Pittsfield Comeback Not Quite in the Cards

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires.com Sports
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- Late in the second half on Monday, the PIttsfield girls lacrosse team found itself on the wrong side of a 13-6 scoreboard.
But instead of hanging their heads, the Generals hung four goals on Pope Francis before running out of time and taking a 13-10 loss on Berkshire Community College’s Gene Dellea Field.
Sierra Murray scored four times, and Ella Korte had a hat trick for Pittsfield, which got nine saves in 46 minutes from Danielle Plankey.
The defeat dropped Pittsfield to 3-6 on the season and gave it a second loss in four days to the Cardinals, but there was a lot of reason for optimism as the Generals headed off the field on Monday evening.
“We’ve had a lot of injuries,” Pittsfield coach Jeff Murray said. “We’ve lost girls for the year. We’ve lost girls for a period of a couple of weeks. So everybody has really had to step up and contribute. Girls are playing a much bigger role than they’re accustomed to but really rising to the occasion and doing well.
“We’re very, very proud of the way they’ve been playing.”
On Friday in Springfield, PHS went down big early to Pope Francis but played even in the second half. On Monday, it was a 7-2 Cardinals lead at half-time, but Pittsfield outscored the visitors, 7-6, in the final 25 minutes.
Pope Francis’ Katie Ravizza scored three of her game-high five goals in the first half to help the Cardinals take the big lead into intermission.
Makenna Simis scored her second of the game late in the second half to give the Cards their biggest lead, a seven-goal margin.
But Pittsfield answered right away with a free position goal from Murray.
Moments later, Maleah Speers-Brown set up Sara Curry to make it 13-8.
Speers-Brown then got one of her own with 2 minutes, 42 seconds remaining, and less than a minute later, Murray came in from the right wing and beat the Pope Francis goalie for the final score of the game.
The Generals had some real hope when a Pope Francis player was whistled for a blow to the head and the Cardinals went a player down with 1:53 on the clock, but Ariel Disanti stopped Pittsfield’s only shot on goal with the advantage.
With no seniors on the roster, Jeff Murray is excited about the improvement his team has shown. In its last four, Pittsfield is just 1-3, but the losses have been by margins of one goal, four goals and three goals.
“We’ve seen a lot of growth just in their awareness of the game, players being in the right spots,” he said. “I think the experience of having go many games under our belt has helped some of the newer kids. It’s sped up their growth.
“Their level of intensity and their aggressiveness has increased as they’ve gotten more comfortable. Some of the newer girls are getting to a lot of ground balls that they wouldn’t have gotten to a couple of weeks ago.”
Pittsfield is right back at it on Tuesday, visiting league-leading Hoosac Valley.
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