Hemmerlein, fr., D
Outlook: Hopkinton will field a balanced team that is highly motivated to improve upon last year’s 10-6 record. “We will have outstanding senior leadership,” Coach Maynard said, “but as always our depth will be a concern.” Out of the 19 players on the Hawks roster, seven are underclassmen, including three freshmen.
Teams to beat: Derryfield, Hollis-Brookline
Coach: Howard Roever (1st year)
Last year: 2-12, did not make tournament
Returning starters: Thomas Zervos, MF; Keith Galli, A; Matthew Richard, A; Nicholas Simeone, D; Colbey Decotis, A
Top newcomers: Jacob Blanchette, fr., MF; Terry Zervos, so., LSM; Gage Huard, so., LSM; James Smugereski, so., MF
Outlook: The Generals will be a young group, with half the team made up of freshmen and sophomores. The offense should be a strong point, and it features upper-class leadership at the attack position. The midfield should also be solid, and Coach Roever expects that preseason conditioning will allow them to run with anyone in the division. The defense is inexperienced, with only one senior returning, but the hope is that several precocious sophomores learn quickly and help solidify this unit. After going 2-12 last season, John Stark has one eye on becoming a presence in Division III this season, while the other is on the future of the program.
Teams to beat: Derryfield, Plymouth, Hollis-Brookline
Coach: Mike Heffernan (3rd year)
Last year: 7-9, lost in first round
Returning starters: Robbie Lutz, sr., MF; Peter Allen, sr., MF; Travis Newman, jr., A; Jordan Barthol, sr., D; Will AuFranc, jr., G; Keatton Hanson, jr., D
Top newcomers: Ollie Gallo, sr., MF; Ben Gambino, sr., D; Matt Pickman, so., MF; Tom Barss, jr., A; Andrew Van Hooydonk, jr., MF
Outlook: The Cougars will be bolstered by two new senior leaders on the team. Gallo is back after missing last season and will make an immediate impact both as a player and a leader. The other new senior on the team, Gambino, has not played lacrosse since eighth grade, but he will be a solid addition to the Cougars defense. Gambino is also a positive influence on the many freshmen in the Kearsarge lacrosse program. These two, along with Lutz, Allen and Barthol, form a talented core of seniors to lead a team that should get better during the season as their experience grows. The squad is very enthusiastic about the game and is looking forward to learning and growing together.
Teams to beat: Derryfield, Monadnock, Windham, Plymouth, Pelham, Gilford, Hollis-Brookline, although, “all teams will present challenges,” according to Coach Heffernan.
Coach: Sean O’Brien (12th year)
Last year: 7-8, lost in first round
Returning starter: Dylan Baer, sr., MF
Top newcomers: Cole Martin, jr., MF; David West, sr., A; Cody Thurston, sr., A; Alain Authier, jr., G; Ben Reed, jr., D
Outlook: The Pride graduated 12 players from last year’s team, including all the starters but Baer. He will be on an offensive middie line with Martin and Blake Gaboriault that will be one of the team’s strengths. MV does have some talent to bring up from last year’s 10-win JV team, so the potential is there for the Pride if it wants to work. “How hard the team practices and how well they improve and mesh as a group will determine whether or not they can become a competitive team before the season’s end,” Coach O’Brien said.
Teams to beat: Derryfield, Hopkinton, Hollis, Pelham, Kearsarge
Coach: Tim Vasconcellos (2nd year)
Last year: 3-12, did not make tournament
Returning starters: Colby Chown, sr., A; Ian McFarland, sr., A; Robert Gobin, sr. MF/A; Brad Schaefer, sr., MF; Adam Gelinas, jr., D; Colin Flanagan, sr., D; Joe Boisvert, sr., D; Marcus Bessette, sr., G
Top newcomers: Kam Anderson, fr., A/MF; Keanan Abbott, jr., MF
Outlook: The Spartans hope to continue their growth as a program this year. There is a lot of veteran leadership on this team with 13 seniors and four juniors on the roster. This squad is a tight group that enjoys the game and is willing to do all the little things needed in order to succeed.
Coach: Christiane Raabe (17th year)
Last year: 8-7, lost in quarterfinals
Returning players: Lindsay Reynolds, so., MF; Kelsey Mumford, sr., MF; Erin Haggerty, sr., D; Jaclyn Langevin, sr., A/MF; Alexis Krause, jr., MF; Meghan Lighthall, sr., A; Mikayla Allen, sr., G
Outlook: The Falcons return only seven players from last year’s roster, but Coach Raabe looks to take her young team to the tournament and improve on last year’s quarterfinal loss.
Coach: Kate Hohenberger (2nd year)
Last year: 2-12, did not make tournament in Division II
Returning starters: Shannon Foye, sr.; Jill Thomas, jr.; Stephanie Sloane, jr.; Stephanie Snow, jr.; Hannah Provost, jr.; Gabby Eaton, jr.
Top newcomers: Bekka Sansouci, jr.; Isabel Leeming, fr.; Ellen Owsowitz, fr.; Sophia Palanges, fr.; Jillian Provost, fr.; Emma Will, fr.
Outlook: The Green Giants have added several strong players, including transfer student Sansouci, who adds great strength to the midfield. Also improving the midfield will be three freshmen: Palanges, Leeming and Jillian Provost. Freshman Dana Beauregard will make a solid contribution to the defense, while Owsowitz, who is quickly adjusting to the varsity level of shooting, will be the back-up goalie. Bishop Brady will look to its two captains, Thomas and Foye, for leadership on the field. Foye will be playing attack this season and may see some defense, while Jillian Provost is going to be seeing more attack this season with some midfield play as well. Hannah Provost and Perry Burdon will also see more playing time at attack. The midfield will have strong, fast players with great stick skills. This includes Sammie DeMaria, Snow and Sarah Thomas. Defensively, the team will rely heavily on the play of Eaton, Lauren Owsowitz, Will and Meg Houten. Bishop Brady’s returning goalkeeper is Sloane, a skilled goalie who looks to help the Green Giants stay in the game. The team has dropped to Division three and looks forward to not only competing with teams, but getting some wins.
Teams to beat: Kingswood, Lebanon
Coach: Eric Sideleau (3rd year)
Last year: 9-7, lost in semifinals
Returning starters: Elizabeth Hancock, sr., AW; Abby Lui, sr., A; Alexandra Flood, sr., A; Maria Booth, sr., MF; Meg Hemmerlein, jr., MF; Caroline Sweny, jr., MF; Callie Chase, so., D; Grace Givens, so., D; Tessa Garlow, jr., G
Top newcomers: Becca Thomson, fr., MF; Hannah Basset, fr., D; Isabel Gesen, so., A; Sierra Schuster, so., MF; Emma Ouelette, so., A; Maddy Sorel, so., MF
Outlook: With nine veteran starters and a talented crop of newcomers, the Hawks have the right mix to make some noise in Division III. Coach Sideleau said that the team’s strong attack and midfield will have to win the possession game to help out Hopkinton’s young but talented defense. “After losing our final four game to the eventual champion for two years running, the team believes they can get it done this year,” Sideleau said. “The goal is to reach the finals and give it our best effort to hopefully bring home the title.”
Teams to beat: Windham, Plymouth, Kearsarge
Coach: John Warner (7th year)
Last year: 8-7, lost in quarterfinals
Returning starters: Beckie Beaulieu, sr., A/D; Mikayla Cusson, sr., D; Clarissa Foote, jr., G; Danielle McCarron, jr., MF; Kathleen Medvetz, sr., MF; Gianna Pezzulo, so., A; Casey Poirier, so., MF
Top newcomers: Danielle Galli, fr., MF; Samantha Valcourt, so., A; Stephanie Wetherbee, so., MF/D; Liz Neal, fr., MF; Annalise Blouin, so., D
Outlook: The Generals look to have a great season anchored by a strong core of varsity returners and some talented newcomers. While the team as a whole is young, they are a skilled and dedicated group. Coach Warner will be looking to blend experienced and young players to make up for the loss of 69 goal-scorer Maddie Pisapia and two defenders to graduation. Stark aims to return to the D-III playoffs this year but a very tough schedule will make that feat a real challenge. Senior tri-captain Cusson and Blouin will lead Stark’s defense. Tri-captain Medvetz, McCarron, Poirer and Galli will lead the midfield, while tri-captain Beaulieu and sophomores Pezzulo and Valcourt will lead the Stark attack. The ever improving Foote will hold down the goalkeeping duties in her third year as a starter.
Teams to beat: Windham, Plymouth, Kingswood, Kearsarge, Lebanon
Coach: Scott Slogic (5th year)
Last year: 14-2, Division III runner-up
Returning starters: Gemma Bready, sr., MF; Libby Brooks, jr., MF; Christie Ross, sr., D; Kate Scheuch, jr., D; Morgan Galluzzo, jr., G; Caitlyn Anderson, sr., A
Top newcomers: Geneva Heffernan, so., MF; Haley Brook, jr., A; Jonalyn Burt, jr., A; Kaileigh Davis, fr., D; Anna Stowell, fr., A; Lilly Huntoon, fr., D; Emmaline Keene, fr., D; Lianna Blakeman, so., MF; Eleanor Angus, fr., A
Outlook: Kearsarge has played in three of the past four finals, finishing with a combined record of 55-11. Kearsarge lost 10 seniors from a team that finished 14-2, and is “rebuilding.” However, with the Outing Club youth program providing 14 freshmen along with first team All-America selection and Player of the Year in Bready, Ross (two-time First Team defense), Galluzzo (Second Team All-State) and Brooks (two-time Second Team attack), the Cougars will be a formidable opponent and will be a force to be reckoned with, especially later in the season.
Teams to beat: Windham, Lebanon, Hopkinton, Plymouth
Coach: Valerie Xenakis (1st year)
Last year: 4-10, did not make tournament
Returning starters: Madison Cote, sr., MF; Vanessa Lacey, jr., MF; Keerstyn Allen, jr., MF; Brianna Douglas, so., MF
Top newcomer: Kaitlyn Roukey, fr., MF
Outlook: Xenakis is in her first year as head coach, but she’s been an assistant on the Pembroke staff for the last two seasons. She’ll have a strong midfield to work with that features multiple returning players and an attack that has three of the Spartans’ six seniors. Nathalee Clarke is the only goalie, so the sophomore will have to stand strong in the Pembroke cage.