Amherst Edges Mount Greylock in Western Mass Semis

By Stephen Sports
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. – The Amherst-Pelham girls lacrosse team Saturday used a 5-0 run to erase a two-goal deficit and went on to a 12-11 win over Mount Greylock in the semi-finals of the Western Massachusetts Class B Tournament.
The Hurricanes stormed out of the gates in the fourth quarter with five straight goals to go ahead, 11-8, and held off the Mounties down the stretch to advance to Wednesday’s regional final against Belchertown.
After the Mounties dominated the third quarter, outscoring the visitors, 3-0, Amherst turned the tables by dominating the draws for a seven-minute stretch and pinning the Mounties in their defensive third.
“It was about ball control, this game, really,” Amherst coach Frank Hein said. “It was about being aggressive on the ground balls. … Other than that, it was just pure enthusiasm and adrenaline from the team.
“Abi [Como] – if we need the ball Abi can get the ball,” Hein said of his center.
Como also scored twice and set up the go-ahead goal from Talia Sadiq in the winning run.
Gianna Pesce scored a game-high five goals to lead Mount Greylock. Lexi Politis had a hat trick including the 100th goal of her career.
A back-and-forth first half started with goals from Politis and Pesce to give Mount Greylock a 2-0 lead in the sixth minute.
Amherst tied it, 3-3, early in the second quarter off a defensive turnover and eventually led, 5-3, before Pesce and Phoebe Hughes scored late for the Mounties to get them within one, 6-5, at half-time.
The third quarter was all Mount Greylock, as it got goals from Molly Cangelosi, Politis and Addison Abel and a pair of saves from Teigan Brady (eight saves) to take an 8-6 lead.
“I thought in the third quarter, we did a really good job of possession, but then, in the fourth quarter, the tables were turned a little bit,” Mount Greylock coach Jeff Stripp.
Como took over the game for the Hurricanes just long enough for them to retake the lead, and Cedar Conrad (seven saves) and the Amherst defense held Mount Greylock without a goal for 12 minutes, 38 seconds.
“She’s the best goalie we’ve seen besides our own,” Stripp said of Conrad. “She’s good. And she made us work. We had some opportunities. We had some point-blank things that we just didn’t convert on.”
Pesce scored with 3:38 left to snap Amherst’s five-goal run, and she scored again with an assist from Megan Lagerwall to make it 11-10 with 1:53 left to play.
But Amherst regained possession off a ground ball at center field with about 1:30 left and ran the clock down before getting an insurance goal from Kiko Bhowmik with 34 seconds left.
After a win by Adele Low on the ensuing draw, Politis scored her 100th goal with an assist from Cangelosi to get the Mounties within a goal at 12-11.
But even after getting possession off the game’s final draw, Mount Greylock was unable to get into the arc and get a look at the goal as time expired.
“Lexi’s a workhorse,” Stripp said of Politis. “She has a really high lacrosse I.Q. She never gives up. She keeps a kind of steady level of confidence and energy. You see some players get really excited and emotional, and she kind of brings this steadiness.
“She’s our girl in the clutch. Remember last year in the states, she scored with no time left [to beat Cape Cod Academy in the Round of 16]. You saw a little bit of that today. … She’s the rock. She’s one of the rocks. Her and Gianna did a great job. Gianna has been doing a great job back there [at the X]. Those two work really nicely together. They’ve got a good chemistry.”
Mount Greylock (10-8) learns Wednesday who it will face in the first round of the Division 4 State Tournament.
Photos from this game to come.
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