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May 31. 2014 11:14PM

Windham girls take top Division II lacrosse seed

HANOVER - Windham clinched the No. 1 seed in the Division II girls' lacrosse tournament in the final game of the regular season with an 18-11 win over Hanover Saturday.

And while the Jaguars will hold the top spot after finishing with a 13-2 record, Hanover finished its season 15-3 and will be the second seed when the tournament begins with Wednesday's quarterfinals.

Following Saturday's game, however, Maurauders coach Chris Siebel said he intends to file a protest with the NHIAA over a rule interpretation made at halftime by official Lyn Cusack.

The controversy stems from Hanover virtually bringing the game to a halt with just under five minutes left in the first half.

With Windham ahead, 6-5, Hanover's Liesel Robbins crossed into the offensive zone and stood still with the ball, with the intent of bringing the Jaguars out of their defensive set.

But Windham refused to take the bait, and the result was over four-and-a-half minutes of both teams literally standing still.

Once the clock went under 30 seconds, Hanover restarted its offense and scored to tie the game, then scored again with two seconds left to take a 7-6 lead into halftime.

It was then that Cusack pulled out the rulebook and warned Siebel that she would call Hanover for a delay of game if the team tried a similar, slow-down scheme in the second half.

"We're not doing anything illegal," Seibel said afterward. "We're ready to play. They are legislating the game to take away our style of play."

But Cusuck cited Rule 6, Section 2(n), which prohibits "any sort of behavior that, in the official's opinion, amounts to delay," and states that "play should be continuous."

However, Siebel argued that his team was not delaying the game. "You can't call a delay in game when the ball is in play."

Windham coach Paul Cino argued that the tactic goes against the spirit of the game.

"I'm opposed to just standing there and shutting the game down," he said. "I just think a stall like that is just not in the spirit of lacrosse. It's not what people envision. It's not a viable strategy."

Siebel said his team has used the tactic for even longer stretches during the season. "We tried it against BG," he said. "We did it against Bedford, and they were up. But they came out and played us."

Hanover began with possession in the second half, but once Windham gained possession, the Jaguars scored the next nine goals to take a commanding, 15-7 lead.

"We had the first possession of the second half and we couldn't play our game," Siebel said.

Ali Connors led the Jaguars with six goals and two assists. Melissa Cino had three goals and six assists.

Hannah Siebel had five goals while J.J. Daniell and Liesel Robbins had two goals each for the Marauders.

"I think the NHIAA has to decide how they want to rule this," said coach Siebel, who wants to know if he will be penalized for that tactic during the tournament. "I think it goes against the spirit of the game when we employ a tactic and are successful and people have a hard time with it."


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