Frontier soccer advances to Round of 32 with win over Nashoba Tech

  • Frontier's Makayla Santos beats Nashoba Valley Tech's Abigail Steers to the ball during the Redhawks’ 4-0 victory in the preliminary round of the MIAA Div. 5 girls soccer state tournament Thursday in South Deerfield. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Frontier's Hannah Mackin is contested by Nashoba Valley Tech's Nasta Koyutis during the Redhawks’ 4-0 victory in the preliminary round of the MIAA Div. 5 state tournament on Thursday in South Deerfield. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Frontier's Kylie Laford, center, reacts after scoring a first half goal with teammates Hannah Mackin and Jillian Worden against Nashoba Valley Tech during the Redhawks’ 4-0 victory in the preliminary round of the MIAA Div. 5 state tournament on Thursday in South Deerfield. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Frontier's Kaitlyn Mackin moves the ball up field against Nashoba Valley Tech during the Redhawks’ 4-0 victory in the preliminary round of the MIAA Div. 5 state tournament on Thursday in South Deerfield. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Frontier's Makayla Santos splits two Nashoba Valley Tech defenders during the Redhawks’ 4-0 victory in the preliminary round of the MIAA Div. 5 state tournament on Thursday in South Deerfield. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

Staff Intern
Published: 11/4/2021 9:22:54 PM

SOUTH DEERFIELD — The Frontier girls soccer team made their presence known in their first appearance in the new statewide tournament format.

The 21st-seeded Redhawks outlasted No. 44 Nashoba Valley Technical, 4-0, in the preliminary round of the MIAA Div. 5 tournament on Thursday.

Frontier advanced to play at 12th-seeded David Prouty on Saturday at 3 p.m. in Spencer.

Three of the Redhawks’ goals came in the second half to put the game out of reach.

“The first half was a little rough in the beginning,” Frontier head coach Philip Pittelli said. “In the second half, for the first 10 minutes we were really knocking the ball around really well.”

Despite the Redhawks’ slow start, the first goal of the night came at the 22:29 mark from Kylie Laford. The goal was set up by a forceful pass through the defense. As the play processed, Makayla Santos ran the ball down the center of the field, scanning the entire back wall of Nashoba. Suddenly, a thin area of space opened up. The ball was sent right through the defense and at the feet of Laford, when the goalkeeper attempted to snatch the ball up. As the keeper moved forward there wasn’t enough time to recover because Laford was able to get a toe on it to inch it slowly away and out of reach. She gathered and took the shot to hit the back of the net for a 1-0 lead.

Laford scored her second goal of the night in the second half. The advantage was doubled to 2-0 with 31:28 on the clock.

“[Laford] is always in the right spot at the right time,” Pittelli said. “This is a big confidence booster for her to see two goals go in.”

Laford has worked tirelessly to find the back of the net this season, despite some struggles to score according to coach Pittelli. With two goals in Thursday’s game, Pittelli said the work she has done has started to pay off during what is a crucial time of the season. 

The Redhawks tacked on two more goals by the end of the game. The third goal came from Madeline Bennett with 25:02 left, a tally that gave Santos a second assist.

Then came a successful penalty kick by Isabel Marrapese. 

Marrapese weaved in and out of the Nashoba defense to give her the room necessary to attempt to lunge forward and move in close. Her defender turned around to push her out of the ball’s pathway however, causing her to lose balance. The whistle was blown for the PK that led to the fourth goal on the night that closed out the game. 

In total, Frontier controlled the offensive side tallying eight shots on goal as opposed to Nashoba’s two. Many crosses in the box and aggressive runs were on display coming in the second half, which resulted in a quiet offensive performance for the Vikings. 

The Redhawks are now hoping to use the boost of confidence they received from Thursday’s win as they transition into the next stage of the state tournament and the Round of 32 matchup.


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