Stripp Paces Mount Greylock Girls to First-Round Win
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- Two weeks removed from its final regular season game, the Mount Greylock girls lacrosse team looked more rested than rusted in its playoff opener on Wednesday afternoon.
Sarah Stripp scored seven goals, and Sam MacWhinnie stopped 13 shots to lead the Mounties to a 17-7 win over Nipmuc in the first round of the Central/Western Massachusetts Division 2 Tournament on John T. Allen Field.
Mount Greylock used some of the long layoff to work on its passing game in transistion, and that effort paid off on Wednesday.
"We were definitely passing and passing accurately, which helps," Mount Greylock coach Lindsey von Holtz said. "We talked a lot and worked a lot on our transition game over the last week because that's where we were struggling."
"Struggling" is a relative term. The fourth-seeded Mounties (19-2) will take a six-game winning streak into the sectional quarter-finals, where they will face No. 5 Groton-Dunstable (10-6), a 14-1 winner over Hudson on Tuesday.
Whatever flaws Mount Greylock had in its game were not apparent against 13th-seeded Nipmuc (10-9). The Mounties jumped out to an early 5-1 lead, led by eight at half-time and got the game into running time when Emma Polumbo scored her third of the game with 19 minutes left in the second half.
Stripp led all scorers with three assists to go with her seven goals. Lucy Barrett had three goals and two assists, and Arianna Walden had two goals and two assists. Lauren Howard, Maggie Rorke and Kelsey Orpin each scored once.
And MacWhinnie was brilliant, holding Nipmuc to just two goals on seven shots in the second half.
The only sour note for the Mounties concerned Barrett, who left the game briefly with a leg injury in the first half but returned to action. She then left again late in the second half. Von Holtz was not willing to speculate on the seriousness of the injury.
"I will soon find out," von Holtz said. "Lucy was limping out there, so her knee wasn't feeling well."
Von Holtz said the injury was unrelated to the one that sidelined Barrett during the basketball season.
The senior three-sport standout walked off the field after the game without any apparent sign of a serious limp.
The Mounties will do anything but limp into the quarter-finals, where a year ago, they dropped a nine-goal decision to to Littleton on the road as the No. 6 seed.
Groton-Dunstable, this year's quarter-final opponent, was a sectional semi-finalist last year after beating Nipmuc, 25-12, in the quarters.