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Friday, April 13, 2012

High School Lacrosse 2012 Preview: BG boys touted as state’s best team

It comes as no surprise to anybody in New Hampshire lacrosse circles that two-time defending champion Bishop Guertin High School is once again considered the front-runner in Division I boys lacrosse.

What may surprise some lacrosse junkies, though, is the love shown to both Nashua High School North and South – both picked by a few area coaches as darkhorses for the 2012 season.

“Bishop Guertin will be far and away the best team in the state this season,” Nashua South boys lacrosse coach Bill Monsen said. “Nashua North, who has made great strides this off-season, will also be a team to keep an eye on in 2012.”

On paper, BG leads the way with 10 returning starters and a brick wall defensively that opponents will struggle to knock down.

“The strength of the team will be the defense,” BG boys head coach Chris Cameron said. “It starts with Harvard-bound goalie Colin Delea and UMass Amherst recruits on defense, Bob Fahey and Kyle Karaska.”

The offense will be in good hands as well, as Paul Spinney, also heading to UMass, will pace things from the midfield.

Pinkerton Academy of Derry is not far behind – followed by Exeter, Hanover and Londonderry.

Cameron isn’t taking anybody for granted, especially the Astros.

“Pinkerton will once again be very strong and the biggest challenge in going for a third straight Division I state championship,” Cameron said.

In Division II, Souhegan, Bedford, Dover and Bow seem to be the popular picks, while Goffstown and Portsmouth are on the bubble and ready to burst onto the title-contending scene.

Coming off a solid preseason, Merrimack boys head coach Bill Consentino thinks his Tomahawks may surprise a few people.

“So far, this has been the best preseason in my three years,” Consentino said. “The boys have come together and are working as a coherent unit. We’ve played well in all four of our preseason scrimmages.”

The Division III boys title appears to be up for grabs.

Derryfield and Hollis Brookline were mentioned most often, but with a caveat that it’s an open field this season.

“You can’t really overlook anyone in a division that looks to be evening out,” first-year Merrimack boys lacrosse coach Rick Urda said. “Most teams are raising their skill levels and execution to be able to compete with the perennial powers in Division III.”

On the girls side of the ledger, it appears Hollis Brookline, Salem, Nashua South, Londonderry, Manchester Central, Manchester Memorial, Pinkerton Academy and Exeter are all ready to fight for the title. It’s expected to be a tight division with plenty of great action.

In Division II, Bishop Guertin and Merrimack are on a mission.

The Tomahawks reached the final last season only to fall short in a 19-14 loss to Portsmouth. That’s not the result they want this season.

“With 11 solid returning players as well as talented newcomers, our team has one goal this year,” Merrimack girls lacrosse head coach Beth Rogers stressed, “getting back to and winning the Division II state championship game.”

A Final Four team the past three seasons, including their championship season of 2010, the Cardinals are determined to return to the title game themselves.

“With a lot of juniors returning, this season holds promise,” BG girls lacrosse head coach Ron Cote said. “Being in the deepest division will be a challenge as a lot of teams are coming back very strong. As always, the goal will be to step forward from last year’s achievements. This year’s step would mean finals in the 2012 season. Needed to accomplish the goal: hard work, dedication, team play and meeting improvement goals as the season wears on.”

Other teams to watch in Division II include defending champion Portsmouth, Bedford, Bow and Hanover.

BOYS LACROSSE

Division I

BISHOP GUERTIN

COACH: Chris Cameron (9th season)

Last Season: 15-6; Division I champions

RETURNING STARTERS: Bob Fahey, sr., defense; Kyle Karaska, sr., defense; Brody Smith, sr., LSM; Colin Delea, sr., goalie; Jay Krzyston, sr., defense; Paul Spinney, sr., midfield; Connor Donahue, so., attack; Casey Burnett, sr., attack; Luke Roever, sr., midfield; Dom St. Laurent, so., midfield; Michael Astarita, sr., midfield; Blake Boudreau, jr., F/O.

OTHER RETURNING LETTER WINNERS: John Miller, so., attack; Tom Hurley, so., attack; Mitch Burke, jr., attack; Andrew O’Reilly, sr., attack; Hunter Allen, jr., midfield; Colin Swanson, jr., midfield; John Karanasios, so., midfield; Tom Vailas, jr., midfield; Lucas Lansing, jr., F/O; Sean Fenn, sr., defense; Jeremy Ward, sr., defense; Nick Wilson, jr., LSM; Brody Stevens, jr., defense; Cody McInnis, so., defense.

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Dillon Hayes, fr., midfield; Alex Astarita, fr., attack; Mike Carluccio, fr., midfield; Dan Fenn, fr., defense; Andrew Casey, fr., midfield.

KEYS TO A SUCCESSFUL SEASON: “The strength of the team will be the defense,” Cameron said. “It starts with Harvard-bound goalie Colin Delea and UMass Amherst recruits on defense – Bob Fahey (2011 All-American) and Kyle Karaska. Paul Spinney, also heading to UMass will be the key to the offense from the midfield.”

NASHUA NORTH

COACH: Keith Bertrand (3rd season)

LAST YEAR: 5-11; did not qualify for playoffs

RETURNING STARTERS: Austin Bauer, s.r, attack; Jake Genest, so., attack; Marc LaVine, sr., midfield; TJ Duffy, sr., midfield; Alex Flynn, sr., midfield; Jim Gagnon, sr., midfield; Dan Casey, sr., defense; Nick Coffey, sr., defense; Eric Hazard, jr., defense; Spencer Rancourt, sr., goalie.

RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Adam Murphy, jr., attack; Christian Filnow, so., midfield; Billy Loranger, jr., midfield; Steve Crocker, jr., attack; Jonathon Searles, so., midfield; Greg Scovil, sr., defense.

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Tom Haller, fr., midfield; Brad Fay, so., midfield; Jake Redman, fr., midfield; Trevor Martineau, jr., attack; Jacob Latham, so., attack/midfield; Chris McGuinness, so., defense; Christian Murray, so., LSM; Spenser Petz, so., goalie; Mike Dubien, fr., defense; Ben Levesque, fr., defense; Sean Holmes, fr., attack; Scotty Costa, fr., attack.

KEYS TO A SUCCESSFUL SEASON: “We return virtually our entire roster from last season, and for the first time we are a senior dominated team,” Bertrand said. “The guys have worked extremely hard in the offseason. Expectations are high for us. The key is going to be focusing on the journey and not the destination.”

NASHUA SOUTH

COACH: Bill Monsen (2nd season)

LAST YEAR: 6-10; lost in quarterfinals.

RETURNING STARTERS: Dan Auger, jr.; John Bieren, sr.; Dylan Flesch, sr.; Pat Goff, jr.; Jonathan Manheim, sr.; Connor Leary, sr.; Matt Lilley, sr.; Devon Merrick, jr.; Brad Radin, sr.; Jonah Soucy, sr.

OTHER RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Cameron Anzel, sr.; Michael Berube, jr.; Shawn Brophy, sr.; James Halloran, sr.; Alex Madden, sr.; Timothy Preston, so.

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Louis Alexanian, jr.; Stephen Choate, jr.; Andrew Decarteret, fr.; Devon Dowling, jr.; Evan Dudevoir, jr.; Matt Fredericksen, jr.; Alex Smith, jr.; Steve Saucier, fr.

KEYS TO A SUCCESSFUL SEASON: “With experience and athleticism on defense, led by a seasoned goalie, we need to be more aggressive creating turnovers,” Monsen said. “If we can eliminate mental errors in transition and play to our strengths on offense, this season could be a turning point for the program.”

Division II

MERRIMACK

COACH: Bill Cosentino (3rd season)

LAST YEAR: 5-11; no tournament.

RETURNING STARTERS: Mike Bomberg, sr., midfield; Andrew Nowalk, sr., midfield; Chad Nevers, sr., midfield; David Downie, sr., attack; Matt Lesonsky, sr., defense; Ty Costain, sr., defense; Jake Howe, jr., defense.

OTHER RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Remy Watt, jr., attack; Austin Laine, jr., midfield.

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Dalton Paquette, sr., LSM; Chris Nowalk, fr., goalie; Robby Todd, so., goalie.

KEYS TO A SUCCESSFUL SEASON: “In order for us to be successful this season the boys need to be warriors when it comes to the groundball game,” Consentino said. “By doing this it will allow for a greater number of possessions, and I feel confident that my team can be successful when they have the ball. The boys, as a team, want to play as one and not have any individuals or attitudes.”

SOUHEGAN

COACH: Jonathan Salch (3rd season)

LAST YEAR: 17-3, lost in Division II final

RETURNING STARTERS: Zadek Burstein, sr., attack; Connor Holbrook, jr., defense; Jason Barsky, sr., midfield; Jack Chapman, sr., midfield; Aaron Prescott, sr., defense; Mack Walker, so., attack.

OTHER RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Peter Annunziata, sr.; Kevin Hutchinson, sr.; Conor Aten, sr.; Buddy Young, sr.; Brian McLaurin, jr.; Dimitri Elias, jr.

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Mitch Hale, so.; Chayce Horton, so.; Nick King, so.; Jack VanLokeren, so.; Drew Prescott, so.; Alex Kuhnert, so.; Blake Burnley, so.

KEYS TO A SUCCESSFUL SEASON: “We need to stay balanced and play solid defense from the inside out,” Salch said. “Having a good understanding of what other teams are trying to do and how we’ll combat that will also be key – in addition to taking advantage of the opportunities that we’re afforded during the course of the game.”

Division III

HOLLIS BROOKLINE

COACH: Bob Zimmerman (4th season)

LAST YEAR: 14-3; lost in quarterfinals.

RETURNING STARTERS: Al Burgun, sr., defense; Cody Chilton, sr., midfield; Mark Ciarcia, sr., defense/LPM; Alvaro Guzman, sr., goalie; Max Hengeveld, sr.; Chris Hyde, sr., midfield; Trevor Kerkhoff, sr., attack; Connor Moynihan, sr., attack; Brandon Rocha, sr., defense; Zach Rotkiewicz, sr., midfield; Ryan Papineau, so., attack; Sam Whitaker, so., attack; Pat Doyle, jr., midfield; Connor Walsh, jr., defense/LPM.

OTHER RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Zach Migneault, sr.; Mike Veiga, sr., defense; Alec Grant, so. defense; Zach Nardone, so., attack; Jonah Chazin, jr., midfield; Evan Cooke, jr., midfield; Jimmy Keeley, jr., midfield; Gabe Lewis, jr., midfield; Sam Lorden, jr., goalie/attack; Jacob Sulin, jr., midfield; Brad Whitaker, jr., midfield.

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Joe Brooks, fr., defense; Patrick Dunn, fr., attack; Ben Groves, fr., midfield.

MILFORD

COACH: Rick Urda (1st season)

LAST YEAR: 2-11, did not make the playoffs

RETURNING STARTERS: Ross Briggs, so., midfield; Wes Walker, sr., midfield; Harrison Urda, so. midfield; Bud Theriault, sr. midfield; Andrew Myers, sr. attack; Kasey Sheldon, so. attack.

OTHER RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Jack Betelak, sr. defense; Evan Wandrey, so. attack; Jacob Kirby, sr. goalie; Josh Hamel, sr. attack.

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Tyler Keating, sr. attack; Andrew Hutchins, sr. defense; Connor Ciccone, jr. defense; Jake Benuck, so. defense; Garrett Chappell, so. attack; Corey Delage, so. LSM; Bryan Macias, so. defense; Willie Miles, so. midfield; Kyle Rogers, so. midfield; Nick Burke, fr. defense; Jamey Sroka, fr. midfield.

KEYS TO A SUCCESSFUL SEASON: “Staying healthy, improving skill levels across all positions and levels of play, improving tactical knowledge of the game, and having fun through it all,” Urda said of what he wants from his team this spring. “With just 10 seniors and juniors total on a roster of 40 we will look to improve each time we take the field whether it is during practice or games. The preseason has been fun with plenty of opportunity to learn new skills and concepts. We hope to keep up the level of enthusiasm that has been displayed by all the team members during our first three weeks.”

GIRLS LACROSSE

Division I

HOLLIS BROOKLINE

COACH: Jack Taber (11th season)

LAST YEAR: Lost in quarterfinals

ROSTER: Rachel Dunn, jr., goalie; Reagan Burns, so., midfield; Shelby Kuchta, fr., attack; Meghan Sweeney, so., attack; Leda Kennedy, sr., attack; Caitlin Sweeney, sr., midfield; Mariah Passamonte, fr., attack; Katie O’Hara, sr., attack; Emily Lombardi, sr., defense; Morgan Williamson, jr., defense; Katie Tighe, so., midfield; Abby Ashe, sr., midfield; Bri Bruniooge, sr., defense; Danica Melone, jr., defense; Kelli Johnson, sr., defense; Megan Tighe, jr., defense; Alyssa Rich, fr., defense; Kasey Rich, jr., midfield; Allie Kohler, sr., attack; Genevieve Eliopoulos, so., defense; Danielle Cambray, jr., attack; Julie Worthern, sr., midfield; Erin Turner, jr., goalie.

NASHUA NORTH

COACH: Jenn Dyer (2nd season)

LAST YEAR: N/A

ROSTER: Molly Mulcahy, so.; Maddie Ledoux, so.; Mia Cullerot , so.; Jexi Williams, fr.; Kara Upton, so.; Ellie Shuman, jr.; Laura Vincent, fr.; Jen Coletta, sr.; Maria Jose Paton, sr.; Corynne Lavoie, so.; Megann Pelletier, jr.; Catherine McInerny, so.; Tori Shattuck; Alyssa Bottari, fr.; Sam Lamb, sr.; Molly Hemond, jr.; Caitlin Russell, jr.; Lydia Anderson, so.; Hannah Root, jr.; Marissa Pearson, so.; Margaret Metzger, jr.; Emily Bedard, sr.; Ivana Bikombe, sr.; Megan Roscoe, sr.; Hannah Coffey, jr.; Jena Corkum, so.; Lizzie Catauna, sr.; Shannon Grigas, jr.

NASHUA SOUTH

COACH: Meg Ackerman (1st season)

LAST YEAR: N/A

RETURING STARTERS: Kelly McIntyre, sr., center/midfield; San Pham, sr., midfield; Summyr Burton, sr., center/attack; Colleen Rottman, jr., goalie; Brittney Dustin, sr., attack; Jennifer Gaudet, jr., midfield/attack; Tori Kane, so., defense.

OTHER RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Erin Kelley, sr., defense; Natisha Mills, jr., defense/midfield; Cate Connolly, so., midfield; Meaghan Barrows, jr., defense/midfield.

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Maddie Coughlin, fr.; Olivia Maffia, fr.; Faith Seninde, fr.; Riley Bates, so.; Nicoleen Boyle, so.; Cara McKenzie, so.; Shantelle Richards, so.; Kaila Trapani, so.; Melanie Wong, so.; Jasmin Petrosino, so.; Jess Matthews, so.; Malarie Charron, jr.; Kayla Collins, jr.; Cassie Amarello, jr.; Kara Siegal, sr.; Siri Tadi, sr.

KEYS TO A SUCCESSFUL SEASON: “This team consists of an experienced group of talented athletes who

have already shown a strong camaraderie and determination on and off the field,” Ackerman said. “With many

athletes returning and some promising new talent we look forward to a great season.”

SOUHEGAN

COACH: Maren Petropulos (17th season)

LAST YEAR: 15-4; lost in semifinals

RETURNING STARTERS: Morgan King, sr.; Mattison King, sr.; Colleen Walsh, sr.; Meggie Whitney, sr.; Jamie Wallisch, jr.; Jocelyn Donohue, so.; Jesse Jay, so.; Mickenzie Larivee, so.; Madison Learned, so.

OTHER RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Kelsey Hewett, sr.; Taylor Behn, so.

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Libby Bacher, sr.; Kelsey Aten, sr.; Courtney Hopp, sr.; Megan Kolopsky, sr.; Samantha Lott, jr., Olivia Durling, so.; Marina Lipson, so.

KEYS TO A SUCCESSFUL SEASON: “To minimize mistakes and capitalize on our transition,” Petropulos said. “Last year’s freshmen are now seasoned players who play competitive summer lacrosse. They are poised to support our already strong group of juniors and seniors.”

Division II

BISHOP GUERTIN

COACH: Ron Cote (11th season)

LAST YEAR: 12-3; lost in Division II semifinals.

RETURNING PLAYERS: Tiffany Stanton, sr., middie; Nicole Pettiglio, jr., middie; Callie Santos, jr., middie; Allie Solms, jr., middie; Emma Annand, jr., middie; Caley Prunier, so., middie; Jess Lambert, jr., attack; Nicole Burke, so., defense; Ashley Lynch, jr., defense; Lauren Dupont, sr., defense; Rachel LeBel, jr., goalie.

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Kristin Cameron, fr., attack; Carly Caveny, fr., middie/center; Averi Farhat, so., middie.

KEYS TO A SUCCESSFUL SEASON: “With a lot of juniors returning this season holds promise,” Cote said. “Being in the deepest division will be a challenge as a lot of teams are coming back very strong. As always, the goal will be to step forward from last years achievements. This years step would mean finals in the 2012 season. Needed to accomplish the goal: Hard Work, Dedication, Team Play and Meeting Improvement Goals as the season wears on.”

MERRIMACK

COACH: Beth Rogers (5th season)

LAST YEAR: 16-5, lost in Division II final

RETURNING STARTERS: Katie Corriea, sr.; Lauren Perry, sr.; Emily Pollard, sr.; Taylor Hogan, jr.; Courtney Duffy, so.; Tara Quinnell, so.

OTHER RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Becca Mathis, sr.; Chloe Olson, sr.; Hayley Gee, jr.; Jackie McLavey, jr.; Amber Olson, so.

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Veronica Maninelli, sr.; Abby Lore, jr.; Nicole West, jr.; Amanda Dionne, so.; Cassie Smith, so.; Cat Green, fr.; Maegan Howe, fr.; Julia Perry, fr.

KEYS TO A SUCCESSFUL SEASON: “The key to our season’s success will be improving on where we left off last June,” Rogers said. “Our team understands the work and commitment that goes into having a successful season and is working to improve as a team everyday.”