Western Mass. lacrosse: County qualifiers given low seeds

Friday June 1, 2012

While brackets for the Western Massachusetts lacrosse tournaments brought low seeds to the county’s teams, most are just happy to be playing for a title.

Berkshire County saw low seeds when the fields were announced on Thursday for the first postseason in which the county’s teams are eligible. One-loss Mount Greylock earned the county’s only home game, getting a No. 6 seed in boys Division II and the right to host No. 11 Cathedral (10-10) on Saturday. Pittsfield (12-4) earned a nine seed and will travel to No. 8 Northampton while Lee (6-6) is the tournament’s last seed. The Wildcats are at No. 5 Westfield today at 5 p.m.

Only two teams are in the girls Division I field. County champion Lee (11-0-1) is ninth and will travel to No. 8 Belchertown tonight at 5 p.m. Greylock (7-7) is the 10th seed and heads to West Springfield.

Mounties boys coach Jeff Stripp said his team was just thrilled to be in the postseason, regardless of seed.

"I didn’t expect to be above four," Stripp said. "Could we have been five? Perhaps. Six is fine. We’re very excited to host a game.

"This represents an opportunity to show outside the county that we can compete. For me, hosting is a bigger deal than where we’re seeded."

Lee girls coach Dave Galisa was just as pleased with his team’s draw. Despite being ranked above only one team, Mount Greylock, the Wildcats coach said he was excited to get a chance to measure up against the best of the Springfield area.

"There are only 10 teams in the tournament, you like to be a little bit higher [than No. 9]," Galisa said. "We’re happy. We’re looking forward to the game. [Bel chertown is] obviously a much bigger school and more established. ... If we win great, but this is also a good first-year thing for us to see how other teams play."

In the middle of the county, Pittsfield boys coach Scott Aitken drew a tough Springfield-area team, but one he’s also already seen this year. Northampton beat the Generals 12-3 on April 9 but Aitken doesn’t believe that is an indication of how the playoff opener will go.

"They got us pretty good but that was early on," he said. "I think we’re going to show them a different Pittsfield High team."


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