Girls’ lacrosse: Alyssa Brodeur scores her 100th goal, Merrimack Valley rolls into D-II quarterfinal

Freshman Lilly Jones (12) celebrates with junior Alyssa Brodeur after Brodeur scored her 100th career goal in Merrimack Valley's first-round playoff victory over Manchester Central on Tuesday, May 28, 2024.

Freshman Lilly Jones (12) celebrates with junior Alyssa Brodeur after Brodeur scored her 100th career goal in Merrimack Valley's first-round playoff victory over Manchester Central on Tuesday, May 28, 2024. Chip Griffin—Photos By Chip

MV junior Alyssa Brodeur (right) fires in her 100th career goal during the Pride's 14-4 win over Manchester Central on Tuesday, May 28, 2024.

MV junior Alyssa Brodeur (right) fires in her 100th career goal during the Pride's 14-4 win over Manchester Central on Tuesday, May 28, 2024. Chip Griffin—Photos By Chip

MV sophomore Abigail Thompson prepares to fire a shot on net during the Pride's 14-4 win over Manchester Central on Tuesday May 28, 2024.

MV sophomore Abigail Thompson prepares to fire a shot on net during the Pride's 14-4 win over Manchester Central on Tuesday May 28, 2024. Chip Griffin—Photos By Chip

MV junior Sydney Bailey carries the ball for the Pride during its 14-4 first round playoff win over Manchester Central on Tuesday May 28, 2024.

MV junior Sydney Bailey carries the ball for the Pride during its 14-4 first round playoff win over Manchester Central on Tuesday May 28, 2024. Chip Griffin—Photos By Chip

By ERIC RYNSTON-LOBEL

Monitor staff

Published: 05-28-2024 8:19 PM

PENACOOK — In case dominating its first round playoff game wasn’t enough cause for celebration, junior Alyssa Brodeur made sure to give Merrimack Valley even more reason for jubilation during the Pride’s meeting with Manchester Central on Tuesday.

In the second half, with MV already holding a comfortable lead, Brodeur scored her fifth goal of the game and the 100th of her career. The enhanced celebration from her teammates was in no way showing up the opponent in running up the score; it was a moment to acknowledge how important Brodeur’s been to the team’s success, particularly this season.

“She’s a fantastic attacker, and this year she’s a captain,” head coach Kylee Yam said. “She’s really grown a lot since her freshman year. She’s matured, become somebody who supports her teammates on the field but also off the field. I’m really proud of her.

“She’s also just a competitor. She’s an athlete. She helps the team bring the next level in terms of competition.”

In Tuesday’s contest, there were few moments of doubt as to what the final result would be. The Pride, the No. 5 seed, cruised to a 14-4 win over No. 12-seeded Manchester Central. 

Brodeur’s five-goal effort helped guide the way, while sophomores Abigail Thompson and Ella Frink each added two goals apiece. The overall offensive success stemmed from the Pride staying patient, not trying to force shots and shooting off of passes.

Yam viewed Tuesday’s effort as a sort of full-circle moment; MV opened its season against the Little Green with a 16-5 win, and while its performance was similarly dominant on Tuesday, the execution was far improved, and the growth was apparent.

“Our defense is a lot more organized than it was when we played this team,” she said. “We’re playing actually a different defensive system (a zone), so I’ve been most impressed with that. Also our transitions up the field, we’ve been trying to pass it more rather than just run it up the field.”

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Now the Pride’s attention turns to No. 4 Hanover, a team it lost to in overtime, 7-6, in the regular season meeting on May 1. The winner of Thursday’s battle will move on to the Division II semifinals on Saturday.

“It’s going to take us being more clean, preventing some of the silly fouls that we had, being patient on attack but solid and aggressive on defense,” Yam said of the keys to beating Hanover. “Looking forward to it.”