Mohawk's Lucas Marlcham, left, boots the ball as Pioneer's Jake Kelton braces for potential impact Wednesday in Northfield, where the teams opened their McGrath North boys' soccer season with a scoreless tie. Recorder/Micky Bedell Purchase photo reprints »
Pioneer's Ben Tufano elevates over Mohawk's Michael Schuetze (21) for a header Wednesday in Northfield, where the McGrath North teams opened their boys' soccer season with a scoreless tie.
Recorder/Micky Bedell Purchase photo reprints »
Chris Luera, #5 Pioneer, Amar Abbatiello, #3 Mohawk, at Pioneer Valley Regional School on Wednesday. Recorder/Micky Bedell Purchase photo reprints »
Pioneer Valley Regional School and Mohawk Trail Regional High School will have to wait until at least their second game of the season to see a ball go into a net.
The McGrath North Division boys’ soccer game between the teams Wednesday in Northfield turned into a goaltending duel and neither keeper broke so the teams had to settle for a 0-0 draw in their season opener.
Mohawk controlled much of the play and wound up with a decided edge in possession time and shots on goal. Pioneer netminder Josh Hill, who took over the starting job at the midway point of last season, got off to a solid start to the year by turning aside all 11 shots he faced to keep the Warrior attackers off the board.
The Panthers, who returned just four starters this year and have many players making the jump from middle school to varsity, were also unable to solve returning Mohawk goalie Josh Taylor (162 saves in 2013), who made six saves for the shutout.
“Mohawk’s passing was sharp and they hustled all game,” Pioneer coach Ben Bricker said. “It was a learning experience for a lot of the guys on the team because they were playing in their first varsity game. They now know what it takes to play at the varsity level.”
Pioneer heads to Mahar Regional School Friday, while Mohawk plays its home opener Friday against Drury High School.
Hopkins 5, Athol 1 — Hopkins Academy scored four times in the second half to dismiss Athol High School, 5-1, in a Schmid Division boys’ soccer game Wednesday in Hadley.
The game was tied 1-1 at the break but it didn’t take long for the Golden Hawks to take the lead as Chad Sanderson took a pass from Alex Curran to start the second half, dribbling up the middle and firing the ball home past Athol goalie Lorenzo Carra for what proved to be the game-winner just 32 seconds into the frame.
Athol regrouped and kept things close until Hopkins scored three times in the final 17 minutes to put the game away. Sanderson scored his second of the game with 17 minutes remaining to make it 3-1, Pat Knightly scored four minutes later, and Sanderson then set up brother Ethan with 1 minute, 30 seconds left to close out the scoring.
The first half went much better for Athol, which is working to replace seven starters lost from a season ago. The Red Raiders had multiple chances to strike first in the game but Hopkins kept Athol off the board and then struck with eight minutes left in the first half to open the scoring when Zach Kelley scored on an assist from Knightly. Athol responded three minutes later when Tanner Pavilionis played a long pass into the box that was trapped down by Xavier Santana and fired home.
“I thought our team played well in the first half,” Athol coach Dave King said. “We lost our right fullback (injury) when we scored that goal and our lack of depth became apparent. The score was not fully indicative of how we played. But other guys are going to have to step up and provide a contributing role and the guys coming off the bench need to realize that they are very valuable.”
John Jacques finished with four saves in the Hopkins net. Carra made four saves in the Red Raiders’ net.
Mahar 9, Greenfield 0 — Kenzie Tenney finished with two goals and two assists Wednesday and Mahar Regional School opened the season with a 9-0 win over Greenfield High School in a Franklin County League girls’ soccer game at Veterans Memorial Field in Greenfield.
Cassie Verheyen added two goals and one assist in the win, and Carly Jillson had two goals. Alex Temple, Kianna Reilly and Mollie Burke each added one goal, and Amber Bonk, Tori Tenney, Brittany Gray, Hannah Paul and Mary Parse each recorded one helper.
Sydney Whitcomb finished with one save for the shutout. Leah Bosco stopped 13 shots in the Greenfield net.
Turners Falls 2, Pioneer 1 — Eighth-grade newcomer Cassidhe Wozniak scored with 15:08 left in the game to lift Turners Falls High School to a 2-1 win over Pioneer in a West Division field hockey game Wednesday night at the Bourdeau Fields Complex in Turners Falls.
Wozniak actually figured into both goals by setting up teammate Kelly Rehorka three minutes into the second half to put Turners Falls ahead 1-0. Pioneer tied the game later in the second half on an unassisted goal by Amelia Pelletier, but Wozniak buried the game-winner on an assist from Nicole Thibeault to send the Indians home happy.
“I think we came into the game having no idea what was going to happen,” Turners Falls coach Megan Gilbert said about the season opener after the defending West champion Indians underwent heavy turnover due to graduation. “I don’t have a whole lot of bench depth, so we had people playing in all sorts of positions. But they were helping each other out and I think they showed that they are ready for the season.”
Maddie Currier earned the win in goal with six saves, while Meredith Townsley had a strong effort in Pioneer’s net, stopping nine shots, including a pair of fantastic stops, according to opposing coach Gilbert, to keep the game close.
Greenfield 3, South Hadley 1 — Greenfield High School came back from an ugly first-game loss to win three close sets and picked up a 7-25, 25-20, 25-22, 28-26 independent girls’ volleyball victory over South Hadley High School Wednesday in South Hadley.
Greenfield coach Lisa Moore said rebounding from the first-set loss was all about mental toughness, and that the first set was simply a case of everything going wrong at once.
“You practice offense and defense over and over again so it should be like jumping into a pool and swimming, but everyone was drowning,” she explained. “But then they kind of pulled it back together and started moving as a unit.”
Alexandra Ortega finished with four kills, seven aces and four digs to lead Greenfield. Molley Duclos finished with five kills, Mackenzie Morey added six aces and three kills, Leah Wallner had five aces and three kills, Aja Farrington collected 10 assists, and Anya Vartanyan notched eight assists.
Greenfield dropped the junior varsity match, 25-8, 25-11.
Frontier 3, Ludlow 0 — Remi Quesnelle recorded nine kills on Wednesday and defending Division III state champion Frontier Regional School opened the 2014 season with a 25-9, 25-11, 25-23 victory over Ludlow High School in an independent girls’ volleyball match at Goodnow Gymnasium in South Deerfield.
Cassidy Ciesluk finished with seven kills and three aces in the win. Shelby Telega added 10 digs and four aces, and Emily Woodward collected 14 assists and two aces.
Chicopee 3, Turners Falls 1 — Mackenzie Salls finished with nine assists, one dig, three aces and two kills but Turners Falls suffered a 19-25, 25-17, 25-6, 25-15 loss to Chicopee High School in an independent girls’ volleyball match Wednesday night in Turners Falls.
Sam Currier added six kills, one ace and 11 digs in the loss.
Turners Falls won the junior varsity match.
Mohawk 151/ 2, Greenfield 81/ 2 — Mohawk got huge contributions from the bottom of its order and opened the season with a win for the first time in years with a 151/ 2-81/ 2 victory over Greenfield in a Bi-County North golf match at Edge Hill Golf Course in Ashfield.
Mohawk’s medalist on the day was its No. 6 golfer Brian Gagnon, who took four points in the win. The second-best Warrior score was No. 5 golfer Michael Patnode, who shot a 55 but only took one point. That was because Greenfield’s medalist on the day was its No. 5 golfer, George Balis, who shot a 53 and took three points.
Mohawk also had a solid day from No. 3 golfer Levin Finck, who shot a 56 and took three points.