Ultimate sweep: Amherst boys, girls dominate Amherst Invitational

Hurricanes win boys, girls ultimate championships

  • April Weintrab, of Amherst Regional, throws to an open teammate in the second half of the championship game against Lexington Sunday during the 25th annual Amherst Regional High School Ultimate Invitational. —DAN LITTLE

  • Fernanda Breña, of Amherst Regional, scores a point against Lexington Sunday during the 25th annual Amherst Regional High School Ultimate Invitational. —DAN LITTLE

  • Jo-Z Coppinger, right, of Amherst Regional, right, jumps to deflect a pass intended for Mira Anderberg, of Lexington, Sunday at Amherst Regional. DAN LITTLE

  • Jo-Z Coppinger, of Amherst Regional, throws a pass in the second half against Lexington Sunday during the 25th annual Amherst Regional High School Ultimate Invitational. —DAN LITTLE

  • Izzi Tripp, of Amherst Regional, scores during the second half of the championship game against Lexington Sunday at the Amherst Regional High School 2016 Ultimate Invitational. —DAN LITTLE

  • The Amherst Regional girls varsity Ultimate team huddles up after defeating Lexington 15-4 Sunday at the 25th annual Amherst Regional High School Ultimate Invitational. —DAN LITTLE

  • Amherst Regional and Lexington girls gather after their championship game Sunday during the 25th annual Amherst Regional High School Ultimate Invitational. DAN LITTLE

  • Izzi Tripp, of Amherst Regional, catches a pass during the championship game against Lexington Sunday at the Amherst Regional High School 2016 Ultimate Invitational. DAN LITTLE

  • Kale Wenczel, center, runs through a line of Amherst Regional teammates before the start of the Amherst Invitational championship game against Columbia, Sunday. DAN LITTLE

  • Amherst Regional teammates Kale Wenczel, right, and Oliver Fay, before the start of the championship game against Columbia on Sunday during the 25th annual Amherst Regional High School Ultimate Invitational. DAN LITTLE

  • Elijah Mishkind, of Amherst Regional, fights for the disc against Stefen Reese, of Columbia, Sunday during the championship game of the 25th annual Amherst Regional High School Ultimate Invitational. DAN LITTLE

  • Jo-Z Coppinger, of Amherst Regional, left, pulls to the Lexington offense during the championship match of the 25th annual Amherst Regional High School Ultimate Invitational. —DAN LITTLE

  • Elijah Mishkind, left, of Amherst Regional, passes downfield defended by Donovan Hugel, of Columbia, New Jersey, Sunday during the 25th Amherst Ultimate Invitational. DAN LITTLE

  • Amherst Regional’s Ben Goldman, left, and George Holt celebrate after scoring against Columbia Sunday during the 25th Amherst Ultimate Invitational. The Hurricanes won 15-4 to claim their first title since 2012. DAN LITTLE

  • Lenny Knight, of Amherst Regional, pulls to the Columbia offense during the boys Open-A championship Sunday at the 25th annual Amherst Regional High School Ultimate Invitational. DAN LITTLE

  • Ryan Dinger, of Amherst Regional, pulls to the Columbia offense during the championship game Sunday at the 25th annual Amherst Regional High School Ultimate Invitational. DAN LITTLE

  • Solomon Rueshemeyer-Bailey, of Amherst Regional, scores a point against Columbia Sunday during championship game of the 25th annual Amherst Regional High School Ultimate Invitational. DAN LITTLE

  • The Amherst Regional boys varsity ultimate team huddles up after defeating Columbia 15-4 Sunday during the 25th annual Amherst Regional High School Ultimate Invitational. DAN LITTLE

  • The Amherst Regional boys varsity ultimate team huddles up after defeating Columbia 15-4 Sunday during the 25th annual Amherst Regional High School Ultimate Invitational. DAN LITTLE

  • The Amherst Regional boys varsity ultimate team after defeating Columbia 15-4 Sunday during the 25th annual Amherst Regional High School Ultimate Invitational. DAN LITTLE

  • The Amherst Regional boys varsity ultimate team huddles up after defeating Columbia 15-4 Sunday during the 25th annual Amherst Regional High School Ultimate Invitational. DAN LITTLE

  • Oliver Fay, of Amherst Regional, passes downfield against Columbia Sunday during the 25th annual Amherst Regional High School Ultimate Invitational. DAN LITTLE

  • Jo-Z Coppinger, of Amherst Regional, catches a pass Sunday during the 25th annual Amherst Regional High School Ultimate Invitational. —DAN LITTLE

  • Ryan Dinger, of Amherst Regional, passes downfield in the second half against Columbia Sunday during the 25th annual Amherst Regional High School Ultimate Invitational. DAN LITTLE

  • Sam Hare Steig, of Amherst Regional, sprints to catch a long throw in the second half against Columbia Sunday during the 25th annual Amherst Regional High School Ultimate Invitational. DAN LITTLE

  • Izzi Tripp, of Amherst Regional, shows of her black eye received during the championship game against Lexington Sunday at the Amherst Regional High School 2016 Ultimate Invitational. DAN LITTLE

  • Izzi Tripp, of Amherst Regional, shows of her black eye received during the championship game against Lexington Sunday at the Amherst Regional High School 2016 Ultimate Invitational. DAN LITTLE

  • Leija Helling, of Amherst Regional, jumps to deflect a throw from Lexington Sunday during the 25th annual Amherst Regional High School Ultimate Invitational. —DAN LITTLE

  • Livvy Weld, of Amherst Regional, left, jumps to complete a pass defended by Mira Anderberg, of Lexington, Sunday during the 25th annual Amherst Regional High School Ultimate Invitational. —DAN LITTLE

  • Elende Connor, right, of Amherst Regional, passes downfield in the second half against Lexington Sunday during the 25th annual Amherst Regional High School Ultimate Invitational. —DAN LITTLE

  • Amherst Regional players, from left, Rebecca Livingston, Izzi Tripp, April Weintrab, Mia Hartl, and Katy King, pull to the Lexington offense Sunday during championship game of the 25th annual Amherst Regional High School Ultimate Invitational. —DAN LITTLE

  • Fernanda Breña, left, of Amherst Regional, and Livvy Weld, high-five after scoring against Lexington during the 25th Amherst Ultimate Invitational, Sunday at Amherst. The Hurricanes won 15-4 to capture their eighth straight Girls A Division championship. Visit GazetteNET.com for more photos. DAN LITTLE

  • Amherst Regional players, from left, Rebecca Livingston, Izzi Tripp, April Weintraub, and Mia Hartl pull to the Lexington offense during the championship game of the 25th Amherst Ultimate Invitational on Sunday. DAN LITTLE

For the Gazette
Published: 5/8/2016 9:22:16 PM

AMHERST — How sweep it is.

Amherst Regional swept titles in the boys and girls divisions at the 25th annual Amherst Ultimate Invitational.

Eight was great for the girls. The Hurricanes captured their eighth straight title following a 15-4 triumph over Lexington on Sunday.

The long wait is over for the Hurricanes in the boys division. Amherst captured its first title since 2012 — a new experience for a team that had never tasted a championship before claiming a 15-4 victory over Columbia (New Jersey) on Sunday.

Not only were the final scores of both title games the same, both teams vaulted to commanding 5-0 leads and never looked back.

Strategy came into play in both games. The gusting wind was strong and it all but negated the long passing game.

It wasn’t a problem for either Amherst team. The Hurricanes simply worked the short passing game to perfection, relying and speed and quickness to move the disc into scoring position.

“At upwind points, I played a much more heavier throwing team,” girls coach Josh Nugent said. “Going upwind, we just put in all of our throwers, so we had some continuous passes.”

Downwind wasn’t a problem, either.

“I just put in a really good defensive team,” Nugent said. “We played better than we have all season.”

Which wasn’t the case earlier in the day in a 13-8 semifinal victory over Lower Marion (Pennsylvania). That game was 9-7 before the Hurricanes pulled away.

They carried that strong finish into the final.

“The first few points were tight and then you could see every point from then on looked a little bit better,” Nugent said. “It was exciting. This was the most confident we looked and played all season.”

The key was defense.

“That’s been our trademark, that gritty, man-to-man defense,” Nugent said.

Among the standouts were April Weintraub, Jo-Z Coppinger, Elende Connor and Fernanda Brena.

Izzi Tripp knew her team was playing with a target on its backs.

“There’s definitely some pressure because there’s a lot of seniors this year,” Tripp said. “There’s always an expectation of winning, but our team just focuses on playing our own game.”

Coppinger, who will play for the United State National Under-19 team in Poland this summer, could see her team’s confidence grow after the Hurricanes built a 5-0 lead.

“We started off a little slow, but we brought up our game a lot,” Coppinger said.

Livvy Weld knew how important it was to make proper adjustments.

“We really mastered our short game,” Weld said. “We have a lot of good handlers and that helped.”

Weintraub noted that being together for a long time helped the team grow.

“Our team chemistry is great,” Weintraub said. “We are proud of everything we did today. There is that expectations of intensity and winning and we really played up to the level that we can today.”

Northampton finished 1-4 and tied for fifth with the Amherst Junior Varsity A team.

Northampton lost to Lower Merion (15-11), Lexington (13-6), Amherst JVA (15-9) and Amherst (11-5). The Blue Devils beat Pioneer Valley Performing Arts, 14-2.

Claire Babbott-Bryan, Julia Snodgrass and Lili Leiberman-Bachman played well defensively for Hamp.

The boys final was a carbon copy of the girls championship. Amherst came out on fire and dominated from start to finish. Precision passing and tight passing keyed the victory.

“We’ve been working very hard,” coach Joe Costello said. “Part of the expectation for this weekend was knowing that if we concentrate on our game, we can dominate any team.”

Amherst beat Lower Marion, 15-6, in the semifinal. It dominated Needham, 15-1, earlier in the day.

“We really wanted to perform well here,” Costello said.

Jacob Kaplan was determined to help his team win a title during his senior year.

“It’s awesome,” Kaplan said. “Amherst is back and we put in a lot of effort to make this happen.”

Luke Webb said the wind wasn’t a factor.

“We adjusted to the wind by playing zone a lot and making shorter throws,” Webb said.

Oliver Fay also had a strong game.

“This is really cool because there are a bunch of us seniors who came up together with this program,” Fay said.

One of the highlights was when Fay hit a streaking Webb for a scoring play.

“As we got point after point, our confidence grew,” Fay said.

Northampton finished 4-2 and tied for third in the boys field.

On Saturday, Northampton beat Columbia (15-12), lost to Amherst (15-6) and beat John Jay (15-6). On Sunday, Hamp beat Four Rivers (15-8) and Lincoln-Sudbury (10-8), and lost to Columbia (10-7).

For the tournament, Amiel Hanley (16 assists) had 18 goals, Sylvan Norris added 11 and Sam Mescon nine. Zach Levitt finished with 18 assists and Zach Dietz 13.

Hanley was strong on the other side of the field with 12 defenses. Levitt also had 12, while James Berger added 10.




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