2018-19 The Berkshire Eagle All Stars: Girls lacrosse
Most Valuable Player
Alie Mendel, Hoosac Valley, Senior
Mendel was assignment No. 1 for every team the Hurricanes played in 2019. The immensely athletic midfielder was a terror with the ball in her sure-handed possession. Mendel scored multiple goals in all but one game this season, finishing with a total of 85 markers to lead Berkshire County. She added 27 assists as an all-around threat for a total of 112 points. No other local player topped triple digits. Mendel was the 2018 Eagle Offensive Player of the Year, and stepped up even further this spring as a leader and ball-moving player in the middle of the field. As a captain, Mendel helped guide the Hurricanes to their first outright Berkshire County title, going undefeated against local competition in the regular season. Mendel's technical stick skills were only surpassed by her intensity and the attacking mindset with which she played.
Carolyn Jones, Mount Greylock, Sophomore
There may be no more pure of a lacrosse player in Western Massachusetts than Jones, who as a sophomore has already developed into a dominant force in the sport. Jones possess excellent field vision and a strong body that she uses to her advantage, charging through contact to find open passing and shooting lanes. The Mounties star broke out with 94 points this season, including 81 goals. Those totals ballooned in key games, as Jones scored 17 goals and tallied four assists in four playoff games, and wrapped up the regular season with a 10-goal explosion against Chicopee Comp. Thanks in large part to her relentless offensive output, Greylock pulled off three road upsets to reach a second-straight Central/Western Massachusetts championship game. Jones had a varied approach on free positions, with the ability to get inside and bounce for the goal, or — as she did to beat Hoosac Valley in overtime of a tournament game — fire off a power shot on a rope to the back of the net.
Claudia Bresett, Hoosac Valley, Senior
The best two-way player in Berkshire County has been that way for a few years now. Claudia Bresett continued putting it all together for the county champion Hurricanes as a senior leader. Offensively, she racked up 61 goals and 22 assists for 83 points, the third most in the league. She had multiple points in all but one game this season, including three goals and an assist in the Hurricanes' playoff game. While she was a tremendous cutter and facilitator on the attack, Bresett's value to coach Molly Meczywor truly shined in her ability to mark opponents and transition the ball from defense to offense. Bresett's athleticism caught up with her lacrosse IQ in 2019, allowing her to dictate play no matter where she was called upon on the field. Bresett was also another senior captain for Hoosac Valley, who spent considerable time helping to build the program up from its infancy into a true Western Mass. power.
Coach of the Year
Lindsey von Holtz, Mount Greylock
Mount Greylock head coach Lindsey von Holtz was cagey at the start of the 2019 season. She was unsure how her young team would react after the graduation of so many stars seemed to deplete the defending Central/Western Mass. finalist. By mid-season, the Mounties were still uneven and the future was unknown. However, things started heating up and von Holtz had her girls peaking at the right time. Despite sneaking into the postseason with an 8-10 record, Greylock played dynamite situational lacrosse with superb fundamentals and outstanding mental toughness. Her Mounties beat St. Peter-Marian on a long road trip to Worcester, and then upset county champion Hoosac Valley in overtime. Greylock's magical run extended all the way back to the sectional final for the second consecutive year. Everything from designing offensive plays to get the ball onto the sticks of Carolyn Jones, Clare Sheedy and Brook Masse, to developing young goalie Jayden Johnson, and getting Delaney Babcock ready to defend the most elite attackers in Massachusetts, von Holtz' season was simply superb.
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