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Mahar dumps Falcons

A four-goal outburst in the opening 30 minutes was more than enough to make up for a lackadaisical second-half performance as Mahar Regional School earned a convincing 4-2 independent field hockey victory over Minnechaug Regional High School Tuesday in Wilbraham.

The matchup was a rematch of last fall’s WMass Division I quarterfinal game when the Senators, who moved up into Division I because of a boy on the roster, stunned the Falcons, 2-1. On Tuesday, Mahar dominated the first half and proved that last season’s win was no fluke and that the Senators will again be a contender in the chase for the WMass Division I title.

“It was exciting,” Mahar coach Lauri Saisa said. “It was good to see that we could beat them. But I’m disappointed with how we played in the second half. It was inexplicable. We looked so good in the first half, and then everything changed in the second half. If that game was five minutes longer, they probably would have tied it.”

The Senators dominated the first half, holding a 10-5 edge in shots, en route to the 4-0 lead. The first goal came with 11 minutes, 56 seconds left in the opening frame, but that opened the flood gates. Courtney White netted the first goal on an assist from Jill Valley. Jenelle Juskiewicz added an unassisted goal just over one minute later for a 2-0 lead.

Ally Parker scored on Valley’s second helper of the day with 6:04 remaining and Natasha Patria wrapped up the scoring with 4:09 left in the first on an assist from Kassie Abbott.

“Literally, the officials came up to me at halftime and said they had not seen a better display of field hockey all season,” Saisa said. “We were passing, switching fields, talking, dodging, we were totally on. Then, everything changed in the second half.”

Minnechaug limited Mahar to just three second-half chances, while putting seven shots of its own on net. Hannah Tarpely scored on an assist from Liz Mastrio with 14:54 remaining in the game to get Minnechaug on the board, but Mahar weathered the storm and the Falcons did not score again until the final three minutes, when Alex Orzolek scored off a corner from Elish Garvey and Alexa Murphy.

“I was pretty pumped up in the first half of the game but it was frustrating going into the second half and intending to score and putting up just three shots. We just fell apart. I don’t really know how to explain it.”

Nate Ollari finished with 10 saves in the Mahar net. Katie Patterson stopped nine shots for Minnechaug.

Pioneer 2, Turners 0 — Pioneer Valley Regional School scored twice in the first half and held off upset-minded Turners Falls High School to post a 2-0 West Division field hockey victory Tuesday afternoon in Northfield.

Marion Vielmetti scored the opening goal of the game on a corner play. Marte Johannessen injected the ball into Shea Healy, who found Vielmetti. Later in the first half, Johannessen gave the Panthers (10-6-1, 9-3-0) some breathing room with an unassisted goal.

The loss was a tough one for the Indians (5-7-2), who now need to win its final two games of the season to qualify for the postseason. Turners Falls has Holyoke High School and Frontier Regional School left on its schedule, presenting a difficult road to the playoffs.

Jaimee White finished with 15 saves in the Indian goal.

Greenfield 4, Athol 1 — Greenfield High School put together its most complete game of the season by downing Athol High School, 4-1, in North Division field hockey action Tuesday night at Veterans Memorial Field in Greenfield.

Kelsey Roberts scored unassisted 2:23 into the contest to give the Green Wave a 1-0 lead.

Tim Loiselle used an assist from Adrienne Amidon at 9:43 to tie it at 1, but Tory Adams smacked home the go-ahead goal on a corner play with 1:17 left in the half. Danielle Townsley and Rachel Lapointe were each credited with assists.

Tylor Narkewicz scored on a corner from Townsley and Erica Lapointe 3:18 into the second half to make it 3-1. Then Roberts used an Erica Lapointe assist to score the final goal with 14:16 to go.

Greenfield’s defense was just as impressive, holding Athol without a shot on goal or a corner in the second half. The Wave finished with a 14-3 edge in shots and 9-2 in corners.

Diane Blanker made two saves for Greenfield. Danielle Whitman kicked out 10 shots.

“Our defense and offense came together really well (tonight),” said Wave head coach Erin Thayer. “The defense really shut them down in the second half, and the offense was extremely aggressive in circle,and it showed with four goals.”

Holyoke 4, FC Tech 0 — Holyoke High School scored three times in the first half en route to a 4-0 West Division field hockey victory over Franklin County Technical School Tuesday in Holyoke.

Katie McClerk, Naddie Caroll, Bridget Haskins, Jill D’Ordine scored for the Purple Knights. Kat Collier made three saves in the Holyoke net.

Emily Sullivan stopped eight shots for the Eagles.

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