Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
Cloudy
61°
Cloudy
Hi 62° | Lo 53°

Amherst eliminates rival Northampton from playoff contention

  • Cody Baglow, left, and Jonathan Traester of Amherst celebrate after Amherst scores Friday against Northampton during a lacrosse game at Northampton High School.<br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY

    Cody Baglow, left, and Jonathan Traester of Amherst celebrate after Amherst scores Friday against Northampton during a lacrosse game at Northampton High School.

    SARAH CROSBY Purchase photo reprints »

  • Jared Yarde of Northampton, center, attempts to move through Amherst toward the goal on Friday at Northampton High School.<br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY

    Jared Yarde of Northampton, center, attempts to move through Amherst toward the goal on Friday at Northampton High School.

    SARAH CROSBY Purchase photo reprints »

  • Jake Ross of Northampton, left, fights for possession of the ball Friday against Donovan Riley and Kieran Presley of Amherst.<br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY

    Jake Ross of Northampton, left, fights for possession of the ball Friday against Donovan Riley and Kieran Presley of Amherst.

    SARAH CROSBY Purchase photo reprints »

  • Melvin Espinoza-Rosa of Amherst, left, makes a pass Friday against goalie Tyler Walsh of Northampton. Harrison Tremaine of Northampton looks on, at right.<br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY

    Melvin Espinoza-Rosa of Amherst, left, makes a pass Friday against goalie Tyler Walsh of Northampton. Harrison Tremaine of Northampton looks on, at right.

    SARAH CROSBY Purchase photo reprints »

  • Cody Malone of Northampton, left, tries to move the ball toward the goal Friday while being defended by Cody Baglow of Amherst. Goalie Will Barstow of Amherst looks on, at center.<br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY

    Cody Malone of Northampton, left, tries to move the ball toward the goal Friday while being defended by Cody Baglow of Amherst. Goalie Will Barstow of Amherst looks on, at center.

    SARAH CROSBY Purchase photo reprints »

  • Jack Shea of Northampton looks through the rain to catch the ball Friday while warming up for a game against Amherst.<br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY

    Jack Shea of Northampton looks through the rain to catch the ball Friday while warming up for a game against Amherst.

    SARAH CROSBY Purchase photo reprints »

  • Spectators take shelter from rain at Northampton High School Friday during a boys lacrosse game against Amherst.<br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY

    Spectators take shelter from rain at Northampton High School Friday during a boys lacrosse game against Amherst.

    SARAH CROSBY Purchase photo reprints »

  • Cody Baglow, left, and Jonathan Traester of Amherst celebrate after Amherst scores Friday against Northampton during a lacrosse game at Northampton High School.<br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY
  • Jared Yarde of Northampton, center, attempts to move through Amherst toward the goal on Friday at Northampton High School.<br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY
  • Jake Ross of Northampton, left, fights for possession of the ball Friday against Donovan Riley and Kieran Presley of Amherst.<br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY
  • Melvin Espinoza-Rosa of Amherst, left, makes a pass Friday against goalie Tyler Walsh of Northampton. Harrison Tremaine of Northampton looks on, at right.<br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY
  • Cody Malone of Northampton, left, tries to move the ball toward the goal Friday while being defended by Cody Baglow of Amherst. Goalie Will Barstow of Amherst looks on, at center.<br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY
  • Jack Shea of Northampton looks through the rain to catch the ball Friday while warming up for a game against Amherst.<br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY
  • Spectators take shelter from rain at Northampton High School Friday during a boys lacrosse game against Amherst.<br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY

NORTHAMPTON — The Northampton boys lacrosse team put its entire season on the line in Friday night’s showdown with Amherst Regional.

Unfortunately for the Blue Devils, the Hurricanes found enough inspiration to spoil their rival’s senior night with a 9-7 victory that knocked Hamp out of postseason contention.

“We have seniors that have played this game for a long time, and they weren’t going to roll over for anybody,” Amherst coach Matt Crutch said. “Plus it’s an Amherst-Hamp game, so throw out all the records. We stayed focused throughout and used the momentum we built in the game.”

The Blue Devils (9-10, 2-10 Valley Wheel) needed a win or a tie to earn a postseason berth.

“This was a game we had to win, and we played the best we could,” Northampton senior goalie Tyler Walsh said. “We left it all out on the field until the final whistle, and that’s what matters most. I knew I had to stand on my head in this game to have a great chance. But Amherst has great athletes and a bunch of guys who can shoot well.”

Drew Kosloski led the Amherst attack with three goals and an assist. He scored the first goal of the game, picked up his second with eight seconds left in the half, then converted a feed from Nick Johnson to complete the hat trick with just over four minutes to play.

“It’s such a huge rivalry game so we wanted to come out and play our best,” Kosloski said. “Northampton played really well, but we had a slight edge. We’re big into team play, which we showed in this game. My teammates helped set me up for the goals, and I needed to do my job and put them in.”

Johnson finished with two goals and two assists for the Hurricanes (11-7, 6-6), who now await their spot in the upcoming Western Massachusetts Division 2 Tournament. Seeds will be announced on Wednesday.

Donovan Riley and Luke Allen added consecutive first-quarter goals to give Amherst an early 3-1 lead.

A key point of the game came in the final minute of the first half. Northampton appeared poised to enter the intermission down just 4-3, but Isaac Bass scored his first of two goals with 38 seconds remaining. That was quickly followed by a Kosloski tally to stake Amherst to its biggest lead to that point.

“That was pretty much the game, and looking back it will be the little mistakes we made that cost us,” Hamp coach Matt Striebel said.

Walsh ended his stellar career in the Northampton goal with a 13-save performance. His four stops in the first quarter kept the Blue Devils within a goal for much of the first half despite Amherst dominating possession.

“Tyler’s the best goalie in the league, and we hang our hat on our defense,” Striebel said. “Giving up nine goals to Amherst is nothing to be ashamed of. Our games with them are maddening, because they’re always one or two-goal games. Every coach in this league says it’s really tough playing us. So we’re building something here.”

Five minutes into the third, Johnson found Bass out in front to make it 7-3. After Hamp’s Cody Malone put one in at the doorstep with 3:15 left in the quarter, the Blue Devils went a man up roughly a minute later. However, Amherst killed off the penalty and reclaimed a four-goal advantage in the final seconds of the quarter as Johnson shook loose at the right post and beat Walsh.

Simon Harrity had three goals in his final game for Hamp, while Will Lombardi also scored three times. Both players tallied in the final two minutes of regulation as a late rally came up short.

The Hurricanes back line was led by senior defender Charlie Clark, whose aggressive play prevented transition for the Blue Devils and kept them out of the middle of the attacking zone.

“Charlie’s an animal back there, and he’s a great captain and leader,” Crutch said. “But all our guys on defense are solid, which always gives us an opportunity to win.”

After Lombardi beat goalie Will Barstow (six saves) on a bounce shot with 28 seconds left, Riley controlled the ensuing faceoff and the ’Canes ran out the clock.

Ben Davis picked up an assist for the Blue Devils, who played the final few weeks of the season without their leading scorer after Alex Zadworny suffered a broken wrist.

“All season we’ve had some struggles offensively,” said Striebel. “This was one of our better games on attack in a while, especially dealing with Alex being out. I’m really proud of these guys, we battled all season. It’s unfortunate the way it’s set up in our league. We’re a team that should be in the playoffs, but you have to finish .500, and we came up short of that.”

It was the final game for Northampton seniors Walsh, Harrity, Andrew Fleming, Avery Mencher, Michael Rodriguez and Harrison Tremaine.

“I came in as a freshman under Coach (Bill) Metzger and the program kept getting better,” Walsh said. “We wanted to put Northampton on the map as far as lacrosse in western Mass. It’s tough to not make the playoffs, but we’re proud of our careers.”

Michael Wilkinson can be reached at mwilkinson@gazettenet.com.

Comments
Legacy Comments1

That is Will Barstow in your picture, not Jonathan Traester.

Post a Comment

You must be registered to comment on stories. Click here to register.