Wahconah Girls Lacrosse Wins at Mount Greylock

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires.com Sports
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- The Wahconah girls lacrosse team Monday posted one of the most impressive wins in the history of its program.
And it owes a little of the credit to a team that was not even on the field.
Emmy Cote scored five goals, and Katie Bachli made eight saves for Wahconah in an 11-5 win over Mount Greylock on John T. Allen Field.
The win moved Wahconah’s record to 6-2 and came on the heels of it second loss of the season, a one-goal setback on Saturday against East Longmeadow.
That independent game against the Central/Western Mass Division 1 quarter-finalist Spartans helped prepare Wahconah for Monday’s matchup against its Berkshire County rival.
“Having the tough game helped because it took our minds off of this game, and we could focus on really executing during that game,” Cote said. “We were in that game. It was so intense that it allowed us to relax about this game a little bit.”
“Relaxed” is not a word one might use to describe the Wahconah-Mount Greylock battles over the years.
Last year, the teams split three meeting by a combined four goals with Wahconah winning once, by a 6-5 score in Williamstown.
“We had some hard games last week, we had a busy week, but it’s kind of been like, ‘Greylock’s Monday. This is the day we show the county what we can do,’ “ Cote said. “I think we did a great job of that.
“It wasn’t really nerves. Everyone in school today was like, ‘Let’s go.’ Our bus ride was great. When we were sitting here watching the JV game -- the JV played a great game -- we were all together and it was a great atmosphere for this game.”
Cote that she got a little nervous when Mount Greylock (5-3) jumped out to a 2-0 lead on a pair of goals by Carolyn Flynn.
But Wahconah reeled off the next eight to go to half-time with an 8-2 lead.
Cote got things going with an unassisted goal about three minutes into the game. McKenna McIlquham tied it, and Cote scored the go-ahead goal midway through the half.
Jordan Budaj then scored two of her four goals to push the lead to 5-2, and Wahconah was off to the races.
Mount Greylock opened the second half like it opened the first, getting goals from Flynn and Sarah Stripp to cut the lead to 8-4, but Wahconah answered with three straight to build its biggest lead of the game, 11-4, and never looked back.
Stripp left the game with about 11 minutes left with an apparent ankle bruise. Mount Greylock coach Lindsey von Holtz said she was hopeful the senior star will be available for Tuesday’s game against Pittsfield and beyond.
Mount Greylock already has seen its share of injuries this spring. The most recent was 17-goal scorer Emma Polumbo, who was injured in Saturday’s loss to Mount Anthony.
“We already are very low in numbers,” von Holtz said. “I think our entire season has been about who is going to step up and take the place of who went down the day before. We started the season very strong and within two days lost three starting defenders.
“Losing Emma [Polumbo] is huge. She definitely controls the midfield and helps out defensively and offensively. She takes our draws for us, so we had to adjust that. The biggest thing is there are not many players who can full field for a full game, and Emma is one of those players. So it takes more than one player to replace the amount of running she does.”
Von Holtz said she was encouraged that the Mounties were able to stay even with Wahconah in a 3-3 second half, and she was happy to see the strong start in each half. Now her team has to put together a full 50 minutes of that kind of play -- especially with a rematch in Dalton on the horizon for next Tuesday.
Wahconah coach Kathy Budaj was less happy with the way her team started each half but overall thrilled with the improvements it made Monday and the lessons it learned from the East Longmeadow game.
“The game we had against East Longmeadow the other day definitely prepared us,” Budaj said. “There were things we were struggling at executing on Saturday that we were executing tonight, which made a huge difference tonight.”
Wahconah travels to face Pope Francis on Tuesday.
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