Lebanon girls lacrosse prevails over Coe-Brown

Maddie Jewell, of Lebanon, left, fights to retain control of the ball with Ady Moynihan, of Coe-Brown, in Lebanon, N.H., on Friday, April 19, 2024. Lebanon won 8-3. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Maddie Jewell, of Lebanon, left, fights to retain control of the ball with Ady Moynihan, of Coe-Brown, in Lebanon, N.H., on Friday, April 19, 2024. Lebanon won 8-3. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Harper Rancourt, left, braids the hair of her Lebanon junior varsity lacrosse teammate Kaylee Felch, right, before their game with Coe-Brown in Lebanon, N.H., on Friday, April 19, 2024. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Harper Rancourt, left, braids the hair of her Lebanon junior varsity lacrosse teammate Kaylee Felch, right, before their game with Coe-Brown in Lebanon, N.H., on Friday, April 19, 2024. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. valley news photographs — James M. Patterson

Norah Burns, of Lebanon, advances the ball while challenged by Carolyn Clawson, of Coe-Brown, right, in Lebanon, N.H., on Friday, April 19, 2024. Lebanon won 8-3. Amirah Rhofiry, of Coe-Brown, is at left. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Norah Burns, of Lebanon, advances the ball while challenged by Carolyn Clawson, of Coe-Brown, right, in Lebanon, N.H., on Friday, April 19, 2024. Lebanon won 8-3. Amirah Rhofiry, of Coe-Brown, is at left. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. James M. Patterson

Lebanon teammates, from left, Angela MacDonald, Norah Burns, Lucy Eshbaugh, Eden Ames, and Abigail Ripley, celebrate as they leave the field after their 8-3 win over Coe-Brown in Lebanon, N.H., on Friday, April 19, 2024. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Lebanon teammates, from left, Angela MacDonald, Norah Burns, Lucy Eshbaugh, Eden Ames, and Abigail Ripley, celebrate as they leave the field after their 8-3 win over Coe-Brown in Lebanon, N.H., on Friday, April 19, 2024. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. James M. Patterson

Angelina MacDonald,

Angelina MacDonald,

By TRIS WYKES

Valley News Staff Writer

Published: 04-21-2024 6:31 PM

LEBANON — At one point during Friday’s Lebanon High girls lacrosse game, Raiders coach Sara Ecker closed her eyes and gently tapped her head against the shoulder of longtime assistant Rob Fett.

Lebanon was winning and would prevail over visiting Coe-Brown, 8-3, but Ecker’s players, although fierce and effective on defense, were out of sync on the attack.

“You have to move and cut, Leb!” Ecker shouted, waving a clipboard. “Play wit h a little fire!”

The Raiders, starved for outdoor practice time and who hadn’t faced a zone defense during their first two games, were flummoxed by the Bears’ formation. That confusion led to holding the ball too long, and at times the offense ground to a complete halt as an overwhelmed player stood still with the ball in her cross.

The issue began to clear as the second half progressed, allowing Lebanon to improve to 1-2 while dropping Coe-Brown to 1-3. Senior Maddie Jewell scored four times, and classmate Angelina MacDonald, in her first varsity season, added three tallies.

“Our transition wasn’t the best today, and we need to get the ball down the field more quickly,” said Jewell, who pushed her career goals total to 131. “Getting the ball to me quicker would result in more scoring and offensive possession, but everyone’s trying to figure out their role and I’ve been (closely defended) every game.”

The word has long been out on Jewell, who’s headed to play at Boston’s Emmanuel College next season. The Plainfield resident has an excellent shot and a lightning-quick release, but the moments when she’s open for a pass have shrunk as opponents vow not to let her burn them yet again.

“Maddie’s had more exposure to lacrosse than anybody else on the team, so she understands more about it than our other players,” said Ecker, who coached Jewell’s mother, Amanda, during the 1990s. “She needs to take the double- and triple-teaming as flattery.

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“Her role on a given day might not be as a scorer. Today it might be the passer or the person who sets picks or a decoy. That can be frustrating, but your coping skills have to let you handle the pressure.”

MacDonald, who played JV last season, has been a revelation, and Ecker said the newcomer is pushing for a starting role.

“Angelina’s a very quiet person, but she really loves the sport,” the 30th-year coach said. “I think she knows more about the game than I suspect, and when she’s given a chance, she shines.”

Catching the eye with athleticism and speed was freshman Elizabeth “Biff” Maher, also a standout ice hockey player for the Raiders.

“She’s going to be a phenomenal addition to this program for the next four years,” Ecker said. “She’s raw, but if she works on her stick skills, people are going to have a tough time guarding her.”

Lebanon is 53-55 during the past sevens seasons and lost to Pelham during the first round of last season’s playoffs. The Raiders are next in action at Plymouth on April 29.

Tris Wykes can be reached at twykes@vnews.com.