Pioneer boys unload on Senators, 5-1
Pio 17 Aanders Paulsen heads in a corner kick
Pio 21 Chris Gilbert Mahar 18 Zach Gurganus
Pio 4 Phil Kang watches his goal get past Mahar goalie Matt Simmington
Pio 4 Phil Kang
A five-goal eruption in the first half was more than enough for McGrath North Division champion Pioneer Valley Regional School as it cruised to a 5-1 victory over Mahar Regional School in boys’ soccer action Thursday in Northfield.
Tony Dizenzo scored a pair of goals during the opening-half flurry for the Panthers (10-3-3 overall, 6-1-1 North), while Phil Kang, Jeremy Kemble and Anders Paulson also rippled the twine. Kang, Chris Gilbert and Brian Aja each had an assist.
Tyler Robideau’s unassisted marker in the second half accounted for the only Senator tally.
Josh Hill made three saves to register the shutout.
Pioneer will now await Wednesday’s Western Massachusetts seed meeting at Granby High School to find out its first-round opponent in the Division IV tournamey.
Athol 4, Easthampton 0 — Alex Page lived every seior’s dream on Senior Night in Athol.
Playing in his final regular-season home game, Page recorded a hat trick to help the Athol High School boys’ soccer team qualify for the WMass Division II Boys’ Soccer Tournament with a 4-0 victory Thursday over Easthampton High School at O’Brien Field.
The Red Raiders (8-6-3) needed one point in their final two games heading into the game against the Eagles and it wasn’t exactly the start Athol coach Dave King was looking for. It took just two minutes for the Red Raiders to get on the board, as Page scored off an assist from fellow senior Brad Bousquet. But the next 38 minutes were somewhat sloppy, according to the coach, and neither team got much in the way of scoring opportunities, leading to a 1-0 Athol lead at the break.
“We kind of challenged them at that point,” King said of the halftime speech.
The message was received and Athol put together a much better final 40 minutes, scoring three times to seal the victory and the postseason berth. A pair of sophomores hooked up for the second goal of the game 11 minutes into the second half when Tyler Lajoie finished off a feed from Brandon Barilone. Three minutes later, Page notched his second of the game on an assist from Zach Dodge. He finished off the Senior Night hat trick in the 71st minute, hooking up for a pretty goal on an assist from Lajoie. On the play, Lajoie played the ball back to Page, who stepped into one just outside the top of the 18 box and uncorked a one-timer that traveled fast and low inside the right corner.
“That’s a really memorable night for a senior,” King said. “It’s a great sense of accomplishment, especially since he never had a multi-goal game. I’m really happy for him and to score that last goal the way he did was really great.”
Jaime Posk finished with three saves to earn the shutout. Brady Parker made 10 saves in the loss.
Athol closes out the regular season Monday night in Orange against rival Mahar Regional School.
Greenfield 2, Turners Falls 2 — Vlad Popusoi scored twice, including the game-tying goal with 18 minutes to play and Greenfield High School tied Turners Falls High School, 2-2, in a McGrath North Division boys’ soccer game Thursday night at the Bourdeau Fields Complex in Turners Falls.
Popusoi, who was coming off a four-goal effort on Monday, netted his 16th and 17th goals of the season for the Green Wave (5-8-4), which has already clinched second place in the McGrath North and the postseason berth that goes with it. Turners Falls (1-13-2) gave Greenfield all it could handle, and led 2-1 at the break.
Emmett Turn set up both goals for the Indians in the first half, feeding Liam Ellis in the 15th minute for a 1-0 lead, then following Popusoi’s first of the night from Andrei Taraburca in the 21st minute. Turn set up Jacob Desbiens for the Indians’ second goal of the night.
Greenfield doubled up Turners Falls in shots with a 24-12 edge, and Popusoi made good on one of those in the second half to tie the game on an assist from Oleg Cobileanschi. Turners Falls coach Nate Burgess said he was pleased with his team’s final two games, and with just one senior (Dennis Gheorghita), the Indians should be in good shape next fall.
“Our final two results show that we made some significant progress both as individual players and as a unit,” he said. “I couldn’t be more proud of these guys.”
Zach Demars made 17 saves in the Indians’ net. Tyler Jacques stopped seven shots for the Green Wave.
Hopkins 3, Frontier 0 — Frontier Regional School threw everything it had at Hopkins Academy Thursday but the Golden Hawks scored two late goals to seal the game and Frontier’s fate as it eliminated the Red Hawks with a 3-0 Schmid Division boys’ soccer game at Herlihy Field in Whately.
Tyler Szymkowicz gave Hopkins a 1-0 lead at halftime on an assist from Paul Delamy. Frontier (6-8-2), which needed a tie or win to keep its postseason hopes alive, came out and poured on the pressure in the second half, controlling play and earning multiple opportunities to tie the score. Hopkins goalie Ben Pitta (six saves) kept his team in front, and Delamy and Evan Delaney each scored late to ice the Hopkins win and eliminate Frontier from postseason contention.
Dylan Husted made six saves in the Red Hawks’ net.
Frontier closes out the season Monday night against Greenfield High School.
Four Rivers 3, Eagle Hill 0 — Four Rivers Charter School wrapped up the second seed in the upcoming River Valley Athletic League Boys’ Soccer Tournament with a 3-0 win over Eagle Hill School Thursday afternoon in Greenfield.
Four Rivers (10-2-1) will host seventh-seeded Academy at Charlemont in the Wednesday quarterfinals.
Chandler Thomas scored on a corner kick off a pass from Ben Michel to open the scoring, and Michel made it 2-0 in the second half with an unassisted goal. Jack Conant closed out the scoring on an assist from Kai DiLorenzo.
Jackson Reeves-Henning pitched the shutout in net.
Mohawk 3, Pioneer 0 — Mohawk Trail Regional High School scored all of its goals in the first half as it blanked Pioneer, 3-0, in a Franklin County League girls’ soccer match Thursday night at Pollard Field in Buckland.
Caitlyn Wilkins scored unassisted in the 12th minute, then assisted on Kaylee Quenneville’s tally in the 24th minute to give the Warriors a 2-0 lead. Alexis Boron-Davis added the final tally, unassisted, in the 35th minute.
Sally Slowinski rejected 10 shots to record the shutout for the Warriors, who held a slim 14-11 edge in their final tune-up for the Western Massachusetts Tournament.
Sydney Martin made eight saves for the Panthers.
Mohawk, which placed second in the FCL to qualify for the postseason, finished 6-10-2 overall and 5-2-1 in the league.