Otter Valley lacrosse gets first win, splits two games


BRANDON — Otter Valley lacrosse gained its first win of the season with a hard fought victory over Randolph on Monday, April 25. OV’s 7-3 win featured outstanding goalkeeping from senior Danny O’Brien (13 saves) and scoring from senior Hayden Bernhardt (4 goals). An added bonus came from junior Ben Marks, who took over the face-off duties after OV got off to a sluggish start in the circle.

Unofficial statistics had Marks winning 8 of the 9 face-offs he took. Otter Valley built a 5-0 halftime lead as Bernhardt scored three of the game’s first four goals. Bernhardt used his 6’4” frame and basketball skills to score on two jumping shots, while Matt Moseley and Evan Thomas contributed the other two. 

The first-half star for OV, nonetheless, had to be O’Brien as he corralled seven saves and kept the Randolph team at bay. Even though the score appeared to be one-sided, halftime statistics showed the game to be remarkably equal: Randolph led in face-offs (5 to 4), ground balls (19-18), both teams had 7 saves, OV had two less turnovers (9 to 11), and OV led in total shots, 14-13. All in all, one would think the score would have been much closer than 5-0. The difference was O’Brien.

The OV lead would grow to 6-0 on another goal by Bernhardt with 10:11 to play before Randolph would finally get on the board with 5:38 remaining in the quarter. Two more goals in the final quarter would bring the lead down to 3, but Moseley would add an insurance goal with 2:15 to play and that would be the final cushion for Otter Valley. 

Marks efforts in the circle would give the Otters a final margin of 9-5 on face-offs, while OV won the groundball battle, 41-37. Turnovers were even at 19-19, while OV would take nine more shots at 35-26. All in all, it was a solid win over a Division III team after going against the iron of Rutland and Hartford. “It was fun,” added Coach Matt Clark after the game. 

On Saturday morning, April 23, the Otters played the Hartford team, falling 16-1. Kieran Williams scored the Otter goal on a fine pass from Bernhardt to tie the game at 1-all, but that was the highlight for the Otters. 

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