Denkiewicz helps Frontier surprise Mt. Greylock, 4-2

For The Recorder
Sunday, November 05, 2017

WILLIAMSTOWN — No. 10 Frontier Regional School built a two-goal first-half lead and used its physical defense to hold off late-charging No. 7 Mount Greylock’s offense, leading to a 4-2 win in the first round of the Western Massachusetts Division III tournament on Saturday.

Caitlyn Devine started the scoring for the Red Hawks with a goal in the 12th minute off a cross from Cambrie Hamilton.

Greylock controlled possession early, but Devine’s strike on one of the visitors’ first clean looks stole the momentum away from the home team.

“I think the game would’ve been very different in the first 10 minutes when we, I thought, dominated play,” Greylock coach Tom Ostheimer said. “If we just got one in the back of the net. ...We got pressure and then it seemed like things changed when they put (Denkiewicz) in.”

In the 37th minute, Natalie Denkiewicz scored the first of three straight goals on a highlight-reel shot. The Red Hawks forward made a strong run, forcing Greylock keeper Isabella Nicastro to take a step forward. She gathered the pass from Makayla Santos and fired the ball over Nicastro’s head, bouncing it off the crossbar and into the net.

Greylock’s Clara McWeeny cut into Greylock’s deficit with a goal off a feed from Leah Majumder in the 54th minute. Denkiewicz responded with the eventual winner just six minutes later.

The final 20 minutes was a mad dash of scoring chances by the Mounties. They’d work the ball into the box, but Frontier’s defenders held strong, winning the 50/50 chances by moving Greylock’s forwards off the ball.

Frontier coach Philip Pittelli said he coaches his defense to play with physicality.

“We played against Palmer and they were super physical. That was the first real physical team we faced,” Pittelli said. “All through practice we were gearing up for that. We worked on shoulder tackles, we worked one 1-v-1 situations, running through the balls. So the girls really took that to heart and definitely came out and played.”

Denkiewicz capped off her hat trick with a goal in the 79th minute. Maia Hirsch responded seconds after, but the clock ran out, ending the Mounties’ chance at a comeback.