By Tom O’Leary
The top-seeded Champlain Valley Union High School boys lacrosse team continued their dynastic reign as they defeated third-ranked BFA-St. Albans 16-6 for the Division I crown on Saturday.
The final matchup came at the University of Vermont’s Virtue Field where the Redhawks (17-1) never trailed the Bobwhites (12-5) en route to their sixth consecutive championship and ninth in the program’s history, both of which are state records for D-I.
“We ran some good stuff on Tuesday against Essex that we wanted to try on this team,” said CVU head coach Dave Trevithick, who just completed his 13th season at the helm. “We always try to keep something for the playoffs and that’s been working. But really, our teamwork has been so much better over the last two weeks and that’s been the difference.”
The aforementioned teamwork Trevithick emphasized was palpable from the opening faceoff, as CVU raced out to a 5-1 advantage after the first period, with a different player scoring each goal.
The lead stretched to 7-1 in the second quarter before BFA-St. Albans was able to claw their way back into the game with two goals of their own. The shift in momentum proved brief as CVU unleashed a three-goal barrage during the final 1:18 of the first half, sending CVU comfortably into intermission up 10-3.
Following the halftime regrouping, the Bobwhites were able to score first and pull within six goals. But their deficit only increased from there, as the Redhawks found the back of the net three times in the third period while holding their opponents scoreless for the remainder of the frame.
CVU went on to tally another three goals, surpassing a pair by BFA-St. Albans during the fourth and final quarter.
The Redhawks dominant offensive onslaught included goals from 10 different players, as well as four multi-point performers. Nate Cuttitta (three goals, three assists), Jake Schaefer (two goals, two assists), Walter Braun (three goals), and Will Braun (two goals, one assist) were the primary offenders. Goalie Andrew Tieso anchored the defense with seven saves.
St. Albans’ attack was led by Cooper Cioffi and Noah Vincelette, who notched two goals apiece; Mac Kennedy also scored a goal and Griffin Knapp contributing two assists. Goalie Foster Horton made five saves for the Bobwhites, who made their inaugural appearance in the title game.
So how has CVU generated such enduring success?
“I think we created a culture in which the underclassmen start understanding what’s expected of them really fast,” Trevithick said. “Once that culture was in, it just keeps going year after year after year. We give ourselves high standards to reach our potential. And when you have good players you expect to reach that potential. Usually we’ve reached pretty far.”
And as for winning a sixth-straight championship, Trevithick said: “We take it year-by-year. And as I said at the beginning of the year, none of these guys had won four in a row – until today. It was a whole new year and a whole new season, and we just tried to get to the end of it like we did today.”