May 7, 2009
By Mal Boright
After rock ‘n’ rolling through its first six games, the Champlain Valley Union High boys lacrosse team’s road to the postseason has developed a couple of speed bumps that appeared in narrow losses Friday and Monday to Bellows Free Academy of St. Albans and defending Division 1 title holder Essex High.
Observer photo by Ben Sarle
Champlain Valley Union High lacrosse captain Owen Smith prepares to let go of the ball during Monday’s game against Essex High.
The difficult schedule continues Thursday, when the 6-2 Redhawks travel to 6-2 South Burlington to test the Rebels for the first time this season.
Saturday morning, coach Dave Trevithick and his red clads will bus to Middlebury Union High for a rematch with the Tigers, a team they nudged 12-8 last month at CVU and which South Burlington whacked 19-9 Monday.
After averaging better than 10 goals a game for their first six outings, the Redhawks, in the two defeats, have become somewhat inconsistent in attacking set defenses.
At Essex, the Hornets popped out to a 2-0 lead at the end of the first quarter and led the rest of the way. CVU twice got back to within one score but could not manufacture a deadlocking goal.
Tim Reichert fired in three counters and assisted on a fourth. Dean Priest, Nick Hart and Lawrence Dee also scored for the Redhawks, with Priest adding a pair of assists.
Essex was paced by senior attacker Marty Vanzo, who burned CVU for three goals. He also picked up an assist.
In a penalty-filled (eight) second half, the Redhawks closed to within 5-4 late in the third period on Priest’s right side blazing shot from a Reichert pass. Essex struck back for three straight scores. The Hornets led 8-4 and appeared in comfortable command when, with 5:57 left in the game, Nee got a one-on-one with Essex goalie Sam Mattson (12 saves) to register a pointer and end the Essex run.
Just 22 seconds later, after a Reichert face-off win, Hart moved into the slot and scored to bring CVU within 8-6 and fire up the Redhawks’ bench.
But there was no further scoring, as Essex took opportunities to kill the clock.
Eric Palmer notched nine saves in the CVU nets.
Back-and-forth with BFA
In the home loss to a physical and motivated 4-3 BFA team, Pete Hiser scored three times while Reichert and Sam Spencer each tallied twice.
CVU again got down 2-0 early, but bounced back to lead 5-4 midway through the third period before BFA went on a four-goal tear for an 8-5 edge. CVU then scored in the final second of the reel.
The teams exchanged scores in the final period, with the final score 10-8. BFA out-shot the Redhawks for the game, 22-15.