Turners wins elusive crown
For the first time since 2002, the Turners Falls High School field hockey team can call itself league champion.
The Indians survived an early scare from Pioneer Valley Regional School and dictated play in the second half en route to a 5-2 West Division victory Tuesday on Senior Night at the Bourdeau Fields Complex in Turners Falls.
The win clinched the division crown outright for the Indians (9-7-2 overall, 9-1-2 West), who finished one point ahead of Holyoke High School in the final West standings. The last time the team won the league, current head coach Megan (Cloutier) Gilbert’s mother Cherie Cloutier was coaching the squad. Gilbert said she was excited for the players, especially the seniors on the team, who were playing their final home game.
“The seniors really stepped up tonight,” Gilbert said. “They really wanted it.”
The Panthers (5-13-0, 4-8-0) didn’t make things easy for the Indians. Emily Geser put the Panthers up 1-0 in the eighth minute with her second goal of the season off an assist from Sarah Matherson. Turners Falls tied the game four minutes later on a goal by Samm Peabody from Emma Johnson. The Panthers would not lay down quietly and with 16 minutes, 19 seconds left in the first half, Matherson set up her second goal of the game when she fed Ashley Hubbard for Hubbard’s fifth goal of the season.
That goal sparked the Indians, who would go on to score four straight goals to clinch the title. Halle Harvey got her first of the night with 12:35 left off a pass from Lauren Grimard, and Peabody notched her second of the game with 3:10 left in the first half off a feed from Harvey to put the Indians in the lead for good. The Indians did not allow a Pioneer shot to reach net in the second half as they took control of the game, and Harvey gave the team some breathing room with two more goals to complete her hat trick.
The assist from Grimard was the latest in what has been a strong career at Turners Falls. The senior now has 39 goals and 28 assists in her six-year varsity career, including 14 goals and nine assists this season.
Jaimee White finished with three saves for the win in the Indian net. Meredith Townsley played very well in the Pioneer goal, turning aside 32 shots and earning praise from Gilbert.
Turners now awaits the seeding for the upcoming WMass Division II Tournament when the seeds are released on Oct. 30.
Holyoke 9, FC Tech 2 — Bridget Higgins scored three goals and added two assists to lead Holyoke High School to a 9-2 West Division field hockey win over Franklin County Technical School Tuesday in Turners Falls.
Megan Goshea scored three goals for the Purple Knights.
Madison Lively scored both goals for the Eagles. Nicole Valeski and Alyssa Edwards each had one assist, and Bri Brooks stopped 12 shots.
Greenfield 3, Mahar 3 — Ally Parker scored twice in the final 15 minutes to pull Mahar into a 3-3 North Division field hockey tie with Greenfield Monday at the Woodward Complex in Orange.
Mahar (10-5-1) led 1-0 at halftime thanks to Parker’s first goal of the night, but the Green Wave erupted for three goals in the first 15 minutes of the second half. Alyssa Garvin tied the game 42 seconds into the second half on an assist from Rachel Lapointe, and Grace Kennedy put the Green Wave on top with back-to-back goals, the first assisted from Erika Glabach, the second coming off a rebound.
The Senators stormed back late. Xavier Godette set up Parker for her second of the game with 14:53 left in the game, and Courtney White set up Parker for her third of the day with 2:08 left to tie the game.
Pioneer 3, Mohawk 2 — Emily Malsch finished with five kills and three blocks and Pioneer won a seesaw affair against Mohawk Trail Regional High School, 25-17, 23-25, 25-18, 14-25, 15-12, in a North Division girls’ volleyball match Tuesday evening in Buckland.
Talia Hicks finished with three kills for the Panthers, and Shannon Watson chipped in nine aces and three kills.
Angel Donovan led Mohawk with seven kills and four aces. Nelly O’Connell collected 11 assists, and Emily Page finished with five kills and one assist.
Greenfield 3, Smith Voke 0 — Rachel Pelc totaled 12 assists and five aces to lead Greenfield to a 25-9, 25-7, 25-10 independent win over Smith Vocational & Agricultural High School in a girls’ volleyball match Tuesday at Nichols Gymnasium in Greenfield.
Manisha Malik collected seven kills and 10 aces, and Ashley Lowell chipped in nine kills and seven aces for the Green Wave (9-7).
Bailee Richardson led the Vikings with eight assists and four digs while Shelby Cormier added four assists and two digs.
FC Tech 3, Monty Tech 0 — Katie Newell, Heathern Johnson and Megan Duga each served at 100 percent as Franklin Tech swept Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical High School, 25-21, 25-22, 25-19 in an independent girls’ volleyball match Tuesday in Fitchburg.
“This has probably been the best performance of the season,” Franklin Tech coach Melissa Gerry said. “Our serving was amazing today.”
Newell finished with 10 assists, three digs and two kills in the win. Nicole Miller added six kills and two digs, and Duga added two kills and one assist.
The Eagles (5-14) host senior night Friday at 4 against High School of Commerce.
Minnechaug 3, Frontier 0 — Paulina Modesto recorded 13 kills and 13 digs to lead Minnechaug Regional High School to a 28-26, 28-26, 25-20 Eastern Division girls’ volleyball win over Frontier Monday at Goodnow Gymnasium in South Deerfield.
The loss was the first for the Red Hawks (14-3 overall, 6-1 East) to a WMass foe since falling to Belchertown High School in 2006, a string of 149 matches.
“Am I disappointed? Yes,” Frontier coach Sean MacDonald said. “From the bench, it looked like we were playing not to lose. In a tight match, we made a couple of errors and we looked like we didn’t want to make any more. But you can’t stop playing hard because you are afraid of making errors. ... I don’t want to take away the credit from Minnechaug, they played well, but I certainly felt like we didn’t play up to our potential.”
Sarah Woodward finished with 19 kills and 12 digs in her final regular season match on her home court. Fellow seniors Haley Dacyczyn and Annali Yurkewicz combined on six digs, and Emily Woodward added 27 assists and 10 digs.