Two Cougars enter, one Cougar leaves. That was the mindset on the field as the ConVal girls hosted Derryfield School in a continuation of their longstanding lacrosse rivalry.
“That's what I liked about it — it was intense,” said ConVal head coach Derek Sorbello.
The powerhouse Derryfield Cougars have been going at it with ConVal for over a decade now, ConVal’s championship over them in 2005 always looming in the background. And the current rivalry tipped ConVal’s way last season when they beat the visiting Cougars on senior night. This year’s Derryfield team is loaded, and while it may have changed the strategy, it didn’t change the mental approach.
“That was the mentality, is you can hang with these teams,” Sorbello said. “And even though the score was what it was, to me, it didn't seem as bad.”
Derryfield has five seniors, with at least one — Madi Kochanek — committed to play at the next level (she’ll go to Iona next year). And while ConVal has at least two of their own — Lily Sheridan and Emma Mellon — committed to colleges, the presence of a star like Kochanek has to be factored in.
ConVal played a six-man zone and committed forward Faith Ohnesorge to cover Kochanek. That neutralized the Derryfield star, for a while, but the rest of their team filled in the gaps. And with ConVal missing two must-have shots early on and hitting the post thrice, the visitors took a lead they wouldn’t surrender.
“Right there, that’s five goals that we should have had,” Sorbello said. “I look at that in a positive way. I’m still mad we lost, and I don’t want them to be okay with a good effort. Now it’s my job to get them up and get them ready to compete day in and day out with those guys, and I think they can.”
Down in the second half, ConVal switched to man for a change of pace, but Kochanek sliced up the defense and ended up with nine goals as ConVal lost 16-6. Ohnesorge led ConVal with three goals. Emma Crowley made ten saves.
ConVal (1-1) hosts Hopkinton (2-1) Thursday at 4 p.m.