Milton tops St. J, GMVS

Milton goalie Dustin Rock tries to get the ball back from BFA-St. Albans’ Cooper Cioffi. (Photo by Josh Kaufmann)

The Yellowjackets held St. Johnsbury to just one second-half goal, turning a tight game at halftime into a 13-5 Division II boys lacrosse win victory last Saturday.

With Milton up 6-4, Ethan Howell scored unassisted and then set up John LaRose for another score and an 8-4 edge going into the final period. Colby Bergeron and Devon Jackson each scored a pair of fourth-quarter goals, with Howell also netting the last of his four scores.

Jackson finished with a team-high six goals, while Howell had four, Bergeron two, and Tim Boucher and LaRose one apiece. Tim Dockham and Jackson earned two assists each, while Bergeron had one.

Dustin Rock made 16 saves in goal for Milton before Lee Rowley came on in the fourth, stopping two more Hilltopper shots.

Tom Emery had 10 saves for St. Johnsbury.

Milton improved to 5-1 with the win and is 4-0 in D-I play, its lone loss coming on the road against Division I BFA-St. Albans last week.

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After falling behind by a goal midway through the fourth quarter, the Yellowjackets rallied to their fourth win in five games this season, beating Green Mountain Valley School 9-7 last Thursday.

Ethan Howell led the late charge to victory, scoring the tying goal unassisted with 5:57 remaining and the go-ahead tally, also unassisted, 90 seconds later. Howell then set up Devon Jackson’s score with 3:09 remaining.

The Yellowjackets broke in front early with first-quarter scores by Tyler McRae, Cole Heisler and Jackson for a 3-0 lead. Tim Dockham earned assists on the first two scores.

Howell netted the first of his three goals (plus an assist) to start the fourth quarter before GMVS pulled even with four straight scores. Dockham, from Will Scarpinato, and Sam Patterson scored in the third to keep the contest tied at six all.

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On Tuesday, April 18, Noah Rouleau led BFA-St. Albans with 14 faceoff wins, which led to the Division I team dominating the time of possession in a 14-5 win.

After BFA missed on a number of shots early and trailed 1-0 midway through the first, St. Albans went on a 7-1 run through the rest of the half to pull away.

“At the half we were 1 for 11 on faceoffs,” Milton coach Trevor Wagar said. “When you don’t have the ball, it makes things tough. And when you play a team like BFA, they possess the ball well and can finish. They play good team offense so we have to play good team defense, and today was a good learning experience for us to see how to improve on our defense.”

Owen Hungerford tallied four goals, scoring two in each half, with Cooper Cioffi scoring all four of his goals in the second half for the Bobwhites. Griffin Knapp buried two goals in the first half, while Rouleau, James Konrad, Keegan Streeter and Mac Kennedy each finished with a goal for BFA, which built a 13-4 lead by the end of the third quarter.

Milton’s Devon Jackson did all he could on the offensive end, scoring four of the team’s goals, including a couple he created all on his own. Ethan Howell added the fifth goal.

But the Yellowjackets never found a consistent offensive rhythm after averaging 11 during its first three games.

“We scored the first goal of the game, ran our offense, and our scorer put it in the cage,” Wagar said. “Our offense went away a little bit from the passing and that offensive movement, and tried to create the offense a little too much on their own.

“But again, we played a good team today, and we know we can continue to improve from everything we saw today.”

Wagar was happy to see Division I BFA get on his D-II team’s schedule as two communities that are close together, and hopes to create a yearly big game between the two schools.

“I wondered up until this year why we didn’t play each other, so I was excited to get BFA on the schedule,” he said. “We are continuing to build as a program, and BFA is a good program that we hope to build a sort of rivalry against.”

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