Victory wasn’t in the cards for Greenfield

  • Greenfield’s Raegan Hickey (5) defends against Oakmont’s Madelyn Moran (6) during the second half of the MIAA Division II state semifinal Tuesday night at Grafton High School. Greenfield fell, 7-1. RECORDER STAFF/DAN LITTLE

Recorder Staff
Tuesday, November 14, 2017

GRAFTON — Madelyn Moran and her Oakmont Regional High School teammates felt good about their chances going into Tuesday night’s MIAA Division II state semifinal. But even the talented senior midfielder was surprised how well the Spartans performed.

Oakmont’s 7-1 win over Greenfield High School vaulted the central Massachusetts champions into the Division II state title game for the second consecutive year. Despite winning 16 games during the regular season, however, Moran said Tuesday night’s performance was easily her team’s best showing.

“Overall it was our best game of the year,” explained Moran, who scored two goals and is headed to play at Division I University of Vermont next year. “Our spacing was great. We really turned it on tonight.”

Oakmont head coach Leanne Roy concurred with her star midfielder’s assessment.

“By far our best game of the year,” Roy stated. “The girls, I think, finally realized how to put all the pieces of the puzzle together.”

After falling 4-1 in last year’s state semifinal to Oakmont, the rematch proved to be another tall task for Greenfield (15-5-1). The Spartans, at their best, coupled with a disappointing performance from the Wave was not a good combination.

“We knew we had to come with our ‘A-plus’ game and I don’t think we ever got to a ‘C,’” Greenfield coach Erin Thayer admitted.

Scouting Greenfield

Oakmont did have some knowledge of Greenfield thanks to last year’s semifinal win, though Roy said the Wave proposed a challenging matchup.

“Doing some research on them, (Audrey) Bresciano and (Raegan) Hickey are super-high scorers for them. When you see goal totals like that, you take notice,” Roy said. “With the two of them doing the majority of the scoring, we wanted to try to make them work for everything they got and keep the ball away as much as we could.”

Moran said her team’s game plan was sound in preparing for the Wave.

“We definitely felt prepared coming in because we knew their key players,” she explained. “But just because we won last year, every game is new and every year is new. It doesn’t matter what we did against them last year.”

Watertown awaits

Eight-time defending state champion Watertown High School picked up a 1-0 win over Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School in the other semifinal Tuesday night, and the Raiders will meet Oakmont Saturday at Worcester Polytechnic Institute for the second straight title-game meeting.

Watertown, which had its 184-game unbeaten streak snapped earlier this season, captured last year’s title with a tight 4-3 win over the Spartans.

“The girls are super excited,” said Roy of the rematch. “It’s something they’ve worked for all year. To have it work out where we can play them in the finals again, it’s awesome.”

Haselton overcomes adversity

Greenfield freshman Katie Haselton suffered a setback early in the first half of Tuesday night’s game. The team’s center-midfielder took a stick to the mouth, knocking one of her teeth loose in the process. Haselton was on the sidelines for several minutes being attended to by the trainer.

“They had to push (the tooth) back into place,” Thayer offered of the injury.

After receiving parental permission to return, Haselton played the rest of the game despite what was undoubtedly an uncomfortable situation.

“That definitely affected her, I’m sure,” Thayer said of the issue.

Howland gets into the act

The goalkeeper for the entire season while junior Samantha Smith was out recovering from a knee injury, senior Lizzy Howland made an appearance as a field player in her final field hockey game. Howland checked into the game as a defender with 14:53 left in the second half.

Howland is one of five seniors who played in their last game Tuesday night.