Girls lacrosse: Cedar Conrad, Amherst roll past Hampshire for 7th straight win (PHOTOS)

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  • Amherst sophomore goalie Cedar Conrad saves a shot by Hampshire’s Skylar Duda in the first half of the Hurricanes’ 16-5 Pioneer League win over the visiting Raiders on Tuesday in Amherst. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Amherst sophomore attack Talia Sadiq, right, scores the Hurricanes’ fifth goal over Hampshire defenders, from left, Caitlin Potts, Hailey Raffa and Adrianna Alfano, in the first half of Amherst’s 16-5 Pioneer League win over the visiting Raiders on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Amherst senior attack Esme Siegel, center, gets by Hampshire junior defense Hailey Raffa, right, to take a shot that went wide right past sophomore goalie Abby Hennessy in the first half of the Hurricanes’ 16-5 Pioneer League win over the visiting Raiders on Tuesday, May 17, 2022, in Amherst. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Hampshire senior midfield Skylar Duda (5) is pressured by Amherst senior Katie Leonard, right, near the Hurricanes’ goal in the first half of the Raiders’ 16-5 Pioneer League loss to host Amherst on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Amherst junior midfield April Schilling (5) and teammates celebrate her goal that put the Hurricanes up 11-5 in the second half of their 16-5 Pioneer League win over visiting Hampshire on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Amherst senior attack Emily Ireland, right, avoids pressure by Hampshire junior defense Hailey Raffa in the first half of the Hurricanes’ 16-5 Pioneer League win over the visiting Raiders on Tuesday in Amherst. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Hampshire sophomore goalie Abby Hennessy stares down a threat by Amherst senior attack Emily Ireland in the second half of the Raiders’ 16-5 Pioneer League loss to the host Hurricanes on Tuesday, May 17, 2022, in Amherst. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Amherst junior midfield April Schilling, right, looks for an opening over Hampshire sophomore defense Catilin Potts (11) in the first half of the Hurricanes’ 16-5 Pioneer League win over the visiting Raiders on Tuesday, May 17, 2022, in Amherst. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Hampshire senior midfield Skylar Duda, left, passes over Amherst senior Claire Lindsey in the first half of the Raiders’ 16-5 Pioneer League loss to the host Hurricanes on Tuesday, May 17, 2022, in Amherst. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Amherst coach Andrew MacDougall takes a timeout with his team in the first half of the Hurricanes’ 16-5 Pioneer League win over visiting Hampshire on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Amherst junior midfield April Schilling, right, looks for an opening over Hampshire sophomore defense Catilin Potts in the first half of the Hurricanes’ 16-5 Pioneer League win over the visiting Raiders on Tuesday, May 17, 2022, in Amherst. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

Staff Writer
Published: 5/17/2022 8:39:24 PM
Modified: 5/17/2022 8:37:37 PM

AMHERST — When the Amherst and Hampshire Regional girls lacrosse teams met just 11 days ago, it was as close as you could get. The Hurricanes managed to walk away with a 14-13 victory in Westhampton on May 6, setting the tone for Tuesday’s rematch.

It was a much more comfortable game for the Hurricanes on their home turf this time around. Amherst took home a 16-5 victory over the Raiders, thanks to a full-team effort.

Amherst’s attack was clicking, led by Emily Ireland’s eight-point effort (4G, 4A). Talia Sadiq’s and Esme Siegel each added a hat trick, and the ’Canes defensive strategy was executed flawlessly. When all else failed, Amherst goalie Cedar Conrad was rock solid in net, posting 13 saves — 10 of those coming in the first half. 

“She's an anchor. Her personality is astounding. She's just got a magnetic charm to her, she’s always super positive,” Amherst head coach Andrew MacDougall said on Conrad. “She's willing to quarterback in that position, which is a really important thing to do. So she helps lead the defense through her words and her actions.” 

It was 7-2 after the first 25 minutes, though it could have been much closer had it not been for Conrad serving as the last line of defense. But while the Raiders forced her to make a number of saves, they weren’t able to execute their offense the way they wanted, and couldn’t stop the multiple offensive attacks that Amherst threw at them. Raiders netminder Abby Hennessy was solid in net with nine total saves.

“They've got a really well-rounded team. We knew that they had a few girls on offense who got a lot of their goals and assists in the last game. We were trying to prepare ourselves to really try to stay tight on them and be ready for those strong stick skills and quick shots,” Hampshire head coach Grace Ahrensdorf said. “Unfortunately we weren't quite able to do what we hoped and our defense was a little disorganized. We were still kind of getting getting caught off guard by some of those cuts.”

Prior to this season, it had been a long time since Amherst walked away with a win. Last year, the team was 0-10, and the season before was a wash because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The ’Canes had last earned a win after beating Belchertown on May 30, 2019 before finally breaking through last month against Lee.

Watching Amherst play now is like watching a completely different team. The roster is deep and skilled, with everyone playing with a confidence that comes from a program that’s used to winning. This team has gotten familiar with that feeling – the ’Canes are 10-3 after their win against Hampshire, and are riding a seven-game winning streak.

“I think we work a lot better together this year. We're a lot more focused, I'd say, and of course, our coach,” Amherst’s Talia Sadiq said. “He’s a really positive coach. He helps us keep our heads up and also encourages us, and helps us with the game. He knows the game really well.”

Though MacDougall is new to the role of head coach at Amherst, he’s not new to the game of lacrosse or these particular players. He coached many of them when they were much younger, back when they were in third grade, in fact, but he’s excited at how much they’ve grown and enjoys coaching the squad as older players now.

“What I love about the high school program is these girls know how to play. I can actually talk to them about X's and O's, I can talk about strategy and they get it,” MacDougall said. “It makes it much easier for us to make adjustments, to really just play super smart.”

While Tuesday’s game didn’t have the outcome it wanted, Hampshire has been putting together an impressive season of its own. Technically a co-op with three St. Mary’s players, the Raiders are finally getting to host their team this year and currently have an 8-4 record.

“Overall, we've been having a really good season. With getting to these last few weeks, I think everyone's getting a little tired and we have a couple really busy weeks as far as games go. So I'm hoping we'll be able to kind of take ourselves back out and get back on a high note,” Ahrensdorf said.


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