Greenfield breaks through, beats Oakmont to reach state Division 2 field hockey final

  • Greenfield's Raegan Hickey hugs Racquel Provost while the team celebrates their state semifinal win over Oakmont Regional, Tuesday night, at Tantasqua Regional High School in Fiskdale, Nov. 13, 2018. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Greenfield's Racquel Provost celebrates with goalkeeper Sam Smith after their state semifinal win over Oakmont Regional, Tuesday night, at Tantasqua Regional High School in Fiskdale, Nov. 13, 2018. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Greenfield's Audrey Bresciano (10) takes a shot against Oakmont Regional in the first half of the state semifinal, Tuesday night, at Tantasqua Regional High School in Fiskdale, Nov. 13, 2018. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Greenfield's Raegan Hickey (5) sweeps a shot against Oakmont Regional in the second half of the state semifinal, Tuesday night, at Tantasqua Regional High School in Fiskdale, Nov. 13, 2018. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Greenfield's Audrey Bresciano carries the ball up the sideline against Oakmont Regional in the first half of the state semifinal, Tuesday night, at Tantasqua Regional High School in Fiskdale, Nov. 13, 2018. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Greenfield's Audrey Bresciano sends a cross into the circle against Oakmont Regional in the first half of the state semifinal, Tuesday night, at Tantasqua Regional High School in Fiskdale, Nov. 13, 2018. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Greenfield's Katie Haselton (2) takes a shot against Oakmont Regional in the first half of the state semifinal, Tuesday night, at Tantasqua Regional High School in Fiskdale, Nov. 13, 2018. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Greenfield's Raegan Hickey (5) scores against Oakmont Regional in the second half of the state semifinal, Tuesday night, at Tantasqua Regional High School in Fiskdale, Nov. 13, 2018. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Greenfield's Katie Haselton (2) takes a shot against Oakmont Regional in the first half of the state semifinal, Tuesday night, at Tantasqua Regional High School in Fiskdale, Nov. 13, 2018. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Greenfield's Katie Haselton (2) carries the ball against Oakmont Regional in the first half of the state semifinal, Tuesday night, at Tantasqua Regional High School in Fiskdale, Nov. 13, 2018. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Greenfield players Brielle Widelo, from left, Racquel Provost, Sam Smith, and Nicole Miner react after their state semifinal win over Oakmont Regional, Tuesday night, at Tantasqua Regional High School in Fiskdale, Nov. 13, 2018. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Greenfield head coach Erin Thayer during their game against Oakmont Regional in the second half of the state semifinal, Tuesday night, at Tantasqua Regional High School in Fiskdale, Nov. 13, 2018. Staff Photo/Dan Little

Staff Writer
Published: 11/13/2018 10:37:39 PM

FISKDALE — Two years of Oakmont misery washed away with a pair of Raegan Hickey goals.

After having its season ended each of the past two seasons in the MIAA Division 2 semifinal round, Greenfield High School exorcised some demons Tuesday night. Hickey buried a pair of second-half goals, and the Green Wave punched their ticket to their first state title game in nearly two decades thanks to a 2-0 win over Oakmont Regional at Tantasqua Regional High School.

Greenfield (20-2) will play Dennis-Yarmouth (20-0-3), which shocked nine-time defending state champion Watertown, 2-1, in Tuesday’s other semifinal. The state championship is Saturday at Worcester Polytechnic Institute at 1:30 p.m.

“It’s our senior year and there was no way we were going out without a fight,” said Greenfield goalkeeper Samantha Smith, who made just one save — albeit a huge one — to earn the shutout against Oakmont. “And it was nice to get a little redemption (against Oakmont).”

Indeed, the Green Wave broke through after losing to the Spartans in the last two state semifinals by an 11-2 margin. That included a 7-1 blowout a year ago.

“We’ve been looking forward to this all year ... getting back to this game and getting another shot at Oakmont,” senior Audrey Bresciano offered. “It’s surreal.”

After being overwhelmed in last year’s defeat, Greenfield showed no signs of nerves from the get-go Tuesday. Over the course of the 60 minutes that followed, the Wave held the majority of the possession, outshot Oakmont by a 6-1 margin, and had a 9-1 edge in corners.

None of that mattered on the scoreboard until Hickey broke a scoreless game with 14 minutes, 33 seconds left in the second half. A hustle play from eighth-grader Lillia Kachelmeyer kept the ball in play and resulted in a corner that Greenfield cashed in on. Racquel Provost got the set piece started, finding the stick of Bresciano. She slid a pass to Hickey, and her blast beat Oakmont goalkeeper Sam Gastonguay up high and to the right for a 1-0 advantage.

“I definitely didn’t aim it to go up high like that but I’ll take it,” said Hickey with a laugh. “They all count the same.”

Smith said Hickey’s opening goal was part relief, part jubilation.

“I just wanted to hug somebody,” she said.

Kachelmeyer coming through to help set things up was just what the Green Wave needed, according to Greenfield coach Erin Thayer.

“I told the girls it takes everyone fighting for every ball to get a win like this and that’s exactly what we got,” she said. “(Kachelmeyer) played awesome in there. She started it and we executed. We put a lot of pressure on but we just couldn’t break through until then.”

Despite clinging to the one-goal lead, Greenfield stayed on the attack. Bresciano and Hickey hit Oakmont on a counterattack that put the finishing touches on the semifinal win with 2:55 to play. Bresciano sent a lead pass that Hickey ran onto, putting her behind the Spartans defense. With Gastonguay charging, Hickey did what she’s done countless times this fall, placing a shot into the far corner that provided the insurance the Wave needed and a 2-0 advantage.

“In that situation, I’m not playing around with the ball I’m just trying to pick a corner,” Hickey explained.

Greenfield survived Oakmont’s lone corner of the game with 1:15 remaining, as Nikki Miner cleared a loose ball from danger, and the Wave managed to run out the clock to secure a spot in the state final.

“It feels so good,” Thayer said. “I’m just so proud of these kids because they’ve worked so incredibly hard this year. And the seniors, they are so deserving of this moment. It’s been a long time coming but it’s definitely worth it in the end.”

Smith’s one save came with 2:37 left in the first half. In a scoreless game with momentum there for the taking, Oakmont (12-3-6) put its most sustained pressure on the Greenfield net. Sarah Richard broke in with a small window of space, forcing the senior goalkeeper to come charging from her post. Like she has throughout her outstanding career, she slid to cut down the angle, knocking the ball away at the final second after Richard’s deflection.

“We controlled the game so I didn’t want to let anything get by me and give (Oakmont) a chance to take the lead,” Smith said.

Greenfield will be the first local field hockey team to play in the state title game since 2008, when Mohawk lost to Hopkinton for the Div. 2 crown. It’s been 19 years since the last Franklin County state championship, when the Wave brought home the 1999 title.

“This has been our goal since eighth grade,” said Hickey of reaching the state final. “It’s awesome to be here and be in this spot. We just want to keep it going.”


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