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Valley News – Hurricanes earn 10-9 win over U-32 in girls lacrosse

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION – The pass was perfect, a classic backdoor feed that ran from Paisley Danaher to Madison Barwood and resulted in the winning goal for the undefeated Hartford High girls lacrosse team on Saturday.

The offense lifted the host Hurricanes to a 10-9 win over defending VPA Division II champion U-32. The teams were expected to meet in last year’s title game before Woodstock upset Hartford in the semifinals.

The sequence took place with 28 seconds left and Danaher, who had made a mistake, prepared for a restart in the free position from the left side. Hurricanes coach Heather Hartford called a play and the freshman confirmed the call by nodding after a quick look at the Raiders’ defensive structure.

All the players, who had been in their places according to the rule, broke in different directions at the whistle. Barwood ran to the right post, Danaher’s pass guided her perfectly and resulted in a score past goalkeeper Linnea Darrow.

U-32 regained possession late, but could not get a shot away and fell to 2-2. Hartford is 6-0.

“Good teamwork wins games,” Hartford said. “They never gave up, and that’s another lesson in life through sports.”

The Hurricanes scored five straight goals to take a 5-1 lead in the second quarter before the U-32 woke up to pull within 6-5 at halftime. The attack was helped by a pair of yellow cards for the hosts, who conceded three goals in the final 69 seconds of the second quarter while shorthanded.

The Raiders led 9-7 with four minutes remaining, but Hartford’s Audrey Rupp and Barwood combined to tie the score. The final goal came with 2 minutes and 54 seconds left.

“U-32 is a physical, athletic team, so this was a great test,” Hartford said. “They were keeping an eye on Barwood and Rupp, so team-oriented, unselfish play was critical.”

Rupp, a junior from Windsor High, had four goals and an assist and Barwood had three goals and two assists. Hailey Vanesse scored two goals and an assist, and Lucy Bloom also scored. The Raiders’ Darrow and her Hartford counterpart, Dakin Kovatch, were impressive in net.

“It was a game of momentum, as lacrosse always is, and draws and possession were critical,” said U-32 coach Emilie Connor, a physical therapist in charge of the Raiders while wearing a chest carrier holding her infant daughter .

“When Hartford got up a lot, we talked and said we had to stop playing scared. And then we looked great, with some great assisted goals.

U-32 returned nine seniors from its 2023 title squad, including 100-goal scorer Willa Long, who broke that milestone in Saturday’s match.

The Hurricanes and Raiders may not have seen the last of each other this spring.

“This was a mental battle the whole way, and Hartford was calm the whole way,” said Connor, whose team hit the posts and crossbar four times. “We certainly had chances in the last four minutes, but we were a little too high in our heads.”

Comments: Lacrosse is a game of refereed starts and stops, but Saturday was more than normal in that regard. The referees not only called the game tight, but deliberated after seemingly every second call, hindering momentum and flow for both teams. … Hartford will play the entire season without senior standout Addison Cadwell, who has undergone surgeries on both knees, the last procedure taking place earlier this year. The Thetford Academy student has committed to play basketball for NCAA Division III Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The Red Devils were 19-8 this winter. … Ella Perreault, a 2023 White River Valley High graduate who, like Cadwell, played lacrosse for Hartford through the VPA’s member-to-member program, recently completed her freshman season for Bard (NY) College. The Raptors were 2-15, with Perreault starting every game and scoring once.

Tris Wykes can be reached via [email protected].