Playoff-bound ConVal gets two All-State nods

  • Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Staff photo by Ben Conant—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Wednesday, May 31, 2017 5:43PM

The ConVal girls’ lacrosse team got some good news this week. A confluence of events in the final weekend of the season not only paved the way for the Cougars to make their first playoff appearance since 2012, but allowed them to move up to the seventh seed.

“The team is pretty excited about making the playoffs,” said head coach Derek Sorbello, “especially for these seniors who get a shot in their last year. For our younger players this has been a good experience for them — something they won’t take for granted knowing how long it has been.”

The seventh seed means ConVal will avoid a matchup - for now - with No. 1 Derryfield, a 13-1 team that beat the Cougars by ten earlier in the season. But, ConVal must travel to No. 2 Bow, no slouch at 12-2. It’s hardly been a week since ConVal lost at Bow, 15-10, and the Cougars are headed right back into the Falcons’ nest on Thursday.

“Bow is a top seed for a reason. They have a lot of talent and are well-coached,” Sorbello said of the Falcons. “We are going to have to play our best game.”

In their previous meeting, Sorbello pinned the ConVal struggles on an inability to clear the zone after making an initial stop, as the Falcons excel at re-defending and back-checking. But even in the course of that game, the Cougars showed improvement after coming out tentative.

“I think in the second half we gained some confidence back,” Sorbello said.

He added that his team needs to be more patient and capitalize on scoring opportunities. Leading the way in that regard will be the Cougars’ duo of All-State players, juniors Grace Dell and Lily Sheridan. Sheridan notched 38 goals and 11 assists this year, bringing her career goal tally to 101. Dell scored 42 of her own and sits at 89 career.

The Cougars are fired up about their postseason appearance, but the job isn’t done yet.

“Last year, we came up one win shy of playoffs,” Sorbello said, “so making it this year was one of our goals. We aren’t satisfied with just making it. Our focus is on our next goal - winning Thursday.”

ConVal takes the field at Bow at 5 p.m.