HARTFORD — The Spaulding boys lacrosse team failed to overcome a slow start Saturday, suffering its first loss of the season as Hartford rolled to a 9-5 victory.
Hartford held a 2-1 lead after the first quarter. A big second quarter pushed the Hurricanes in front 6-1 entering halftime. Spaulding made up a little ground in the third quarter, closing the gap to 7-3. Both teams traded goals down the stretch before the Tide ran out of time.
“It was a good battle,” Spaulding coach Ian Thomas said. “We had really balanced scoring in the second half, but only one goal in the first half was the difference-maker for us. And the second quarter when they went on a 4-0 run, that was the difference-maker in the game. They controlled the ball really well and they were a good team. They were big, fast and physical. They did a good job of keeping the ball on offense and having long possessions.”
Spaulding’s Attilio Perantoni had a big game in goal, stopping 24 shots. Aiden Blouin (one goal, two assists), Travis Roy (one goal, one assist), Cam Gosselin (one goal), Myles Aja (one goal) and Colby Barard (one goal) paced Spaulding’s offense. Gosselin, normally a dominant face-off winner, went back and forth with Reece Thompson (one goal) all game.
“It was cool for Cam to see another guy who can battle with him,” Thomas said.
Hartford goalie Tarin Prior made 12 saves, while Dawson Nalette (three goals, one assist) led the Hurricanes offense.
“I’m really proud of the way our guys fought back,” Thomas said. “And we’ll watch the game film and see what happened in the second quarter. It’s better to have this loss now than to have it in the playoffs.”
The Tide will travel to play Lamoille at 4 p.m. Monday for a 4 p.m. game. Spaulding (6-1) and Hartford (8-1) are in a dogfight for the top spot in the Division II rankings. They are trailed by Stowe (5-3) and Otter Valley (4-3).
“Now the pressure is off for us going undefeated and running the table,” Thomas said. “It’s good that it came in a highly competitive game. I could tell it could have gone either way depending on which guys were making plays. Today they made more plays than us. But I like the spot we are sitting in right now. We still have six games left to finish out the season, so six games in two weeks is going to be a grind going into playoffs. But we have these next two weeks to dial in. We’re going to put in a few wrinkles in our offensive sets and hone in on some defensive fundamentals and get ready for championship play come playoffs.”
St. Johnsbury 14, Spaulding 0
ST. JOHNSBURY – The Hilltoppers easily handled a depleted Crimson Tide squad on Saturday.
St. Johnsbury pulled ahead 9-0 before halftime. Spaulding coach Kacey Abbrianno juggled her normal lineup in order to give her players some rest with only one sub.
“They worked hard, and they were very flexible switching positions throughout the game,” Abbrianno said.
The varsity squad borrowed four JV players in order to compete with a full team. Goalie Amber McGinley made 13 saves for the Crimson Tide. Grace Phelps made three saves for the Hilltoppers, with teammates Lilly Leach and Ella Ceppetelli scoring four goals apiece. Spaulding (1-6) will host St. Johnsbury at 4:30 p.m. Monday.
“I think with some readjustment to our starting line and our subs we’ll have a pretty good shot at keeping in the game and sticking with it,” Abbrianno said.