Frontier-Smith for field hockey crown
All that stands between Frontier Regional School and a three-peat in WMass Division II field hockey is its biggest rival.
The second-seeded Red Hawks will aim for their third consecutive crown this morning at 11 a.m. when they take on top-seeded Smith Academy at Clark Field on the campus of West Springfield High School.
This game marks the unusual fourth meeting of the season between the two squads, which finished 1-2 in the final North Division standings this season. On top of playing their two regular season games, the teams also met in the Columbus Day tournament at Smith College in an independent tilt in October.
The Red Hawks captured the first meeting of the season 2-0 back on Sept.9 but have since lost two in a row, including the team’s final meeting of the regular season on Oct. 21, which determined the North champion. Smith Academy won that game 1-0 on a late goal by All-American candidate and Division I Princeton-bound Danielle Duseau, who will be the most dangerous player on the field in this morning’s game. All three games have been close between the two teams this season (the middle game was a 2-1 Falcons win) and today should be no different.
“Smith is our rival,” Frontier midfielder Taryn Marquis said. “We’ve been on and off with winning and losing to them this season and it’s going to be a challenge. It’s going to be a hard game, but that’s what you want in a final.”
Rose Moscaritolo, the overtime hero in the WMass semifinal against Mohawk Trail Regional High School, agreed, saying that the Falcons rival extends even away from the field hockey field.
“Smith always brings their game,” she said. “It’s even a rivalry, it’s everywhere. They are a great team and it would be great to beat them.”
The teams’ paths to the championship could not have been more different. The Falcons (13-5-1) were the only team in Division II to earn a bye through the quarterfinals, and in their lone tournament game to date dismantled Greenfield High School, 3-0, owning a 31-0 edge in shots. The Red Hawks (15-4-1), meanwhile, cruised past South Hadley High School in the quarterfinals, 6-1, but had their hands full with Mohawk on Thursday night, falling behind 1-0 before coming back to tie the score in the second half before Moscaritolo won it in overtime.
“It’ll be a great game,” Frontier coach Missy Mahar said. “You’ve got two evenly matched teams and this will be the fourth time we’ve played in one season. I expect a great game. Exactly how a WMass final should be played. And I think both teams are going to come ready to play and wanting to go with that WMass trophy.”