Hoosac Valley Girls Fall in First-Ever Tournament Game
LITTLETON, Mass. -- As Hoosac Valley girls lacrosse senior Aubrey Rumbolt went through the handshake line after Tuesday’s Central/Western Massachusetts tournament game, she had a smile on her face.
“It’s sweat,” she joked with her teammates. “It’s not tears.”
Truth is, she had reason for both.
The Hurricanes worked as hard as they could for 50 minutes, but in the end third-seeded Littleton was just a little too much to handle. The Tigers handed Hoosac Valley a 15-6 loss that ended the career of the team’s lone senior, Rumbolt.
“I guess it’s kind of a bittersweet ending for me,” the Drury High School student said afterward. “We’ve come so far, and to see the girls improve this much and to know they’re going to keep improving over the years and I’ll be gone … It is kind of bittersweet because I want to be there with them.”
She will be there in spirit as one of the pioneers who helped build the the Hurricanes into a competitive team over the last six seasons.
Sixth-year coach Molly Meczywor knew after Tuesday’s game that her team had given her everything it could.
“I couldn't be prouder,” she said. “My heart is full. I feel like we did everything we worked on this week. They came with a really good attitude, and they played from whistle to whistle.”
In fact, from the opening whistle, the 13th-seeded Hurricanes (9-6) took it right to their hosts.
Alie Mendel scored an unassisted goal in the first minute to give Hoosac Valley a 1-0 lead, and Claudia Bresset scored off a pass from Rumbolt about a minute later to give the Hurricanes a 2-0 lead.
But Littleton answered with four straight goals to take a two-goal lead of its own.
“Littleton moved the ball down the field better than any team I've seen in my five years of coaching,” Meczywor said. “It's impressive the way that they moved the ball. But for us to come out and score two goals right at the start shows our tenacity and the ability of our girls to say, 'It doesn't matter. We're going to play hard.' “
Sara Tomkiewicz scored off an outlet pass from Faith Hall midway through the first half to get Hoosac Valley back within one at 4-3, but the Tigers pushed their lead to 8-3 before going into the half-time break up, 10-4.
Littleton briefly got the game to running time late in the second half, but Hall and Mendel scored on free positions to shave an 11-goal deficit back to the 15-6 final score.
“I think what hurt us in the second half was they pretty much shut Alie out of the game,” Meczywor said. “I think in reflection we had to do a better job to free her up with some more screening.
“But defensively, we talked, Abi [Disbrow] was awesome today. She made some great saves for us and kept us in the game.”
Disbrow made 10 saves. Littleton’s Emily Sullivan stopped 14 shots as the Hurricanes were able to keep the shots on goal margin to a respectable 25-20.
“I'm happy, and they're happy,” Meczywor said. “They feel like it wasn't a blowout. Not that we were expecting a blowout, but it could have been with a 14 seed at a 3 seed.
“Hopefully the girls build on this. Hopefully they use as momentum. We're not satisfied here. We have things to do.”