A solid start for Hoosac Valley boys lacrosse
CHESHIRE -- Take two has been much better for the Hoosac Valley boys lacrosse team.
The Hurricanes lost their first three games when the sport debuted last year. This spring, Hoosac got off to a 3-0 start before losing to Pittsfield on Monday.
"We definitely have a really strong offense this year," said Stephin Wallace. "I think just [Monday] we weren't working as hard. We definitely could've won this game if we played a lot harder."
Wallace has been a big part of renewed confidence in Cheshire, scoring 12 goals in the first four games. The junior had five of the Hurricanes' six goals in the loss to the Generals. Teammate Jake Beckwith said while Hoosac's defense is young this year, the offense has been clicking early.
"Our offense has been doing pretty good. We just need to work on our D," Beckwith said. "It's been really good winning all these games. Everyone's been happy with it. It's a big changeup from last year, losing a bunch of games. It's been good."
All those wins mean the Hurricanes are that much closer to a Western Mass. tournament bid, too. Last year, Hoosac was just a couple games out of the postseason after its false start. The Hurricanes finished the year right behind Lee, the third and final county team to advance.
Hoosac coach John Duval, who won a Super Bowl with the Hurricane football team, said the tournament is always a goal. But he doesn't want this team to get ahead of itself after four games.
"There's a lot of good points we've seen the first four games," Duval said. "There's also some things we really need to take a step back and work on. Fundamentals are the key."
Wallace's production will continue to be a big part of Hoosac's success. Duval said the junior loves the game and can be fun to watch. He likes to cut his way through the middle and fire low shots that can be difficult to stop.
He also showed the leadership Duval is looking for on Monday. Wallace scored twice in the game's final four minutes after Hoosac had been shut out for the entire third quarter.
Wallace said last year's varsity experience has helped.
"I think this year I've had my head up a lot more, looking for openings and other people to pass to," Wallace said. "I have a lot of people to work with this year."
That teamwork is what Duval wants to see. Wallace said he recognizes he can be dangerous, but he also emphasized working with his teammates. He said he doesn't want to be the only one scoring.
If the Hurricanes can get the ball moving again -- the coach said lacrosse is a "pass-pass-score" kind of game in a timeout on Monday -- great things could be coming their way.
"We have experience on this team," Duval said. "We have some very good players that played lacrosse for a lot of years. Now, the goal is we've got to come together as a team and play like a team."
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