Field Hockey: Frontier, Greenfield play to scoreless draw (PHOTOS)

  • Greenfield goalie Ainslee Flynn (00) makes a save on Frontier’s Stella Heflin (19) during the second quarter of Wednesday’s Suburban League contest in South Deerfield. At left is Frontier’s Rowan Reilly (23). STAFF PHOTO/JEFF LAJOIE

  • Frontier’s Rebecca Wallace-West, left, battles for possession with Greenfield’s Amelia Keeler during Suburban League action on Wednesday in South Deerfield. STAFF PHOTO/JEFF LAJOIE

  • Greenfield’s McKenzie Boswell, left, tries to hold possession while defended by Frontier’s Hailey Hutkoski during Suburban League action on Wednesday in South Deerfield. STAFF PHOTO/JEFF LAJOIE

  • Frontier’s Rebecca Wallace-West controls the ball on her stick in the air during the Redhawks’ Suburban League contest against Greenfield on Wednesday in South Deerfield. STAFF PHOTO/JEFF LAJOIE

  • Greenfield’s McKenzie Boswell, left, battles for possession with Frontier’s Madison McKemmie during Suburban League action on Wednesday in South Deerfield. STAFF PHOTO/JEFF LAJOIE

  • Frontier’s Rebecca Wallace-West carries the ball down the field during the Redhawks’ Suburban League contest against Greenfield on Wednesday in South Deerfield. STAFF PHOTO/JEFF LAJOIE

Staff Writer
Published: 9/21/2022 7:47:37 PM
Modified: 9/21/2022 7:46:58 PM

SOUTH DEERFIELD — It’s always a battle when the Frontier and Greenfield field hockey teams get together. That was certainly the case on Wednesday. 

Offense was at a premium in the two rivals’ first matchup of the season, with both teams struggling to generate scoring opportunities. Both the Green Wave and Redhawks went through stretches possessing the ball in the other team’s circle, but both defenses stood strong to prevent either team from building a lead. 

Frontier finished the game with a 9-2 shot advantage but the ball never found its way into the back of either cage, with the game ending in a 0-0 Suburban League tie. 

For Redhawks coach Missy Mahar, hard-fought contests are what she’s come to expect when facing Greenfield. 

“You’d rather have games like this,” Mahar said. “You get the emotions and it’s a whole slew of things. It’s always a great time playing Greenfield. I think both teams look forward to it.”

The Green Wave (3-1-2, 3-1-2) may have gotten just one shot off in the first half, but they had a great opportunity late to win the game.

Greenfield held possession in the Frontier half for the majority of the fourth quarter, but struggled to generate good scoring chances. Lillia Kachelmeyer had the best shot of scoring one after getting a good look in front of the cage with two minutes to play, but Frontier keeper Ella Flanders came up with a huge save to halt the scoring chance. 

“It was a hard fought game,” Green Wave coach Erin Thayer said. “It wasn’t for a lack of effort. I think some of our inexperience showed through today in some spots. There’s plenty of things we need to work on to get stronger as a group.”

Mahar said she was proud of the way her team was able to handle the pressure late defensively. 

“Both teams come to play and they know it’s going to be a fight for 60 minutes,” Mahar said. “One team can have the edge in the first 15 [minutes] or the last 15. Greenfield carried play during the fourth quarter but it was evenly matched throughout the game. Those last eight minutes they pressured us and got their shot. We were holding our ground.” 

It was the Redhawks (2-1-2) that had the majority of the scoring chances early. Frontier put three shots on goal in the first quarter and two in the second quarter, but Green Wave goalie Ainslee Flynn was able to stop all five shots. 

Frontier got one shot off in the third quarter but opened the fourth by getting three shots on goal, all saved by Flynn. The Redhawks had a flurry of three corners in a row in the second quarter and finished the game with a 9-4 edge in that department.

“We were close to scoring a couple times but just couldn’t finish,” Mahar said. “We talked about it at practice yesterday that our first objective is penetrating the ball into the circle and coming up with a shot, a goal or a corner. They showed today that they knew not to hang onto it so much. We need to generate when we’re in that offensive 25 [yard area]. It’s an opportunity so we need to generate something. I was happy to see the shot totals and I was happy to see the corner totals. It’s just executing on those. Now we know what we need to fine tune and dive into.” 

Thayer said she was proud of the way Flynn played in goal to keep Frontier off the scoreboard. 

“Ainslee is great,” Thayer said. “She’s awesome. I can count on her every game.”

While the Green Wave are a young team still trying to find its groove, Thayer said she’s seen progress through six games. 

“They’re learning and we’re growing,” Thayer said. “I can’t ask for more than that. The effort is there. More of the glue on the field needs to come together. We’re missing some of that teamwork just because we're still trying to figure things out. It’s getting better, though. Our motto is to try to get better every day so that’s what we’re trying to do.”

Mahar said she’s been impressed with how her team has generated offensive chances, knowing those will hopefully lead to more goals in the future. 

“It’s just finishing,” Mahar said. “We created those opportunities, now it’s just finishing them in the goal and executing our corner opportunities. The takeaway is finishing on the opportunities they created. I was very pleased with how they played, the effort and how they stood their ground in those last eight minutes, didn’t panic and stayed composed. That’s nice to take away that when pressure is up and they’re getting challenged, they can stay composed and still work together. There was a lot of good stuff they showed today.” 

Greenfield is back in action on Friday hosting Minnechaug while Frontier will take on Agawam in South Deerfield on Friday. 


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