Boys lacrosse: Landon Andre, Nico St. George help Belchertown hold off Amherst 11-9 (PHOTOS)

Belchertown’s Charlie Fijal (24) celebrates after scoring against Amherst in the second quarter Thursday in Belchertown.

Belchertown’s Charlie Fijal (24) celebrates after scoring against Amherst in the second quarter Thursday in Belchertown. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Belchertown’s Landon Andre (7) winds back to shoot agianst Amherst in the second quarter Thursday in Belchertown.

Belchertown’s Landon Andre (7) winds back to shoot agianst Amherst in the second quarter Thursday in Belchertown. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Amherst’s Joshua Goodhind (29) takes a shot against Belchertown in the third quarter Thursday in Belchertown.

Amherst’s Joshua Goodhind (29) takes a shot against Belchertown in the third quarter Thursday in Belchertown. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Belchertown’s Landon Andre (7) preps a shot agianst Amherst in the second quarter Thursday in Belchertown.

Belchertown’s Landon Andre (7) preps a shot agianst Amherst in the second quarter Thursday in Belchertown. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Amherst’s Skyler Ferro (3) takes a shot against Belchertown the third quarter against Belchertown on Thursday in Belchertown.

Amherst’s Skyler Ferro (3) takes a shot against Belchertown the third quarter against Belchertown on Thursday in Belchertown. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Belchertown goalie Dax Morin (15) sends a pass in the third quarter against Amherst on Thursday in Belchertown.

Belchertown goalie Dax Morin (15) sends a pass in the third quarter against Amherst on Thursday in Belchertown. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Belchertown players celebrate a goal by Landon Andre in the fourth quarter against Amherst on Thursday in Belchertown.

Belchertown players celebrate a goal by Landon Andre in the fourth quarter against Amherst on Thursday in Belchertown. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Belchertown’s Nico St. George (9) fires a shot on Amherst goalie Jason Kim (77) in the fourth quarter against Belchertown on Thursday in Belchertown.

Belchertown’s Nico St. George (9) fires a shot on Amherst goalie Jason Kim (77) in the fourth quarter against Belchertown on Thursday in Belchertown. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Belchertown’s Nico St. George (9) gets a shot past Amherst goalie Jason Kim (77) before being fouled by Nathan Desbien (33) in the fourth quarter Thursday in Belchertown.

Belchertown’s Nico St. George (9) gets a shot past Amherst goalie Jason Kim (77) before being fouled by Nathan Desbien (33) in the fourth quarter Thursday in Belchertown. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Amherst’s Taikoda Wilson (47) shoots past Belchertown goalie Dax Morin (15) to score in the third quarter Thursday in Belchertown.

Amherst’s Taikoda Wilson (47) shoots past Belchertown goalie Dax Morin (15) to score in the third quarter Thursday in Belchertown. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Amherst’s Skyler Ferro (3) takes a backward leaping shot to score in the last seconds of the fourth quarter against Belchertown on Thursday in Belchertown.

Amherst’s Skyler Ferro (3) takes a backward leaping shot to score in the last seconds of the fourth quarter against Belchertown on Thursday in Belchertown. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Belchertown’s Charlie Fijal (24), left, celebrates with Vinny Ting (4) after scoring against Amherst in the second quarter Thursday in Belchertown.

Belchertown’s Charlie Fijal (24), left, celebrates with Vinny Ting (4) after scoring against Amherst in the second quarter Thursday in Belchertown. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Belchertown players huddle up in the fourth quarter against Amherst on Thursday.

Belchertown players huddle up in the fourth quarter against Amherst on Thursday. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Belchertown’s Chris Daskam (21) and Landon Andre (7) celebrate after their 11-9 win over Amherst on Thursday in Belchertown.

Belchertown’s Chris Daskam (21) and Landon Andre (7) celebrate after their 11-9 win over Amherst on Thursday in Belchertown. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Belchertown’s Charlie Fijal (24) takes a shot against Amherst in the second quarter Thursday in Belchertown.

Belchertown’s Charlie Fijal (24) takes a shot against Amherst in the second quarter Thursday in Belchertown. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Belchertown’s Charlie Fijal (24) fires a shot for a goal against Amherst in the second quarter Thursday in Belchertown.

Belchertown’s Charlie Fijal (24) fires a shot for a goal against Amherst in the second quarter Thursday in Belchertown. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Belchertown’s Nico St. George (9), Vinny Ting (4), and Rylan Queiros (8) fight for a loose ball against Amherst’s Gavin Duncan (45) and Liam Worgess (88) in the second quarter Thursday in Belchertown.

Belchertown’s Nico St. George (9), Vinny Ting (4), and Rylan Queiros (8) fight for a loose ball against Amherst’s Gavin Duncan (45) and Liam Worgess (88) in the second quarter Thursday in Belchertown. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Belchertown’s Vinny Ting (4) celebrate with Caleb Reardon (2) after a goal by Nico St. George (9) in the second quarter against Amherst on Thursday in Belchertown.

Belchertown’s Vinny Ting (4) celebrate with Caleb Reardon (2) after a goal by Nico St. George (9) in the second quarter against Amherst on Thursday in Belchertown. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Belchertown’s Vinny Ting (4) carries the ball under pressure from Amherst’s Liam Worgess (88) in the second quarter Thursday in Belchertown.

Belchertown’s Vinny Ting (4) carries the ball under pressure from Amherst’s Liam Worgess (88) in the second quarter Thursday in Belchertown. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Belchertown’s Rylan Queiros (8) fires a shot past Amherst goalie Jason Kim (77) to score in the second quarter Thursday in Belchertown.

Belchertown’s Rylan Queiros (8) fires a shot past Amherst goalie Jason Kim (77) to score in the second quarter Thursday in Belchertown. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Belchertown’s Vinny Ting (4) carries the ball upfield against Amherst in the second quarter Thursday in Belchertown.

Belchertown’s Vinny Ting (4) carries the ball upfield against Amherst in the second quarter Thursday in Belchertown. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

By GARRETT COTE

Staff Writer

Published: 04-18-2024 5:25 PM

Modified: 04-18-2024 5:32 PM


BELCHERTOWN — After a quick 3-1 flurry from the Amherst boys lacrosse team erased Belchertown’s three-goal lead, the Orioles clung to a 9-8 advantage early in the fourth quarter on Thursday afternoon.

Somebody had to step up for Belchertown to put a halt to the Hurricanes’ momentum, and Landon Andre and Nico St. George had the answer.

Andre buried a goal on the man advantage, followed by a St. George goal shortly after (also up a man) – as Amherst committed two penalties at a crucial juncture of the game.

Behind those two goals, Belchertown built its lead back up to three, and hung on for an 11-9 independent victory over the ‘Canes.

“We worked really hard and did a lot of really good things today,” Orioles head coach Nick St. George said. “We made some mistakes that hurt ourselves, but mistakes happen every game, and we bounced back.”

While mistakes may not have haunted Belchertown, they certainly impacted Amherst. The Hurricanes jumped out to a 2-0 lead with goals from Sawyer Ferro and Skyler Ferro and didn’t trail at any point in the first period. But costly penalties, missed opportunities in the attacking zone and a handful of defensive lapses allowed the Orioles to hang around and string together game-changing stretches in the second and third quarters.

Skyler Ferro’s five goals and Taikoda Wilson’s trio weren’t enough to overcome the Canes’ miscues on Thursday.

“We need to be smart when we’re out there, because we were still in it even at the end there, but then we go down two guys and they score off of it,” Amherst head coach Rich Ferro said. “That’s what killed us.”

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Three different Belchertown players found the back of the net in the first, as Rylan Queiros (three goals), Caleb Reardon and Andre (two goals) combined for four goals in the frame to tie things up headed into quarter two.

Charles Fijal (two goals) added one in the second to give the hosts their first lead of the afternoon, and St. George (three goals) connected twice with a Skyler Ferro goal sandwiched in between for Amherst – its only tally of the second quarter. Belchertown headed into the break with a 7-5 lead, relying on its versatile offense.

“That’s the biggest difference this year from previous years,” Nick St. George said. “We’ve got a lot of guys that can put the ball in the back of the net, and we’ve got a lot of guys who can feed it well. When you’ve got a group of guys willing to give it up and look for the best opportunity, it’s a lot easier to score. We don’t have to get it to one person.”

For the Hurricanes (0-5), it was more of the same of what’s plagued them throughout the first five games of the season. Amherst has started hot through 12 minutes in each one, but has struggled to sustain it the rest of the way.

Ferro admitted Thursday’s loss stung, especially because his team once again was right in the mix.

“I’m very disappointed,” Rich Ferro said. “We have the athletes, but we don’t trust our systems. We’re not focused. We go up by a couple goals, but this is what we’ve done in every game so far. We play a good first quarter and then we tank.”

Fijal added his second to open the scoring out of intermission to make it 8-5, the largest lead for either team at that point.

But Amherst wasn’t ready to roll over – it still had another push. The ‘Canes scored three of the game’s next four goals, with Wilson nabbing two of them.

Then came Andre and St. George’s response.

“One of the things, as a coach, that you really like to see is when the other team goes on a run, somebody just steps up and makes a play,” Nick St. George said. “And I thought we did that today. That’s huge. To have the wherewithal to take advantage of an opportunity in a situation where you’re emotionally drained, it’s a sign of mental toughness. We’ve lacked that this year, but today it was good to see.”

Belchertown (3-2) next hosts Smith Voc on Monday at 4 p.m. with eyes on a third straight win.

Amherst goalie Jason Kim made 11 saves, including several exceptional efforts in clutch moments to keep the Hurricanes’ hopes alive.

According to Ferro, Kim has been consistently solid in the cage so far this spring.

“He’s been saving us all year,” Ferro said. “He’s made at least 15 saves in probably every game this year, fortunately. He’s doing his job back there. We’ve gotta get the ball off the ground in front of him and make sure we give him a chance to keep the ball out of the net.”

Amherst (0-5) is back at it on Friday with a home bout against Pittsfield at 4:30 p.m.