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Frontier, Greenfield grab top field hockey seeds

  • Frontier’s Olivia Vecellio (7) takes a shot that runs wide against Smith Academy goalie Taeghan Cavanaugh in the first half on Monday, Oct. 16, 2017 in South Deerfield. RECORDER file photo/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Olivia Vecellio (7) charges upfield past Smith Academy defenders Margaret Herlihy (19) and Maddie Skawski (14) in the first half on Monday, Oct. 16, 2017 in South Deerfield. RECORDER file photo/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Olivia Vecellio (7) takes a shot on goal past Smith Academy defender Margaret Herlihy (19) in the first half on Monday, Oct. 16, 2017 in South Deerfield. RECORDER file photo/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Kathryn Mason (32) lunges for a shot defended by Smith Academy’s Isabelle Duseau (5) in the first half on Monday, Oct. 16, 2017 in South Deerfield. RECORDER file photo/DAN LITTLE



Recorder Staff
Monday, October 30, 2017

Moving Frontier Regional School and Greenfield High School up into the Valley League did nothing to deter either school from becoming the favorite in the WMass Division II Field Hockey Tournament.

The Red Hawks and Green Wave still managed to put together solid seasons despite the jump in competition as Frontier won the Valley League title by a point over Greenfield, and the two teams were each rewarded for it with the top two seeds in the six-team field Monday when the seeds were released.

Frontier (13-2-3) edged the Green Wave (13-4-1) in their first meeting of the season. Then the two teams tied Sunday morning in the season finale, which clinched the Valley League title. That all but sealed the top seed in the Division II field for the defending WMass runner-ups from South Deerfield. Frontier coach Missy Mahar admitted that seeds mean little this time of year, especially in what she considers to be a deep Division II field.

“It’s anybody’s tournament,” she predicted. “It’s going to come down to whichever team shows up to play is going to advance.”

The defending WMass-champion Green Wave will start its title defense as the second seed, a position that did not surprise Green Wave coach Erin Thayer.

“I expected the second seed,” she said. “I think our teams are pretty evenly matched, but Frontier beat us in the regular season, and we lost to Mohawk, who they beat. It doesn’t really matter. We are ready to play.”

Greenfield will likely take on another local team in Monday’s semifinals in third-seeded Mohawk Trail Regional High School, which went 13-4-1 and finished second in the Bi-County League. The Warriors return to postseason for the first time since 2013, and coach Lynn Hoeppner said she was pleased to be rewarded.

“We’ve called it our statement season and I think this just validates it,” she said. “We are looking forward to having a home game Thursday and getting the job done and moving forward.”

Mohawk opens play with one of two quarterfinal matchups Thursday when it hosts sixth-seeded Mahar Regional School (8-8-1) at 2:30. Mohawk just played Mahar this past Friday and the Warriors earned a 4-0 win.

The other Thursday quarterfinal features fourth-seeded South Hadley High School taking on fifth-seeded Southwick-Tolland Regional High School at 6 in South Hadley.

The semifinals will take place Monday night at either South Hadley High School or UMass, and the championship game will take place Thursday evening at one of the two sites.