Div. 4 boys soccer: Owen Babb, Frontier win thriller in PKs over Cohasset to earn semifinal berth

  • Frontier celebrates after winning the Division 4 boys state soccer tournament quarterfinal game against Cohasset on Saturday in South Deerfield. FOR THE RECORDER/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier goalkeeper Owen Babb makes the game winning save against Cohasset during penalty shootouts for the Division 4 boys state soccer tournament quarterfinal game on Saturday in South Deerfield. FOR THE RECORDER/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Cairn Bright sinks the final penalty kick against Cohasset to win the Division 4 boys state soccer tournament quarterfinal on Saturday in South Deerfield. FOR THE RECORDER/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier celebrates after winning the Division 4 boys state soccer tournament quarterfinal game against Cohasset in penalty kicks on Saturday in South Deerfield. FOR THE RECORDER/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier celebrates after winning the Division 4 boys state soccer tournament quarterfinal game against Cohasset on Saturday in South Deerfield. FOR THE RECORDER/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier after winning the Division 4 boys state soccer tournament quarterfinal game against Cohasset on Saturday in South Deerfield. FOR THE RECORDER/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Devin Niles (12), right, clears the ball downfield against Cohasset in the second half of the Division 4 boys state soccer tournament quarterfinal game on Saturday in South Deerfield. FOR THE RECORDER/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier goalkeeper Owen Babb clears out a corner kick sent in by Cohasset in the second half of the Division 4 boys state soccer tournament quarterfinal game on Saturday in South Deerfield. FOR THE RECORDER/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier goalkeeper Owen Babb jumps to make a save over Cohasset attacker Zach Smith in the second half of the Division 4 boys state soccer tournament quarterfinal game on Saturday in South Deerfield. FOR THE RECORDER/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontie’s Brady Burch (9), left, carries the ball downfield under pressure from Cohasset’s Justin Appleby (5) during overtime of the Division 4 boys state soccer tournament quarterfinal game on Saturday in South Deerfield. FOR THE RECORDER/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Brady Burch fires a shot against Cohasset goalkeeper Luc Nivaud in the second half of the Division 4 boys state soccer tournament quarterfinal game on Saturday in South Deerfield. FOR THE RECORDER/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Devin Niles (12) winds back to take his penalty kick against Cohasset during overtime shootouts of the Division 4 boys state soccer tournament quarterfinal game on Saturday in South Deerfield. FOR THE RECORDER/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Chanhee Son sinks his penalty kick against Cohasset during overtime shootouts of the Division 4 boys state soccer tournament quarterfinal game on Saturday in South Deerfield. FOR THE RECORDER/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Chanhee Son (17), right, fights to keep possession over Cohasset’s Joshua Kripke (24) in the second half of the Division 4 boys state soccer tournament quarterfinal game on Saturday in South Deerfield. FOR THE RECORDER/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Fernando Saravia clears the ball downfield against Cohasset in the second half of the Division 4 boys state soccer tournament quarterfinal game on Saturday in South Deerfield. FOR THE RECORDER/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier fans cheer during penalty shootouts against Cohasset for the Division 4 boys state soccer tournament quarterfinal game on Saturday in South Deerfield. FOR THE RECORDER/DAN LITTLE

Staff Writer
Published: 11/13/2021 6:45:33 PM

Through 100 minutes of action, neither the Frontier boys soccer team or Cohasset could find the back of the net.

That changed quickly once the game went to penalty kicks to decide who would move on to the MIAA Div. 4 semifinals.

The No. 4 Redhawks converted all four of their penalty kicks while Frontier goalie Owen Babb came up with a save when his team needed it most as Frontier came away with a 4-2 victory in PKs over the No. 5 Skippers.

“I’ve never had a win this big in the program,” Frontier coach Evan Horton said. “This team has made it as far as any team in Frontier history. I told the guys they’ll be etched in the history books here. We knew these guys would be the toughest team we’d play in our bracket. There wasn’t much difference between these teams. I’m so happy for our guys. They fought hard.”

Skipper Alex Norgeot opened the PKs with a blast that made it to the bottom left corner of the net to give Cohasset a 1-0 advantage. Redhawk Brady Burch followed it up with a goal himself in the same spot to draw even.

Nathan Charron put one into the top left corner for the Skippers but Devin Niles responded with a shot that found its way into the bottom right corner of the goal to make it 2-2.

Kevin Federle went next for Cohasset and his shot banged off the right post and out, and Chanhee Son scored for Frontier to give it a 3-2 edge.

Justin Appleby took the next shot for the Skippers, needing a make to put pressure back on the Redhawks. He took the kick and sent it toward the left post, but Babb guessed correctly, using his long frame to block the shot.

“I was confident in my team making shots,” Babb said. “I was just hopeful I could make a play myself. It was all we needed. It was guessing but it’s years of playing and naturally responding to how their hips move.” 

Cairn Bright shot next with a chance to ice the game for Frontier. The senior captain ran up, blasted a shot that made its way to the bottom left corner of the goal to send the Redhawks to the semifinals.

“I feel relaxed now,” Babb said. “It was such an intense game. Having it come down to those final few shots was one of the scariest moments I’ve experienced in sports. I’m happy we made it here and got the win.” 

Frontier felt good about its chances in the shootout with the combination of a dangerous lineup and Babb in goal. 

“We felt confident going into the shootout,” Horton said. “He’s a freshman but the boys believe in him and that goes a long way. He got barraged in this game. He guessed one right and he’s big enough where if he guesses right, he’ll get it. All of our shooters came through. I wasn’t sure who I was going to put up there. I talked to the guys and asked them who they wanted and they came up with the five and got it done.”

Through 40 minutes of action, it looked like the Redhawks (15-2-4) were just hanging on. Cohasset came out strong, with striker Lucas Federle just missing on a pair of open nets. 

Even with the game scoreless at the half, Frontier knew it needed to make adjustments to stay in it with the Skippers. 

“In the first half they were owning possession,” Horton said. “We were fighting for our lives. They owned possession, they owned the ball and had the bulk of the chances. They outshot us 12-0 so they definitely owned the first half.”

The second half and overtime saw the Redhawks possess the ball more and get opportunities on goal. Burch sent a free kick just inches over the goalpost, Niles blasted a shot that was saved by the outstretched arms of Cohasset goalie Liam Heinlein, and Dylan Martin nearly sent a corner into the goal but it dinged off the top of the crossbar. 

“We slowly crept our way in in the second half,” Horton said. “We started to finally get things going. I still think they owned the majority of the possession. They went to the ball well and we struggled to win 50/50 balls. At the end, we did everything we could to keep the ball out of the back of the net. We woke them up and showed them we were in the game.”

Neither squad was able to produce a goal in the two 10-minute overtime periods to send the game to a shootout tied 0-0. 

Frontier moves onto the semifinals with a meeting against top-seeded Hampshire Regional, which defeated Wahconah 4-0 over the weekend in another quarterfinal tilt. The game will be played Wednesday at 5 p.m. at Chicopee Comp.




Greenfield Recorder

14 Hope Street
Greenfield, MA 01302-1367
Phone: (413) 772-0261
Fax: (413) 772-2906

 

Copyright © 2021 by Newspapers of Massachusetts, Inc.
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy