Poissant delivers in 6-1 win
Fron 14 McKayla Poissant scores in firlst half
Fro Jordyn Roberts
Fro 19 Jordyn Roberts
Fro 14 McKayla Poissant scores again
Fro 6 Rose Moscaritolo
SOUTH DEERFIELD — McKayla Poissant recorded a hat trick to lead second-seeded Frontier Regional School to a convincing 6-1 victory over seed South Hadley High School in the quarterfinals of the Western Massachusetts Division II Field Hockey Tournament on Thursday afternoon.
On a cold, wet and dreary day that left many wondering if the game would even be played, the Red Hawks (14-4-1) did not let the elements stand in their way. After a slow start, Frontier was dominant, turning in a performance reminiscent of the days when head coach Missy Mahar was running the field with a stick in her hands instead of running the sidelines with a clipboard — or in today’s case, an umbrella.
The game got off to a tentative start for both squads, likely due to the slick field conditions. For the first eight minutes of the contest most of the action came between the 25-yard lines, and the goalkeepers were mostly relegated to the role of spectators.
It remained scoreless until 11:53 left in the half, when Frontier put on its first furious rush in front of the South Hadley net. The Hawks were relentless, and Poissant knocked in a rebound off of Tigers goalkeeper Samantha Brault to give Frontier a 1-0 lead.
Seventh-seeded South Hadley (6-11-2) answered back at 4:23 on a corner, as Hannah Menard took a perfect pass from Merry Kocut and put one past Frontier netminder Gwen Thayer, tying the game at 1.
South Hadley then took a quick timeout, but it may have backfired, as it gave Mahar a chance to gather her players together and remind them what was on the line.
“The South Hadley coach took the timeout, but I was just about to take it myself.” said Mahar. “I told the girls that it was time to wake up. This is the tournament, and it’s lose one and you’re done. I was very pleased with the way they responded after that timeout, and in the second half.”
As well she should have been. The Hawks were visibly re-energized, and less than a minute later they took the lead for good on Poissant’s second goal, this time with an assist from Taryn Marquis.
Marquis then knocked in an unassisted goal of her own with just 29 seconds remaining in the half, and the Hawks took a 3-1 lead into the break.
The second half was all Frontier.
Poissant completed her hat trick 7:46 into the half, when Jordyn Roberts put the ball right on the blade of her stick amidst a furious scrum and she got it past Brault. The final two goals came off the stick of eighth-grader Tierney Roche, who was on the varsity roster all season but played a number of minutes on the junior varsity in order to develop her skills.
“For her to be able to come in for us and be in position to make some beautiful runs down the left side,” beamed Mahar. “I’m so proud of her, especially being such a young player and being able to provide her stick from the left side. ... We’re so glad to have her, and for years to come.”
Frontier advances to the semifinals against Northern Division rival Mohawk Trail Regional High School on Thursday at 5 p.m. at Clark Field in West Springfield.