Hawks clinch North crown
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Frontier Regional School’s quick start proved to be just enough to win the outright North Division title.
The Red Hawks scored in the first six minutes of the contest and held off a furious Mohawk Trail Regional High School charge to post a 1-0 Northern Division field hockey win Wednesday in Buckland.
Rose Moscaritolo gave Frontier (12-3-1 overall, 7-1-0 North) the only offense it needed 5 minutes, 44 seconds into the contest when she took a pass from Brenna Sicard and fired a shot past Warrior goalkeeper Cassie Kudlay.
The Warriors (7-6-4, 3-3-2) turned on the pressure in the second half, recording all five shots and eight penalty corners during the final 30 minutes, but Red Hawk keeper Gwen Thayer kicked out all five shots she faced to preserve the win.
Frontier finished with seven shots and nine corners. Kudlay made six saves in Mohawk’s net.
“We came out slow and had a hard time working through their pressure defense in the center of the field,” offered Warrior head coach Lynn Hoeppner. “In the second half, we dominated and some good chances, but their goalie kept them in the game.
“We’re looking forward to playing them in the tournament, if we get that far to see them, and we’re hoping that we do,” added Hoeppner.
It was Mohawk Senior Day, and Jenny Dawson, Morgan Dodge, Caitlin Carmody and Whitney Roberts were honored before the game.
Athol 2, Mahar 1 — Athol High School tallied a goal in each half and kept Mahar Regional School off the scoreboard until the final 1:22 to stun the Senators, 2-1, in an independent field hockey game Wednesday at O’Brien Field in Athol.
Sophia Palmacci scored 6:38 into the contest to put the Red Raiders (5-10-1 overall) on top, 1-0. Alexa Whitney and Tim Loiselle recorded assists.
Loiselle upped the advantage to 2-0 with 14 minutes to go with his goal from Liz Arpide.
Jenelle Juskiewicz broke up Athol goalie Danielle Whitman’s shutout bid with her late marker from Courtney White, but that was all the offense Mahar (14-2-0) could muster.
Mahar held a 9-7 edge in shots and corners.
Whitman had eight saves in the Atohl net. Mahar’s Nate Ollari stopped five shots.
“The kids really rose to the challenge and played as a team,” said Raider head coach Melissa Graham. “They fought hard, didn’t give up on loose balls, and showed positive focus on the field.”
The teams used the contest as a Play for the Cure benefit, which raised money for breast cancer awareness.
Pioneer 1, Gateway 0 — Brian Aja played the best game of his young career, recording 17 saves to help Pioneer Valley Regional School knock off Gateway Regional High School, 1-0, in a McGrath Division South boys’ soccer match Wednesday night in Huntington.
Noah Koester struck for the only goal of the contest when Anders Paulson’s original shot struck the near post and he slammed home the rebound during a subsequent scramble in the goal box.
The Gators outshot Pioneer, 29-20. Panther head coach Ben Bricker was impressed with his keeper.
“He made saves I couldn’t even see,” said Bricker. “He was just making incredible saves. I can’t say enough good things about him. He stepped up the plate when I asked him to play goalie, and he’s been absolutely clutch. And above all, he’s ha hard worker. He’s a leader on and off the field.”
Bricker said that Gateway swarmed the Panther goal throughout the balance of the second half, trying to get the tying goal.
“They were really hungry for that goal,” he said. “There were lots of close calls. It was pretty staggering, the number of shots they had.
Athol 1, Turners 1 — Bradley Bousquet’s goal with four minutes left in regulation helped Athol earn a 1-1 draw with Turners Falls High School in an independent boys’ soccer match Wednesday at the Bourdeau Fields Complex in Turners Falls.
After a scoreless first half, Wyatt Bourbeau put the Indians in front with his goal from Summer Forest-Bulley in the 65th minute. Bousquet tied it 11 minute later, assisted by Randy Favreau.
Athol finished with a 19-12 advantage in shots.
Garrett Hall made eight saves for the Raiders, and Tenzin Khenrab had 11 stops for the Indians.
“They jumped on us in the first 20 minutes,” said Indians head coach Gregg Bergstrom. “They had quite a few chances. Then it was mostly one-way traffic from there ... The majority of the second half I thought we dominated.”
Mahar 2, Mohawk 0 — Matt Simmington made eight saves to help Mahar earn a 2-0 win over Mohawk in McGrath Division North boys’ soccer action Wednesday night at Pollard Field in Buckland.
Ali Farhad scored an unassisted goal in the 35th minute for the Senators. Then Ibrahim Khiran added an insurance tally in the 69th minute, assisted by Kurtis Graeff.
Mahar outshot the Warriors,18-8.
Josh Taylor stopped 15 shots. Liam Datres played well for Mohawk.
Central 5, Frontier 0 — Deandrae Brown registered a hat trick to lead Central High School to a 5-0 independent boys’ soccer win over Frontier on Wednesday in Springfield.
“He’s the best player we’ve played against,” said Red Hawk coach Dale Totman of Brown.“He’s a very talented player.”
Scott Simpson and Ibrahim Abdi also scored for the Golden Eagles, who scored all five goals in the second half — three in the final 10 minutes.
Central held the edge in shots, 16-6.
Kameron Anderson registered the shutout by making four saves. Shawn Mazur-Garcia stopped eight shots in the Frontier net.
Smith Academy 2, Athol 0 — Smith Academy clinched the outright Franklin County League title Wednesday night as it blanked Athol High School, 2-0, in girls’ soccer action at O’Brien Field in Athol.
The Falcons (15-2-0, 11-0-0 FCL) scored both of their goals in the first half. First, Hannah Sassi converted a pass from Cassidy Snyder in the 22nd minute. Then Snyder used a feed from Sassi to notch the second tally.
That was more than enough for Smith goalie Brooke Pashek, who made three saves to register the shutout.
Madison Truehart made 10 saves for the Raiders (8-4-5, 7-2-2), who were outshot 12-4.
Turners 3, Pioneer 0 — Hailey Peterson assisted on the first two goals and scored the third as Turners Falls wrapped up a 4-10-2 regular season with a 3-0 FCL win over Pioneer on Wednesday night at the Bourdeau Fields Complex in Turners Falls.
Jenna Putala and Nala Vaughn scored seven minutes apart to stake the Indians to a 2-0 lead midway through the first half. Peterson then scored Turners’ final marker with 14 minutes remaining, assisted by Putala.
Ashley Williams finished with eight saves to record the Indians’ shutout.
Jocelyn Carney made four saves for the Panthers, who outshot Turners 12-10.
Athol 3, Belchertown 1 — Athol captured the Southern Division crown as it defeated Belchertown High School, 25-21, 25-22, 7-25, 25-23, in girls’ volleyball action Wednesday night in Belchertown.
Trisha Hazen piled up 29 digs, two kills and six blocks for the Red Raiders (12-5, 7-1 South), Tessa Neverett added 32 digs and seven kills, Julia Salmond had 26 digs, six kills and six blocks, and Krystal Campbell added six assists and 100 percent serving (17-for-17).
Kim Drawec led the Orioles with six aces and four kills.