Kelly Scores Seven, Leads Lee into Tourney
LEE, Mass. -- The Lee High girls lacrosse team removed a lot of the drama from Thursday's game against Pittsfield.
The Wildcats scored the first four goals of the resumption of the game interrupted on Wednesday, taking a 6-1 lead en route to a 17-8 win and a berth in the Central/Western Massachusetts Division 2 tournament.
Senior Alyssa Kelly scored seven goals to lead her team on Senior Day on John J. Consolati Field. The Wildcats led by six goals at half-time and opened the second half with a 5-1 run to briefly push their lead to 10 goals and shifting the game to running time.
Pittsfield's Alyssa Barnes scored twice in the last nine minutes to help keep the Generals within nine goals, but the closest the Generals got was when Shea Hassett (two goals) and Barnes scored back-to-back to make it 16-8 with 3 minutes, 25 seconds on the clock. Mikayla DeSantis scored on a free position for Lee to stem that run and provide the final margin of victory.
Lee came into Wednesday's game with a record of 7-8, needing to finish at .500 to qualify for postseason. When rain made conditions unplayable on Wednesday afternoon, the Wildcats led, 2-1, midway through the first half.
Lee came out determined to make the most of that advantage on Thursday, showing an aggressiveness that has characterized its run back to the post-season after a year away.
"I think one of the things is there's a lot more desire," Lee coach Dave Galisa said. "We're not playing as laid back as we did last year.
"We're aggressively going after ground balls. We're aggressively trying to intercept passes. Our defense has done a lot better this year than last year. They've come together, which is wonderful."
And the Wildcats got contributions from througout the lineup.
"We had a couple of kids -- one person, Khali Zabian, No. 11, she was JV last year and because of some injuries we had to push her in there, and she did well," Galisa said. "Today she had a couple of interceptions, a couple of blocks. That's one of the people who really has stepped up a lot."
Goalkeeper Liz Consolai, another Lee senior, made six saves to earn the win in likely her last time wearing a home uniform.
PHS/Taconic keeper Haley Milne made seven saves, and Alex Zuber scored three goals with an assist in the loss.
In addition to honoring their own seniors in the regular season home finale, the Wildcats recognized the seniors for first-year Pittsfield caoch Jenna Giardina, who said that while the Generals (3-12) have some work to do, she saw some positives from this year's team.
"We've got a lot of young players who are looking good," Giardina said. "But we're definitely going to be missing some of our seniors next year.
"Honestly, I wouldn't change much. We just need more older players with experience. I love the attitude on our team. I love the comaraderie we had. And I wouldn't change a thing about how hard we played. I couldn't ask them to do any more. I hope we work as hard as we did this year next year."
Seeding for the Central/Western Massachusetts boys and girls lacrosse tournaments is scheduled for Friday morning at Tantasqua Regional High School.