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Daily Hampshire Gazette – High Schools: Hampshire girls lacrosse team makes comeback against Hoosac, narrowly falls in Class C semifinals

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CHESHIRE – A furious comeback by the Hampshire Region girls lacrosse team narrowly failed on Friday afternoon.

The third of three unanswered goals by Rylie Simmons gave the Raiders a one-goal lead after they had already trailed by as many as six goals.

But Ashlyn Lesure scored the game's final two goals, one on a free kick and the other on a quick change of pitch, as No. 2 Hoosac Valley defeated the Raiders 17-16 in the Class C semifinals at Western Mass.

“I had complete faith that the girls could come back,” said Hampshire coach Grace Ahrensdorf, “and we were very close. We were super close. For some reason, it seemed like we weren't quite there in the first and second periods. [quarters]. We tried to pull together, and if not for ourselves, then at least for our team.”

Lesure scored two of her five goals in the final minute after Simmons scored the last of her three to give the Raiders a 16-15 lead. No. 3 seed Hampshire trailed 10-4 early in the third quarter, but the visitors didn't give up and had a chance to score twice after Simmons' goal.

Anna Puttick, who played in all aspects for the Raiders, scored a goal with 1:17 minutes to go, but the referees did not recognize it.

This opened the door for Lesure, who scored her first goal from a free position and then converted a pass from Jacinta Felix to score the decisive goal.

However, time ran out for the visitors and Hoosac moved on to the next week's championship game.

“I think a lot of it just comes down to the culture of the team, believing in each other and not giving up,” Hoosac coach Molly West said. “We could have given up, but we didn't. I'm proud of them for that.”

Meczywor scored the most goals of the game with seven, while Lesure and Felix each scored five goals for the Hurricanes.

Felix gave Hoosac a 1-0 lead just 14 seconds into the first period. Hampshire came back and had three good scoring chances, but was denied by goalie Cami Lavato. Lavato made 12 saves and those three early saves gave Hoosac a boost.

The Hurricanes led 3-0 after one quarter and had scored the first two goals of the second quarter. But instead of taking a 5-0 lead that could have set up a blowout victory, Hampshire scored four of the next six goals, and when Simmons scored with 9:30 left in the second quarter, the score was suddenly 7-4.

Hoosac increased the score to 8:4 with a goal from Meczywor and the extra player on the field. That is how the half ended.

Felix and Meczywor scored the first two goals of the third quarter to give Hoosac a 10-4 lead. Hampshire came back with a bang and when Puttick scored the last two goals of the third quarter, the score was 13-9.

Puttick was key to Hampshire's success, not only scoring three of her four goals in the second half but also being an ace at face-offs. With the draws won, the Hurricanes were in a bit of a pickle and had to counterattack.

“[Puttick] We knew she was going to be their player in the game,” Meczywor said. “We knew we had to make some changes. We actually put an extra defender in transition. That helped us on some plays, but she was good.”

“There's a reason she's their leading scorer. She's great off the tee, she's got great stick skills and she finds the ball in the net really well.”

Everything was decided until the last minute, and Lesure received a ball from Felix and beat Abby Hennessy for the win. Maryn Cappiello started the game in her defensive zone.

Hoosac will play either top-seeded South Hadley or No. 4 Lee in the Class C final next week. The game is scheduled for Memorial Day night and will begin at 6 p.m. at South Hadley. The final is set for May 29, with the site to be announced.

Girls Lacrosse

Semi-final Class B

No. 4 Belchertown 9, No. 1 Northampton 1 — Thanks to four goals from Lia Pikul and three goals from Madysen LePage, the Orioles pulled off a surprise win over the Blue Devils in the Class B semifinals on Friday.

Belchertown advanced to the finals and faced the winner of Saturday's game between Mount Greylock and Amherst.

McKenzie LePage and Paige Magner each scored a goal and had an assist for Belchertown, while Emma Almeida blocked five shots in the win.

Imanni Power-Greene scored three goals and provided an assist, Makayla Fydenkevez scored twice, while Ally Busone and Olivia Wright also scored for Northampton. Ainsley Dawson made ten saves in the loss.

Lacrosse for boys

Semi-final Class B

No. 2 East Longmeadow 14, No. 3 Northampton 4 — The Blue Devils fell behind 6-2 at halftime and were unable to close the gap in their semifinal loss to the Spartans on Friday in East Longmeadow.

Zachary Sares scored three goals and five assists for East Longmeadow (11-5), and Jakob Robidoux also scored a hat trick in the win.

Northampton finished the regular season 14-4 and now turns its attention to the state tournament.

No. 1 Wahconah 16, No. 4 South Hadley 8 — The top-ranked Warriors advanced with a win over the Tigers in the Class B semifinals in Dalton on Friday.

Wahconah advances to play East Longmeadow in the final. South Hadley enters the Div. 4 state tournament with a record of 5-12.

Class C semi-finals

No. 2 Hoosac Valley 13, No. 3 Granby 6 — The Rams failed to pull off a surprise in Cheshire, losing to the Hurricanes in the Class C semi-finals on Friday.

Granby enters the Div. 4 state tournament with a record of 9-9. Hoosac advances to face Lenox in the final.

athletics

After Day 1 of the MIAA Division 5 Track and Field Championships at Bridgewater State, the Belchertown girls team is in eighth place with 13 points. Day 2 of the event will be held again in Bridgewater on Sunday.

Kami Wlodyka set a personal best in the girls' 2-mile race and finished third overall with a time of 11 minutes, 51.66 seconds. The senior is also seeded 13th in the 1-mile race, which will be run on Sunday.

Cameron Ting impressed for the Orioles in the girls' pentathlon, finishing third with 2,848 points. The senior won the 800 meters (2:24.35) to conclude the pentathlon and also finished second in the high jump and third in the 100-meter hurdles.

Cheri Willems secured a top-ten finish in the girls' 800-meter race, finishing eighth with a total time of 2:27.55.

Non-playoff games

baseball

South Hadley 5, Smith Voc 2 — Justin Moskal had seven strikeouts in a complete game for the Tigers, who closed their regular season with a much-needed 5-2 win over the Vikings in Northampton on Friday.

The win ended a two-game losing streak for South Hadley, which enters the state tournament with a 14-5 record. Smith Voc fell to 13-6 overall.

Gavin Carpenter and Burke Belsky each had two goals for the Tigers. Smith Voc's Patrick Millin led the hosts with two goals.

Soft ball

Granby 12, Pope Francis 0 (5) — Meredith Bartosz had six strikeouts and two hits, while Katie Grabherr had two singles, a double and three RBIs in the Rams' win on Friday.

Grace Roy had two hits and three RBIs, Alexis Lapite hit a single and a double, while Quin Cook had a single, a triple and two runs for Granby.

Results late Thursday

Girls Lacrosse

Granby 15, Chicopee Comp 7 — Brenna Moreno led the game in scoring with five goals, while Ava-Elizabeth Loughman (one assist), Mylin Laliberte, Kelly Lynne Kennedy and Kalli White each scored two goals in the Rams' win.

Youth sports

Amherst 8, Northampton 3 (15U) — The Hurricanes' three pitchers, Cyrus Arwade, Brady Klaes and Oscar Reich, held the Blue Devils to three hits in seven innings.

At bat, Amherst was led by Oliver Howard (three hits, three runs scored and two RBIs), while Klaes contributed two hits, including a triple, and a run scored. Nick Stinson had two RBIs. Reich scored three runs.

Lachlan Maddock pitched four strong innings for Northampton, managing three strikeouts and allowing four earned runs. Ryan Michna had two hits, scored one run and had an RB I. The Blue Devils played solid field defense, including a terrific play by Adrian Melly-Wright at third base, stealing a double from Amherst.