Wahconah’s Jilly Cote, holding sign, is flanked by her team after achieving her 100 goals milestone during a lacrosse match against Hoosac Valley in Dalton on Tuesday night.

Milestone reached

{child_byline}By Jake Mendel, The Berkshire Eagle{/child_byline}

Jilly Cote walked onto the field at Hoosac Valley High School on Tuesday unaware of how many goals she had scored in her time as a member of the Wahconah girls lacrosse team.

That changed after her second goal of the day gave the Warriors a 7-0 lead in the first half and coach Kathy Budaj called her over to the sideline.

“At first I thought I was being subbed off,” Cote said of scoring the 100th goal of her career. “Coach gave me the ball and said ‘congrats.’ Not expecting this made it that much more exciting.”

Cote, despite missing out on her junior year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has been a disruptive force since first suiting up as a Warrior.

“She commands the ball and sees the field,” Budaj said of Cote’s strengths. “She knows what to do with the ball as a playmaker. She gets herself and others open by doing that, she’s an all-around player.”

The Warriors defeated the Hurricanes 14-0 in a storm-shortened outing in Cheshire. Kaeli Talora, Hannah Bowlby, Chloe Accardi and Ava Massaro each joined Cote in the two-point club.

“My 100 goals wouldn’t be possible without my team,” Cote said. “Assists, interceptions leading to pushes, it isn’t just my success leading to this.

“It is about the team and we should all be proud about this.”

Chemistry plays major role in Wahconah’s success and the Warriors are currently riding a four-game winning streak.

“[A lot of the players] played together in youth leagues,” Budaj said of her team’s bond. “Jilly’s father [Matt Cote] helps coach and is very technical. He has helped a lot of the girls on this team develop good form.”

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High school sports returned to Berkshire County in late January and Cote has been pretty busy over the last five months. Cote was a member of the undefeated girls basketball team, girls soccer team that won a Berkshire North title on May 2 and she officially graduated from high school over the weekend.

“It is nice coming from doing nothing to having these things all happen at once,” Cote said. “ Not playing last year made this year so much more important and everything is much more meaningful.”

Cote had two assists against the Hurricanes and Accardi, Catie Ronayne and Rylee Ferin each added one. Meanwhile, Norah Esko, Claire Naef, Kya Candilore and Paige Trager all netted one goal on Tuesday.

Keeper Sydney Smith also had a strong performance with six saves in the shutout of the Hurricanes.

The well-rounded performance couldn’t come at a better time for Wahconah. The Warriors are back in action on Wednesday, hosting Mount Greylock.

“The girls are ready and excited,” Budaj said. “It is always a one-goal game against Greylock and hopefully we pull it out.”

These teams last met on May 21 and Mount Greylock won the match in the final seconds on a goal from sophomore Christy Rech.

“This just got us more excited for [the matchup against Greylock],” Cote said. “Everyone has been preparing for it and using our anger from last game to push us.”

Wednesday’s showdown between the Mounties and Warriors is slated to begin at 4:30 p.m.



Jake Mendel can be reached at

jmendel@berkshireeagle.com or

413-464-3655. On Twitter: @JMendel94 .

Sports Reporter

As a lifelong Pittsfield resident, Jake gravitates to the nearest field or park. He joined The Eagle as a paperboy in 2005 and worked his way up, becoming a full-time reporter in 2018. He's currently a sports reporter.