Wave tips Southwick, 1-0
GHS 6 E Lapointe
GHS 18 Kennedy shot right before goal, might of been her
GHS 3 Glabach
GHS 2 R Lapointe
Greenfield sophomore Alyssa Garvin will look to grow off her impressive rookie season when she scored 17 goals.
GREENFIELD — It wasn’t exactly the performance Greenfield High School coach Erin Thayer was looking for in her team’s return to the postseason, but she and the Green Wave will take the result.
Grace Kennedy scored with 5 minutes, 32 seconds remaining in the first half to help the fourth-seeded Green Wave to a 1-0 win over fifth-seeded Southwick-Tolland Regional High School in the WMass Division II Field Hockey quarterfinal at Veterans Memorial Field.
Greenfield (9-6-4) was playing its first tournament game since 2009 and while the weather was as beautiful as any of those in attendance could have asked for on the first Friday of November, the play was not. Part of the reason was due to the condition of the field — which had the look one might expect of a field in continuous use for the past two-plus months — and part of it, as Thayer said, was due to the players on it.
“My defense won that game today,” she began. “Offensively, we really struggled. I don’t know why, we were really pumped for this game, but we were flat. We didn’t move to the ball well, we didn’t execute well, and our passing game was pretty much non-existent. But defensively, we stopped every single ball.”
While it was not the most glamorous offensive performance, the Green Wave did just enough to win the game and the deciding goal came as the result of some hard work following a corner. The ball was played in on a corner and knocked around inside the circle before Greenfield managed to get the ball down toward the Southwick goal line. Rams’ goalie Sarah Bodzinski (nine saves) went down and stacked her pads to stop the initial shot, but a gaggle of players swung madly at the rebound and Kennedy, on a second-effort, knocked home the rebound.
Greenfield finished with a 10-1 edge in shots on the game, and held Southwick (9-6-1) to zero shots in the second half. The only Rams’ shot of the game was a shot from just inside the circle with two minutes remaining in the first half and Green Wave goalie Maureen Fish easily kicked it out of danger for her lone save of the day. The Green Wave picked up play in the final 30 minutes, limiting Southwick to very few opportunities on the Greenfield half of the field, and while the Wave offense was unable to pop home a clinching goal, it did keep enough possession to act as a defense of its own.
“I feel like the second half, we played a little better,” Thayer said. “Offensively we stepped to the ball a little better. But we need to take about a million steps if we want to move forward.”
Greenfield moves on to play top-seeded Smith Academy in the Division II semifinals Wednesday evening at 5 at West Springfield High School.