NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- The MCLA men's lacrosse program waited well over a year for the start of its inaugural season.
And it made the most of that debut.
MCLA defeated the visiting Northern Vermont University-Lyndon Hornets 6-3 in the season opener for both schools Saturday afternoon at Shewcraft Field.
The win marked the first in MCLA's brief history. MCLA is now 1-0 overall and in North Atlatnic Conference play.
The Hornets kicked off the scoring in this one as they tallied just three minutes in to take an early 1-0 advantage. The Trailblazers answered, however, when Hoosac Valley Nicholas Waterman converted his first goal of the game just 18 seconds after the Hornet goal. He scored off a nice pass from Matt Ortiz to knot things up at 1-1.
MCLA's Johnny Hebert notched his first marker of 2021 at the seven minute mark to give the hosts a short lived lead. Lyndon tied things up again just 18 seconds later on Taner Onor's marker to make it 2-2. The score remained that way through the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, MCLA asserted itself and took a lead it did not relinquish. Hebert connected on his second goal of the game off a nice feed from Elias Clement to give MCLA a 3-2 lead. Waterman increaseed the margin to 4-2 after converting a Dan Cook feed.
MCLA's Brady Larkin (Hoosac Valley) earned the win in goal, collecting 8 saves in the process. Waterman and Hebert paced the offense with two goals apiece and led the MCLA attack amassing 22 shots. Hebert added a pair of assists.
The Trailblazers are back in action next week when they host Husson on Saturday.
Westfield State Sweeps MCLA
The MCLA softball team returned to the field for the first time since the 2019 season as they competed Sunday afternoon in non conference action against the Westfield State University Owls. The Trailblazers fell 9-0 in six innings in the opener before falling 6-3 in the nightcap. The games marked the season debut for both programs as well as MCLA head coach Adriane Baird.
MCLA couldn't muster much offense in the opener as it collected just four hits in the opener. The Owls tallied a run in the second to take the early lead and would score in every frame following.
In the third innings, the Owls put up two runs to extend to a 3-0 lead. They added solo runs in the fourth and fifth innings before putting the game out of reach with four in the sixth to earn the mercy rule win.
MCLA's Justina Pardi had two of the Trailblazer four hits in the opener. Sam Feinstein (0-1) was tabbed with the loss going 5-1/3 innings and allowing the nine runs.
In game two, the Owls scored a run in the first off Trailblazer starting pitcher Morgan Watson to take the early edge. MCLA answered in the second inning as Erin Bickerdyke singled down the right field line scoring Pardi, who had doubled to lead off the frame, knotting things up at 1-1.
The Owls took charge with two runs in bottom of the frame to take the lead for keeps. They extended the margin to 6-1 with a single run in the third and two more in the fourth.
MCLA finally mounted some offense in the seventh inning as Alyssa Avalos lofted a sacrifice fly that brought home McCann Tech alumna Alanza Quinones. Madison Teta followed with another sac fly, this one scoring Hannah Bailey to make it 6-3. The Trailblazers couldn't keep things going however and the Owls came away with the win.
Morgan Watson (0-1) suffered the loss for MCLA going the first five innings. She allowed six hits and four earned runs.
Pardi continued her hot start with two more hits in the nightcap.
The Trailblazers are slated to open at home this Friday against Fitchburg State in conference action.
Westfield State Sweeps MCLA
The MCLA and Westfield State baseball teams played a pair of non-conference games on Sunday afternoon with the Owls finishing on top in each by scores of 2-0 and 11-5.
Westfield State's Shane Bogli struck out nine in six innings of work to earn a 2-0 win win.
Lee High alumnus Ryan Ruef was tagged with the loss after allowing two runs on three hits in four innings of work.
Taconic graduate Austin Rachiele had two of MCLA's three hits in the loss.
Rachiele walked twice, scored twice and stole a base in a five-run MCLA attack, which also got singles from Hoosac Valley graduates Sam Larabee and Cole Desrhoches.
Brett Dooley went 2-for-4 with a double and a pair of RBIs for Westfield State.
MCLA is back on the road Friday to play Fitchburg State.
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