Mount Greylock Girls Rally Past Rival Wahconah

By Stephen Sports
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- Arianna Walden scored with 25 seconds left to break a 7-7 tie and give the Mount Greylock girls lacrosse team an 8-7 win in the latest edition of the county’s best lacrosse rivalry.

The Mounties (8-0) fell behind, 5-2, in the second half and trailed, 7-6, with 1 minute, 21 seconds left in regulation.

But Maggie Rorke and Walden scored in the final minute to thwart Wahconah’s efforts to bring home a win against the Mounties for the first time since 2013.

“It was stressful,” Walden said. “We knew Wahconah was going to be a good game. We knew this was going to happen. It’s always close with them. They’re a great team.

“We just knew we had to dig deep and keep it going even though we were down because we haven’t dealt with those situations. We just all had a team talk, and the captains pretty much pumped us up.”

Last year, Mount Greylock won the teams’ three meetings by a combined 11 goals. The best of the bunch was a 9-8 decision in which Wahconah led by three at half-time.

“We always know it’s going to be a tough game when we play them,” Mount Greylock coach Lindsey von Holtz said. “We match up well. We have very similar styles of play. You can look and see the scores against other teams and know we’re similar. But even more than that, we play the same, and it’s always a tough game, and you know it’s going to be a tough game.

“Unfortunately, today I think we played down a little bit. We did not play well the first half. They outplayed us. I think part of it is … the girls haven’t had to work too hard except for the [Mount Anthony] game. … Wahconah definitely played well. They outplayed us in the first half for sure.”

Wahconah (5-2) used a deliberate, patient attack to dominate time of possession in the first half on Wednesday and took a 3-2 lead into the break thanks to a pair of goals by Emmy Cote and a tally by Perin Genaway.

Hannah Rueger and Rebecca Steele scored for Wahconah to start the second half and give their team a 5-2 advantage.

From there, Wahconah coach Kathy Budaj said her squad lost a little of its focus offensively.

“We threw the ball away a little bit more,” Budaj said. “Our off-ball people were not getting open enough to help out the girl with the ball. Thus, she was getting double teamed when she shouldn’t have been.”

Caroline Flynn scored on a free position to start Mount Greylock’s comeback with 17 minutes, 10 seconds on the clock, and Sarah Stripp scored after scooping a ground ball on the left wing with 10:43 on the clock, making it 5-4. Emma Polumbo tied it moments later.

But Cote (four goals) gave Wahconah a 6-5 lead. And after Stripp recorded her 200th career goal to tie it, Cote scored again, with 1:21 on the clock, to make it 7-6, Wahconah.

But Stripp won the ensuing draw, and Maggie Rorke scored in traffic to tie it with 55 seconds left.

After another Stripp draw control, Polumbo set up Walden for the game-winner.

Stripp won a third straight draw, and the Mounties were able to run off the remaining 25 seconds.

Draw controls were a problem for Mount Greylock early. Wahconah’s early wins helped lead to its control of the clock. But the Mounties turned that around in the second half and especially down the stretch.

“We didn’t even change too much of who was where,” von Holtz said. “It was just a discussion of the intensity you need and how important possession is. We had to wait until we were almost losing to realize we needed to win the draws.”

Mount Greylock and Wahconah are back in action in the Berkshire County League on Friday. The Mounties travel to Lee. Wahconah is home against Hoosac Valley.


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