High Schools: Hampshire girls lacrosse sees comeback against Hoosac fall just short in Class C semis

Hampshire Regional’s Anna Puttick (15) charges upfield defended by Granby’s Kaelynn Slapski (14) earlier this season.

Hampshire Regional’s Anna Puttick (15) charges upfield defended by Granby’s Kaelynn Slapski (14) earlier this season. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

By HOWARD HERMAN

For the Gazette

Published: 05-24-2024 9:33 PM

CHESHIRE — A furious comeback by the Hampshire Regional girls lacrosse team fell just short Friday afternoon.

The third of three unanswered goals by Rylie Simmons had the Raiders leading by one after trailing by as many as six goals.

But Ashlyn Lesure scored the last two goals of the game, one coming on a free position shot and the other on a quick flipping of the field as No. 2 Hoosac Valley beat the Raiders, 17-16, in the Western Mass. Class C semifinals.

“I fully trusted that the girls could” come back, Hampshire coach Grace Ahrensdorf said, “and we were right on the edge. We were super close. For whatever reason, it didn't seem like our heads were quite in it in the first and second [quarters]. We tried to pull together and if not do it for ourselves, do it for our team.”

Lesure scored two of her five goals in the final minute, after Simmons netted the last of her three goals to give the Raiders a 16-15 lead. Hampshire, the No. 3 seed, had trailed 10-4 early in the third quarter. But the visitors did not surrender, and after Simmons' goal, they had a chance to go up two.

Anna Puttick, who was everywhere for the Raiders, score with 1:17 left, but the officials waived the goal off. 

That opened the door for Lesure, who got her first goal off a free position, and then converted a pass from Jacinta Felix for the tie breaker. 

The clock, however, ran out on the visitors and Hoosac moved to next week's championship game.

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

Meczywor had a game-high seven goals, while Lesure and Felix had five goals each for the Hurricanes.

Felix gave Hoosac a 1-0 lead just 14 seconds into the first quarter. Hampshire came back and had three good scoring chances, but thanks to goalie Cami Lavato, came up empty. Lavato finished with 12 saves, and those three early ones gave Hoosac a lift.

After one quarter, the Hurricanes led 3-0, and scored the first two goals in the second quarter. But instead of the 5-0 lead starting what could be a blowout, Hampshire got four of the next six goals, and when Simmons scored with 9:30 gone in the second quarter, all of a sudden, it was 7-4.

Hoosac made it 8-4 on a Meczywor goal with the extra player on the field. That was how the half ended.

Felix and Meczywor got the first two goals of the third quarter, giving Hoosac the 10-4 lead. Hampshire came roaring back, and when Puttick scored the last two tallies of the third quarter, it was 13-9.

The Hampshire rally was keyed by Puttick. Not only did she score three of her four goals in the second half, but she was an ace on faceoffs. Winning draws kept the Hurricanes on their heels a bit and had to counter-attack.

“[Puttick] took over. We knew that going into the game, she was going to be their player,” said Meczywor. “We knew that we were going to have to make some shifts. We actually put an extra defender back in transition. That helped us on some plays, but she was good.

“There's a reason she's their leading scorer. She's great on the draw, she has great stick skills and she finds the back of the net really well.”

It came right down to the final minute, and Lesure got a ball from Felix and beat Abby Hennessy for the winner. Maryn Cappiello started the play in her defensive end.

Hoosac will play in next week's Class C championship game against either top-seeded South Hadley or No. 4 Lee. That game is scheduled for Memorial Day night, with a 6 p.m. start in South Hadley. The championship game is scheduled for May 29, at a site to be determined.

Girls lacrosse

Class B semis

No. 4 Belchertown 9, No. 1 Northampton 1 — Behind four goals from Lia Pikul and three goals from Madysen LePage, the Orioles pulled off an upset over the Blue Devils in the Class B semis on Friday. 

Belchertown advanced to face the winner of Saturday’s contest between Mount Greylock and Amherst in the finals.

McKenzie LePage and Paige Magner each added a goal and an assist for Belchertown while Emma Almeida made five saves in the victory. 

Imanni Power-Greene scored three goals and dished an assist, Makayla Fydenkevez scored twice while Ally Busone and Olivia Wright also scored for Northampton. Ainsley Dawson made 10 saves in the loss. 

Boys lacrosse

Class B semis

No. 2 East Longmeadow 14, No. 3 Northampton 4 — The Blue Devils fell into a 6-2 halftime deficit and couldn’t climb closer in a semifinal loss to the Spartans on Friday in East Longmeadow.

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

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

No. 1 Wahconah 16, No. 4 South Hadley 8 — The top-seeded Warriors pulled away with a victory over the Tigers on Friday in the Class B semis in Dalton. 

Wahconah advances to play East Longmeadow in the finals. South Hadley will enter the Div. 4 state tournament with a 5-12 record. 

Class C semis

No. 2 Hoosac Valley 13, No. 3 Granby 6 — The Rams were unable to pull off the upset in Cheshire, falling to the Hurricanes in the Class C semis on Friday. 

Granby will head into the Div. 4 state tournament with a 9-9 record. Hoosac advances to face Lenox in the finals. 

Track & field

After Day 1 of the MIAA Division 5 Track & Field Championships at Bridgewater State, the Belchertown girls team sits in a tie for eighth place with 13 points. Day 2 of the event will be Sunday back in Bridgewater.

Kami Wlodyka set a PR in the girls 2-mile, placing third overall with a time of 11 minutes, 51.66 seconds. The senior is also seeded 13th in the 1-mile, 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 close out the pentathlon, and also finished second in the high jump and third in the 100-meter hurdles.

Cheri Willems nabbed a top 10 finish in the girls 800, finishing eighth overall 2:27.55.

Non-playoff games

Baseball

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

The win snapped a two-game skid for South Hadley, which heads to the state tournament with a 14-5 record. Smith Voc dropped to 13-6 overall.

Gavin Carpenter and Burke Belsky had two hits apiece for the Tigers. Smith Voc’s Patrick Millin led the hosts with two hits.

Softball

Granby 12, Pope Francis 0 (5) — Meredith Bartosz struck out six and scattered two hits while Katie Grabherr cracked two singles, a double and three RBIs in the Rams’ win on Friday. 

Grace Roy tallied two hits and three RBIs, Alexis Lapite singled and doubled while Quin Cook sinlged, tripled and drove in two runs for Granby. 

Late Thursday results

Girls lacrosse

Granby 15, Chicopee Comp 7 — Brenna Moreno netted a game-high five goals while Ava-Elizabeth Loughman (one assist), Mylin Laliberte, Kelly Lynne Kennedy and Kalli White all scored two goals apiece in the Rams’ win.

Youth sports

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

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

Lachlan Maddock pitched  four strong innings for Northampton, striking out three and allow ing four earned runs. Ryan Michna had two hits, scored a run and had one RB I. The Blue Devils played solid defense in the field, including a terrific play at third by Adrian Melly-Wright to rob Amherst of a double.