Wahconah Girls Use Big Second Half to Roll into Quarters
DALTON, Mass. -- The Lunenburg girls lacrosse team scored the final goal of the first half to draw within four of Wahconah in their Central/Western Massachusetts Division 2 playoff game on Wednesday.
From there, it was all Wahconah.
Perin Genaway and Lily Howes each scored three times, and Wahconah used a 5-0 run to open the second half en route to a 13-5 win and a date in the quarterfinals at top-seeded Bromfield.
Wahconah coach Kathy Budaj told her team that it controlled its own destiny after taking a 7-3 lead into half-time.
“I said to them, a lot of times we've come out in the second half and not executed, and we let teams back into it,” Budaj said. “Then it gets to a frantic pace.
“We maintained composure. It's hot. I told them we need to take care of the ball, because you get into that running game, and it's tough. They did a great job of maintaining composure and executing some nice plays, giving some nice feeds to some nice cuts.”
Emmy Cote and Jordan Budaj each had two goals and three assists, and Katie Bachli stopped seven shots as eighth-seeded Wahconah (17-4) won for the eighth time in nine games.
The second half onslaught began when Cote set up Genaway just 42 seconds into the period. Fewer than two minutes later, Hannah Rueger converted a Budaj assist to make it 9-3. McKenna McIlquham scored the second of her two goals before Genaway scored with 14 minutes, 53 seconds left to make it 11-3.
From there, Wahconah slowed down the game, not getting its next tally until 8:29 remained to make it 12-3. Lunenburg scored the next two, but it was too little, too late against Bachli and a defense that held an opponent to five goals or fewer for the seventh time this spring.
“Today, our offense happened because of our defense,” Kathy Budaj said. “Our defense, no question, played fantastic today.”
Wahconah moves on to face a Bromfield team that is 17-3 after defeating Pope Francis, 17-3, on Tuesday. The date and time of their quarter-final game were not posted on the MIAA website on Wednesday night.