Field hockey: Frontier moves closer to postseason

  • Frontier’s Olivia Vecellio fires a shot against Mohawk in the first half Wednesday in Buckland. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Lila Roche, middle, puts in a rebound past Mohawk Trail goalie Maddie Gorrell to score in the first half Wednesday in Buckland. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Mohawk Trail defender Isis Moon, right, swipes the ball away from Frontier’s Olivia Vecellio in the first half Wednesday in Buckland. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Lila Roche carries the ball downfield ahead of Mohawk defender Sarah Herzig in the first half Wednesday in Buckland. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Olivia Vecellio, center, carries the ball downfield contested by Mohawk defenders Abby Sinistore, left, and Devyn Prusak in the second half Wednesday in Buckland. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Olivia Vecellio carries the ball against Mohawk in the first half Wednesday in Buckland. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Mohawk’s Abby Sinistore takes a shot against Frontier in the second half Wednesday in Buckland. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Olivia Vecellio carries the ball against Mohawk in the first half Wednesday in Buckland. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Mohawk’s Abby Sinistore passes the ball in on a penalty corner against Frontier in the second half Wednesday in Buckland. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • As the colors of fall begin to sharpen in the background, Mohawk Trail’s Mya Lesieur fights to get the ball past the Frontier defense in the second half Wednesday in Buckland. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Staff Writer
Published: 10/9/2019 9:40:37 PM
Modified: 10/9/2019 9:40:27 PM

BUCKLAND — For Frontier Regional School, the push toward an elusive WMass championship continued with another hurdle successfully cleared on Wednesday.

For Mohawk Trail, it was an impressive performance in defeat, especially under the circumstances.

Visiting Frontier moved within a point of postseason qualification, improving to 8-2 overall behind a 3-1 victory over the Warriors in an independent field hockey game.

“We need to adjust to the tempo of games much earlier than we have been recently but we slowly found our groove over the course of the game,” Frontier coach Missy Mahar explained. “I think we could’ve played much better, but don’t take anything away from Mohawk because they played really well. They were aggressive, they moved well to the ball.”

Mohawk Trail (4-7-2) put together an impressive performance in the loss. The hosts lost starting goalkeeper Kordaryl Kendall less than 15 minutes into regulation, as he went down with a shoulder injury and left in an ambulance following a nearly 30-minute delay. The squad stepped up in his absence, taking the action to high-powered Frontier at times.

“I’m so proud of them,” Mohawk Trail co-coach Kelsey Scranton said. “This is the best game we’ve played all season. And they kicked it into gear after (Kendall) went down. They wanted to play hard for him.”

Maddie Gorrell stepped into goal and played well in relief for the Warriors, recording nine saves. She immediately made a trio of saves upon entering, snuffing out a Frontier penalty corner attempt to keep the game scoreless.

The Red Hawks finally broke through just before halftime. Lila Roche found the back of the net after jumping on a rebound, staking Frontier to a 1-0 advantage that it would carry into halftime.

Emily DeMaio scored with an assist from Rebecca Wallace-West to make it a 2-0 game with 12 minutes into the second half, and Roche netted her second of the afternoon six minutes later to give the visitors some breathing room. Mahar said Roche, a freshman, has been a pleasant surprise off the bench this season.

“She’s done a really nice job,” the Frontier coach lauded. “I’ve put her out at left wing and she’s been able to penetrate and be in the right position to score when we need her to.”

Trailing 3-0 late, the Warriors battled back to get on the board with 1:10 remaining in regulation. Catie Silva collected a loose ball and fired it through traffic in the Frontier circle, finding daylight on the back post for a goal that cut the final deficit to 3-1.

“They weren’t timid,” offered Mohawk Trail co-coach Taylor Shippee of her club. “They didn’t let Frontier dictate how the game was going to go and that was great to see. They didn​​​​​​’t back down.”

The road win continued what will be a tough string for the Red Hawks the rest of the way. Frontier closes out its regular season with seven of its final nine games away from the comfy confines of South Deerfield. That stretch continues Friday when the squad heads to Westfield for a 4 p.m. contest. The Hawks currently sit alone atop the Valley League standings.

“We’re going to need to be a little more resilient moving forward, especially with the games that we have coming up,” Mahar said. “I expect the girls will continue to improve and we’ll get to where we need to be but we’ve got things we need to really focus on and improve.”

The Warriors also have a road-heavy rest of their schedule, which continues today with an away game at Mahar. Four of their final five games are away from home, and they need eight points the rest of the way to punch a postseason ticket.

“We’re just taking it one game at a time right now,” said Shippee. “We haven’t even talked about postseason or anything like that. They’ve been good about just focusing on the next thing and worrying about themselves.”

Frontier 3, Mohawk Trail 1

Frontier

1

2

3

Mohawk

0

1

1

Goals: (F) Roche 2, DeMaio. (M) Silva.

Assists: (F) Wallace-West.

Shots: Frontier 14. Mohawk 6.

Saves: (F) Burniske 5. (M) Gorrell 9, Kendall 2.

Corners: Frontier 4. Mohawk 3.




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