Hoosac Valley girls lacrosse team picks up win over Pittsfield
PITTSFIELD — After Pittsfield's Sara Curry won the opening face-off and drove right at Hoosac Valley for a quick-strike goal, Hurricanes keeper Emily Godfrey took a moment to look at the lacrosse ball in her stick before giving it back to the referee.
"It's a ritual. I pick up the ball, look at it and think about what I did wrong and need to work on the next time, and I give the ref the ball and let everything go," said the sophomore varsity rookie. "That helps a lot. I take it personally, letting up a goal."
With that mindset firmly in place, and a veteran defensive crew led by seniors Paige Barrow and Chloe Martel in front of her, Godfrey wasn't bypassed again until her side built up a sizable lead. The Hurricanes went on to beat PHS 17-4.
The 5-0 run that followed Curry's free position goal was mere foreshadowing for a 10-0 run through the middle of Friday's game at Berkshire Community College which put the contest out of reach.
Godfrey finished with eight saves, as the Hurricanes have allowed just nine goals through two games.
Hoosac Valley (2-0, 2-0 Berkshire League) returned to a turf field one week after dealing with Wahconah in a one-goal win on a snow-covered surface in North Adams, and found traction a bit easier.
Alie Mendel and Claudia Bresett answered the Generals' opening jab with a pair of goals each in the early going. Mendel, who finished with a game-high seven goals and eight points, earned her hat trick with a brilliant weave through the defense to make it 5-1.
"I don't know if I've met a better athlete than Alie," said Hoosac coach Molly Meczywor. "She's a little different this year mentally. You see a little bit of that change. She's always been tenacious and had that grit and passion and athletic ability. I've seen her become a leader and come into her own. The way she cares for her teammates and is working to get other people involved."
Pittsfield, (2-1, 0-1) which opened its season with a pair of high-scoring, non-conference victories, kept itself alive. Junior Sierra Murray took advantage of some over-aggressive defense to put home her first strike of the night. Murray finished with a hat trick of her own, but that goal and Curry's opener were all the Generals could muster in the first half.
Brooke DiGennaro won the ensuing face-off, and got the ball up to Mendel, who used quick feet and laser of a shot to make it 6-2.
Pittsfield goalie Danielle Plankey did her best to keep the Hurricanes within striking distance, stopping 16 shots, including back-to-back free positions by DiGennaro and Faith Hall. Hoosac switched things up, though, and Lauren Davis looped an assist from X to Mendel for a one-timer in front of the net. DiGennaro then assisted on scores by Hannah Harding and Karyssa Charon, before scoring herself to help send the visitors into the half in front 11-2.
"We've spent the last week working a lot on transition, and it paid off. We moved the ball really beautifully today," said Meczywor. "We continue to work on finding the open lane, off the ball cutting and just finishing. We did a nice job today."
The Hoosac lead hit double figures in the first minute of the second half, with Charon scoring while Murray was stuck sidelined with a yellow card.
Mendel's seventh and then a beauty of a 30-yard pass by the senior up to fellow captain Bresett helped force the run to 10 unanswered and a 15-2 edge.
Murray ended the streak when Natalia Agrelo won possession and got it up to her teammate on the attack. The Generals got another score off a Curry takeaway, Agrelo screen and Murray blast, but the Hoosac offense was relentless. Charon and Bresett finished with hat tricks as well.
"We definitely got better today," said Pittsfield coach Jeff Murray. "We learned a lot about what we have to do to take that next step."
Hoosac 11 6 — 17
Pittsfield 2 2 — 4
P — Sara Curry (free position); HV — Alie Mendel (FP); HV — Claudia Bresett (unassisted); HV — Mendel (UA); HV — Bresett (FP); HV — Mendel (UA); P — Sierra Murray (UA); HV — Mendel (Hannah Harding); HV — Mendel (Lauren Davis); HV — Hannah Harding (Brooke DiGennaro); HV — Karyssa Charon (DiGennaro); HV — DiGennaro (UA); HV — Mendel (FP).
HV — Charon (UA); HV — Mendel (UA); HV — Bresett (Mendel); HV — Cairagan Greene (FP); P — Murray (UA); HV — Charon (UA); P — Murray (UA); HV — Elli Miles (UA).
Saves — HV: Emily Godfrey 8; P: Danielle Plankey 16.
Mike Walsh can be reached at email@example.com, at @CLNS_Walsh on Twitter and 413-496-6240.
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