DUDLEY – The Westfield High School girls lacrosse team drove more than a hundred miles and ran thousands of yards to avoid a potential road block Monday.
No. 9 Westfield knocked off eighth-seeded Shepherd Hill 12-8 in the Central-West Division 1 tournament first round Monday night on the road. The Bombers survived the playoff opener with strong defense, solid goaltending, and opportunistic offense.
“It was about coming together as a team and not being selfish,” said Westfield girls lacrosse head coach Paul Fenwick, whose team netted eight assists on 12 goals. “The defense put the pressure on the ball and was relentless. That relentless pressure caused a lot of turnovers, and kept giving us the opportunity to go down and score.
Emma Metcalf, Kylie Buchanan, and Lara Finnie scored three goals apiece to lead Westfield (13-6). Metcalf also had two assists. Bombers’ Jordan Kowalski contributed one goal and three assists. Samantha Kaubras finished with one goal and one assist, Samantha Gustafson scored a goal, and Mackenzie Liptak and Olivia Hadla each had an assist.
Jordan Kowalski won the majority of her face-offs for Westfield, allowing the Bombers offense to set up several goals.
“Possession is everything,” coach Fenwick said. “We just had many more opportunities than them.”
Skylar Pietz netted three goals for Shepherd Hill, the first of which came in the first half for her 300th career point.
Westfield made sure their opponent did not have much more to cheer about, allowing just one other player to record more than one goal – Shepherd Hill’s Claudia Bonaventura (2 goals). Bombers’ goalie Liz Clark directed the defense in front of her and made six saves.
Westfield kept its offense in high gear, even in the waning minutes, scoring a shorthanded goal (Kowalski) on a play set up by Metcalf.
“We wanted to make sure the ride was worth it,” Fenwick said. “That was the goal – let’s not leave empty handed.”
Westfield’s reward for the opening round victory is a trip to Longmeadow to take on the top-seeded Lancers (13-4-1) in a quarterfinal match Wednesday.
WEST DIVISION 1
Bombers open title defense
No. 1 Westfield def. No. 9 Sci-Tech 25-5, 25-11, 25-15
The two-time defending state champion Westfield Bombers (18-3) opened up the 2019 postseason with a convincing sweep of the Sci-Tech Cybercats (13-9).
James Pavlyuk (9 kills), Ryan Rix (8 kills, 5 aces), Eric Yurtuc (22 assists), R.J. Piper (7 assists, 5 digs), Ethan Flaherty (5 kills, 2 digs), Alex Robitaille (2 aces, 4 digs) led Westfield.
Westfield advances to Thursday’s semifinal against No. 5 Chicopee Comprehensive (14-6) at home at 4 p.m.
Bombers hold off Braves
Westfield 7, Taconic 6
Westfield exploded for five runs in the first inning, and survived a five-run rally by Taconic in the seventh inning to escape victorious.
Paul Shibley (2-for-2, walk), Jimmy Hagan (double, run), Cam Davignon (double, run, RBI), C.J. Flores-Skribiski (2 walks, 2 runs), and Mike Hall (1-for-3, run, 2 RBIs) led the Westfield offense.
Hagan also tossed three scoreless innings, striking out three.
Rams climb Mountain for big finish
Southwick 14, Monument Mountain 2
Dan Burnett (3-for-3, double, 2 triples, walk, 4 runs, 2 RBIs), Bart Shea (4-for-4, 3 doubles, triple, 7 RBIs), Johnny Cesan (1-for-3, 2 walks, 3 runs), Josh Lis (2-for-3, run, RBI), and Jacob Garriety (1-for-3, walk, run) contributed to a monstrous offensive outing for Southwick.
Lis also scattered four hits, four walks, and two runs over five innings on the mound. He struck out four batters.
Southwick’s Josh Sylvia proved two scoreless innings of relief, striking out two batters while allowing no hits and one walk.
Southwick finishes the regular season with a record of 13-7.