Smith edges Frontier, 1-0

Taryn Marquis of Frontier, right, takes a shot Monday during her team's 1-0 loss to Smith Academy at Smith. Looking on are, from left, Brenna Scard, Kelly Ryan and Danielle Duseau.

JERREY ROBERTS Taryn Marquis of Frontier, right, takes a shot Monday during her team's 1-0 loss to Smith Academy at Smith. Looking on are, from left, Brenna Scard, Kelly Ryan and Danielle Duseau. Purchase photo reprints »

Danielle Duseau sure hopes it was a preview of the Western Massachusetts Division II Field Hockey championships.

The Smith Academy all-star scored with 5 minutes 38 seconds left to play to snap a scoreless tie and the Falcons took a 1-0 victory over Frontier Regional School in a North Division match Monday afternoon in Hatfield.

Frontier (11-3-1) still has a firm hold on first place in the North Division, falling to 6-1-0 in the league, while Smith Academy (7-3-4) sits at 4-1-1, having lost to the Red Hawks 4-0 in the team’s first meeting in early September, then playing to a 0-0 draw against Mohawk Trail Regional High School last week. Should Frontier win its final league contest against Mohawk Wednesday in Buckland, it will clinch the league title.

League titles are nice but what everyone really wants is a WMass crown. Last season, the Red Hawks defeated Smith Academy, 1-0, in double-overtime of the WMass Division II finals to pick up the title. Both teams are right back in the hunt to reach the championship game once again. By earning a split against Frontier after losing by four goals in the first meeting of the season, Smith Academy proved it has what it takes to knock off the defending champs.

The game was extremely close throughout, with Frontier earning the best chance to score with 21:49 left in the first half with a penalty stroke. Taryn Marquis took the free hit but sent the ball wide of Smith Academy goalie Lauren Bradford (nine saves), keeping the game scoreless. Things remained tight throughout, with Smith Academy holding edges of 13-9 in shots and 9-5 in corners.

The game could have ended earlier, according to Frontier coach Missy Mahar, had it not been for the play of her goalie Gwen Thayer, who finished with 12 saves, including a few that could be put into the circus-like category.

“She played phenomenal for us,” Mahar said. “I’m talking about her being on the ground, kicking the ball, whatever it took. She was solid for us all day.”

Duseau finally solved the Frontier netminder in the final six minutes after a shot was kicked out in front, where a scrum ensued and the ball popped out to Duseau at the top of the circle, which she fired into the net.

“It was an extremely evenly matched game,” Mahar said. “We are obviously disappointed with the loss, because they are our rival and it was a big game, but you look at the stats and it was really even. It was a back-and-forth game and it prepares us for tournament.”

Athol 1, Amherst 0 — Athol High School moved its unbeaten streak to three games Monday with a 1-0 independent field hockey win over Amherst Regional High School in Amherst.

Alexa Whitney scored with 13:47 left to play in the game for the only goal of the contest, and Athol won despite being outshot 15-4. Danielle Whitman had a strong game in the Red Raider (4-9-1) net with 15 saves to earn the shutout.

Nadia Squitero finished with three saves in the Amherst goal.

Girls’ volleyball

Frontier 3, Minnechaug 0 — Cassidy Stankowski had a .737 hitting percentage and Frontier knocked off Minnechaug Regional High School, 25-14, 25-18, 25-16 in an independent girls’ volleyball match Monday in Wilbraham.

Stankowski finished with 16 kills against just three errors for the absurdly high .737 in the win. Sarah Woodward added eight kills for the Red Hawks (16-1). Kate Harper registered six. Setters Tori Whitney and Emma Contois combined for 29 assists. Ali Durant recorded 15 digs.

Athol 3, FC Tech 0 — Julia Salmond totaled nine digs, four kills and four blocks to lead Athol High School over Franklin County Technical School, 25-11, 25-22, 25-18, in a Southern Division girls’ volleyball match on Monday in Turners Falls.

Trisha Hazen added eight digs and Lexi Hamlett chipped in seven digs for the winners (11-5, 6-1 South).

Erica Galipault logged three kills and three blocks for the Eagles (2-16, 0-6). Kirsten Mattson had four kills.

Athol also won the junior varsity match, 25-23, 25-19, 15-13.

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