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Schools: Frontier field hockey ekes out title with thrilling 2-2 tie



Recorder Staff
Sunday, October 29, 2017

Not even a rainstorm could stop Frontier Regional School and Greenfield High School from playing another field hockey classic.

Olivia Vecellio scored on a corner with no time remaining Sunday morning in the pouring rain and Frontier snatched the Valley League title away from Greenfield with a 2-2 draw at Deerfield Academy.

The Green Wave (13-4-1 overall, 8-1-1 Valley) led 2-1 and would have won the league crown with a win, but Frontier (14-2-3, 8-0-2) was awarded a corner as time expired, which allows for Frontier to play the corner out. The ball was inserted by Kathryn Mason, who hit Vecellio at the top of the circle. The sniper unleashed a bullet past Greenfield goalie Samantha Smith to tie the game and give Frontier the league title.

Frontier scored less than five minutes into the game when Vecellio scored an unassisted goal off Greenfield starting goalie Lizzy Howland, who had been filling in for Smith all season in the Wave net. Greenfield coach Erin Thayer went to Smith after that and both goalies wound up with four saves.

Greenfield tied the game at the midpoint of the first half when Raegan Hickey sent a cross through the goal mouth and found Olivia Joy, who popped it past Frontier goalie Skyla Burniske (seven saves) to send the teams into halftime knotted at 1-1.

The score remained that way until late in the game. Then Greenfield took a 2-1 lead when Hickey scored unassisted with 5 minutes, 30 seconds left, setting the stage for Vecellio’s dramatic goal.

Despite losing the league title, Greenfield coach Thayer was pleased with the effort.

“We finally came together as an entire group today,” she said. “We’ve played the way I’ve been waiting for us to play all season. I’ve been telling the girls that they haven’t hit their peak, hadn’t played to their potential yet this season. They did today.”

The WMass Field Hockey Seed Meeting takes place today. Frontier and Greenfield figure to be the top two seeds in Division II.

Frontier 6, E. Longmeadow 2 — Vecellio scored a pair of goals Saturday and added an assist as Frontier defeated East Longmeadow High School, 6-2, in a Valley League field hockey game in East Longmeadow.

Mason and McKenzie Patterson each added a goal and two assists in the win. Lilli Powers and Lilly Spencer each chipped in a goal, and Emma Wesolowski notched an assist. Frontier led 3-0 at halftime and outshot the Spartans, 27-2, in the game.

Quaboag 2, Mohawk 1 — A pair of second-half goals lifted Quaboag Regional High School past Mohawk Trail Regional High School, 2-1, in an independent field hockey game Saturday in Warren.

Mohawk (13-4-1) took a 1-0 lead with no time left in the first half when it was awarded a corner. The ball was played to the front of the net where Lizzie Herzig fired home a rebound off the pads of Quaboag goalie Caitlin Rice.

Quaboag came back in the second half. Darien Shepherd tied the game with 18 minutes to play on a shot batted out of the air on a feed from Leah Robillard. Three minutes later, Carly Duff scored an unassisted goal to put the Cougars in front to stay.

Quaboag outshot Mohawk, 11-5. Rice finished with four saves in the win. Emma French had a solid game in the Mohawk net with nine saves.

Girls’ soccer

Frontier 4, Hopkins 3 — Frontier made a push to win the Pioneer North Division Saturday night when Natalie Denkiewicz scored with eight minutes to play to give the Red Hawks a 4-3 win over Hopkins Academy in girls’ soccer action in South Deerfield.

The win moves Frontier (12-2-2) to the top of the Pioneer North, one point ahead of Mahar Regional School. The Senators close out their regular season tonight at home against rival Athol High School. A Mahar win would give the Senators the league title outright. A tie would move Mahar into a tie for the league crown with Frontier. An Athol win would give Frontier sole possession of the league title.

Frontier and Hopkins traded goals throughout Saturday’s game. Cambrie Hamilton made it 1-0 in the 10th minute on an assist from Denkiewicz, but Hopkins tied the game seven minutes later. Frontier went back ahead in the 28th minute when Denkiewicz got her first of the day after taking a goal kick from Lexa Boyden and going the distance. Hopkins answered three minutes before halftime to send the teams into the break tied at 2-2.

The Red Hawks went back in front in the 46th minute when Hamilton buried a beautiful shot in the top corner of the goal off a feed from Denkiewicz, but Hopkins once again answered in the 68th minute before Denkiewicz put Frontier in front to stay with her goal in the 72nd minute off an assist from Caitlynn Devine.

Both teams had 11 shots. Boyden finished with seven saves to earn the win.

Mohawk 3, Smith Academy 0 — Lilly Seaver stopped nine shots Saturday and Mohawk made it a successful Senior Night with a 3-0 win over Smith Academy in a Pioneer South girls’ soccer game in Buckland.

The Warriors (7-9-1) took a 1-0 lead in the 25th minute on Mary Monohon’s unassisted goal, and seven minutes later Rosalie Kinsey set up Mae Rice-Lesure with a goal to give the hosts a 2-0 lead at the break. Chloe Doyle finished off the scoring with seven minutes to play on an assist from Erin Laffond.

Gabby Tisdale made seven saves in the Falcons’ net.

SBS 3, Four Rivers 0 — Stoneleigh-Burnham School defeated Four Rivers Charter School, 3-0, in the semifinals of the River Valley Athletic League girls’ soccer tournament Saturday in Greenfield.

Boys’ soccer

Eagle Hill 2, Four Rivers 1 — Eagle Hill School scored with under five minutes remaining to trim Four Rivers, 2-1, in the RVAL boys’ soccer championship at Stoneleigh-Burnham School Sunday in Greenfield.

The game was scoreless until the second half when Eagle Hill took a 1-0 lead. Avani Richardson tied the game with an unassisted goal for Four Rivers (12-1-3) before Eagle Hill struck for the game-winner.