BUHS boys lax team has a deep midfield

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BRATTLEBORO — The Brattleboro Union High School varsity boys lacrosse team, which tied Pittsfield 8-8 in Thursday's season opener, will next host McCann Tech (1-0) on Friday at 5 p.m.

"Right now we are an open book with a lot of work to do, but as we progress we think we can have a fun team that will be aggressive and play fast, which is the style of lacrosse that we'd like to play," noted BUHS coach Chris Sawyer.

The Colonels are solid in the goal as junior Dylan Carrasquillo has worked hard in the off-season to hone his craft.

"Dylan picked up the stick last season, has ability and has really taken to the position and sport, but the main thing is he works very hard, and we'll look to him to provide consistency and leadership," his coach commented.

Senior Zach Buckley-Dunbar has unselfishly moved from defense to help fill a void and serve as a backup to Carrasquillo.

The defense, while short on experience, has been long on effort. Liam McNeil, one of the league's top players, is the lone returning starter. He will be joined by seniors Cam King, Josh Nordheim and Anthony Piergentili; juniors Elias Zumbruski and Brandon Gilbert; and sophomore Bryson Spinner. Sophomore Ethan Young and freshman Calvin Gould have also seen scrimmage and game time.

"We are looking to be a lot more aggressive this season — we might be a bit inexperienced now, but this group is coachable and wants to succeed. As we develop cohesion, I think we'll be able to do a lot of things that we haven't necessarily done in the past," added Sawyer.

The midfield is the deepest part of the Brattleboro team. Senior returnees Ryan Tyler and Malick Mane are looking to build off strong 2018 seasons and will be joined by fellow seniors Dillon Cudworth, Carl Grumbine and Julian Mikijaniec; juniors Gus Williams, Cam Studley and Nathan Powers; and promising sophomores Gavin Howard and Mason Foard.

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"This group is athletic, so as we develop better fundamentals and some lacrosse IQ, we think we'll match up with any midfield on the schedule," Sawyer said. "We also hope to rely on these guys early in the season, to provide some scoring and help take some of the pressure off of our attack."

Williams and Tyler scored three and two goals, respectively, in the opener.

Long stick midfielder Tanner Edson plays a position that links the midfield and defensive units, and will play a big role in the transition game for the Colonels.

"Tanner competed in last season's Rising Stars game, with Tyler and Williams, and provides a real strength at our defensive midfield — he can create turnovers, can get the ball from off the ground and is capable of pushing the offense," stated the BUHS coach.

Edson already has one goal this season and his play helped rally the Colonels from a 6-1 deficit to an 8-8 tie on Thursday.

The attack might be the biggest question mark for the purple and white heading into the season, but has the potential to develop into a strength as the season progresses. Senior Isaiah Clark has moved from the midfield, and along with returning senior starter Elliot Bauer, will provide leadership for junior Nate Tracey, sophomore Austin Wood and freshman Aden McMahon. Wood and McMahon started in the first game against Pittsfield and both made solid contributions, with McMahon scoring two goals.

"This group will work hard with and without the ball, and we should see them bring a lot of creativity to our offense as the season progresses," added Sawyer. "There is a lot of competition at this position and these players will hopefully push each other to develop."

The Colonels went 5-11 last season, including a loss to Burlington in a Division 1 playoff game.

"We have a have a good group here. There is a lot of competition for playing time that hopefully will push each player to develop. As the season continues, we're excited to see what we can become," Sawyer stated.


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