Senator boys drop OT heartbreaker

Recorder Staff
Friday, November 03, 2017

Losing a postseason match is always painful. Losing it amid controversy makes it far worse.

Mahar Regional School goalie Alex Gurganus was called for a foul in the penalty box with under two minutes of extra time remaining in the first round of overtime on Friday and Easthampton High School’s Nic Soucy buried the ensuing penalty kick to lift the seventh-seeded Eagles past the 10th-seeded Senators, 2-1, in the WMass Division III Boys’ Soccer first round in Easthampton.

The controversial call came after a ball was played into the penalty area by Easthampton, sending Gurganus off his line to punch it away. Easthampton striker Fernando Tenesaca was in the area looking to receive the pass and as Gurganus punched the ball, he collided with Tenesaca in the air, drawing a penalty shot.

“It’s a very tough call to make with less than two minutes left of an overtime playoff game,” dejected Mahar coach Dan Guertin said. “To not allow a goalie to not have access to a ball played into the box is tough and so is having our season decided on a very debatable call. I would have preferred for the ref to have let us settle it on the field, but he made the call and we can’t go back now.

The Eagles advance to the quarterfinals to face second-seeded Southwick-Tolland Regional High School Monday at 2. Mahar’s season comes to an end at 9-7-3.

Easthampton took a 1-0 lead in the 19th minute when Soucy played a ball over the top of the Mahar defense into the 18-yard box where Tenesaca controlled the pass and buried it past Gurganus.

The score remained that way until 5 minutes, 50 seconds remained in the game. At that point, Mahar’s Logan Dodge took a shot that was stopped by Easthampton goalie Drew Caires, but Brennan Mailloux was there to clean up the rebound and tie the score. Two minutes later, Mahar had a chance to take the lead but Caires made a diving save, one of six on the day in the win.

Gurganus finished with nine saves for the Senators.

Pioneer 8, St. Mary’s 0 — Jordan Loughman registered four goals to power sixth-seeded Pioneer Valley Regional School past 11th-seeded St. Mary’s Parrish School, 8-0, in the first round of the WMass Division IV Boys’ Soccer tournament Friday evening in Northfield.

Loughman recorded the first two goals of the game both on assists from Jack Loud to give Pioneer (14-2-1) a 2-0 lead 12 minutes in. Nate Mousseau added a goal from Dana McRae in the 24th minute and the Panthers took a 3-0 lead into the break. The dam broke in the second half as Pioneer scored five times to pull away. McRae and Loughman each scored a pair of goals, and Gabe Martinez added one. Loughman, Loud and McRae each had second-half helpers for the Panthers.

Pioneer goalie Ryan Underwood stopped a pair of penalty kicks and finished with four saves to register the 13th shutout of the season for Pioneer.

The Panthers advance to Monday’s quarterfinals and will face third-seeded Mt. Everett Regional High school at 2 in Sheffield.

Pope Francis 8, FC Tech 0 — Axel Cruz-Olan scored just two minutes in, and fifth-seeded Pope Francis High School held serve at home thanks to an 8-0 victory over No. 12 Franklin County Technical School in a Western Mass. Division III Tournament first-round game Friday afternoon at Forest Park in Springfield.

The Cardinals (11-6-2) advanced to play No. 4 Mount Greylock Regional High School in the quarterfinal round.

“With this whole tournament format, everybody but one team ends with a loss so it kind of leaves a sour taste in your mouth,” explained FC Tech coach Kurt Richardson. “We just have to remember the success we had this year.”

Pope Francis, which led 4-0 at halftime, received a pair of goals from Simba Pelletier. Kenny Cesar also scored in the opening half for the Cardinals, which held a 19-2 advantage in shots on goal.

Goalkeeper Grayson Funk made 11 saves in the loss for FC Tech, which ends its season with a 9-7-3 overall record. Jaden Sadlowski had a strong game defensively.

“Once you’re outside our league, this is what it’s going to be like,” said Richardson of the high level of competition.

Girls’ volleyball

South Hadley 3, Mohawk 1 — Kiana Turner had a big night for South Hadley High School and the sixth-seeded Tigers eliminated 11th-seeded Mohawk Trail Regional High School, 25-7, 23-25, 25-11, 25-15 in the first round of the WMass Division III Girls’ Volleyball Tournament in South Hadley.

Lexi Mazza finished with 5 kills, 4 aces, 6 digs and 2 blocks for the Warriors, who finished the season 9-10 overall. Kylie Lowell had 5 kills and 5 digs, and Gabby Shean had 5 kills, 5 digs and a block. Ashley Reynolds finished with 1 kill, 11 assists and 3 digs, Kayla Martin added 11 digs and 1 ace, Julia Massey had 3 aces and 4 digs, Jordan Rice had 1 ace and 4 digs, and Erykka Henry finished with 6 digs.

Easthampton 3, Athol 1 — Michelle McDermott finished with 11 kills to lead fifth-seeded Easthampton past 12th-seeded Athol High School, 25-16, 25-11, 18-25, 25-17 in WMass Division III Girls’ Volleyball first round action Friday night in Easthampton.

Devney Horne had 9 kills and 4 blocks in the win, and Sierra Raskevitz had 9 kills, 10 digs and 2 aces.

Paige Truehart finished with 3 kills, 2 digs, 1 assist and 1 ace to lead Athol. Hannah Lajoie had 11 kills, 1 dig and 2 aces, while Abby Roberts had 2 kills, 2 blocks and 1 ace.