HOLLIS — The Hollis/Brookline High School girls’ lacrosse team proved on Thursday that it has all the tools to be successful.
The Cavaliers showed that their 1-2 punch of senior Kelsey Sweeney and junior Paisley Broadhurst are the real deal, as Sweeney tallied five goals and five assists and Broadhurst found the cage five times in a 14-6 win over Windham.
H/B’s depth was also on display, with sophomore attack/midfielder Abbey Magnuszewski recording two goals and an assist. Junior Tasha White (10 draw controls) and senior Rachel Cerato each tallied a goal. In net, senior goalie Olivia Valentine was outstanding with 14 saves.
“The girls came out ready to play,” said Cavaliers coach Jim Maxwell. “The kids controlled the game. We have grown as a team this year, so we have a lot more options. Anyone out there has the ability to score and everyone has the ability to make good catches when they have to. It is awesome to have an offense where I can throw any seven girls out there and they are going to get the job done.”
With the win, the Cavaliers (3-0) continued their perfect season, while the Jaguars (1-2) were led by a five-goal performance by Madi Connelly, while her sister, Isabella, also registered a goal.
H/B did not waste time making a statement, highlighted by Magnuszewski scoring on a strong cut in the circle 6:19 into the game off a feed by Sweeney, giving the group a 2-0 edge.
A free-position goal by Broadhurst put the unit up 3-0 with 7:16 expired, and then with 12:11 left in the half, the lead ballooned to 5-0 on a free-position marker by White.
“A lot of this game is about the draw,” said Maxwell. “When Tasha is winning the draws a lot, it helps us to be able to do what we want to do on the offensive side. We can go down and settle it, and make sure we get a good, clean and quality shot.”
The Jaguars kept plugging away, and Madi Connelly went to work in the final minutes of the first half, tallying a hat trick in a span of less than a minute and a half.
A free-position goal by Madi Connelly with 16.6 seconds on the board cut the Cavaliers’ lead to 6-3 heading into intermission.
“Madi is one of the hardest workers that we have and that was clear (Thursday),” Jaguars coach Maura Ellins said. “That was one of the best games that I have seen her play. She put the team on her shoulders. At halftime, I said that we needed a spark and I did not know who it was going to come from. She was that spark throughout the game.”
HB won the second half, 8-3, and started running away with the game with 11:48 left, as a great dodge in the circle by Broadhurst allowed her to get free and bury a shot into the lower left corner, pushing the lead to 10-4.
Isabella Connelly ended the scoring with 1:42 left for Windham with an impressive turnaround shot on the right attacking side.
Valentine was active in net during the second half, cutting down angles and coming up with timely saves, including a highlight-reel stop on a free-position attempt with 12:45 left by Jaguars midfielder Ryane Farrell.
“Outside of winning the draws, having a good goalie out there is the next best thing and we are lucky to have (Valentine),” said Maxwell. “She is an amazing player and I have nothing but respect for her. She works hard at her trade.”