Div. 2 State Field Hockey Semifinal: Frontier falls to Hopedale in double-overtime

  • Frontier’s Olivia Vecellio, center, breaks away past Hopedale defender Carli Schmidt (5) before taking a shot on goalkeeper Piper Hampsch in double overtime Thursday night during the Division 2 state semifinals at David J. Adams Memorial Field in Shrewsbury. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Lila Roche, center, fights for a rebound against Hopedale goalkeeper Piper Hampsch in the second half Thursday night during the Division 2 state semifinals at David J. Adams Memorial Field in Shrewsbury. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Olivia Vecellio, left, carries the ball downfield contested by Hopedale defenders Ali McMahon (13) and Carli Schmidt (5) in the second half Thursday night during the Division 2 state semifinals at David J. Adams Memorial Field in Shrewsbury. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Olivia Vecellio, left, carries the ball downfield contested by Hopedale defender Ali McMahon (13) in the second half Thursday night during the Division 2 state semifinals at David J. Adams Memorial Field in Shrewsbury. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Lila Roche, right, carries the ball downfield defended by Hopedale’s Emma Gosselin in the second half Thursday night during the Division 2 state semifinals at David J. Adams Memorial Field in Shrewsbury. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Olivia Vecellio, center, gets by Hopedale defender Carli Schmidt (5) to take a shot on goalkeeper Piper Hampsch in the second half Thursday night during the Division 2 state semifinals at David J. Adams Memorial Field in Shrewsbury. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Emily DeMaio, right, fights for possession against Hopedale defender Carli Schmidt (5) in the second half Thursday night during the Division 2 state semifinals at David J. Adams Memorial Field in Shrewsbury. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Grace Wesoloski, center, winds up to send a pass in between Hopedale defenders Rowe Murphy, left, and Zoe Athanasopoulas (7) in the first half Thursday night during the Division 2 state semifinals at David J. Adams Memorial Field in Shrewsbury. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier fans brave the cold to support the field hockey team during their game against Hopedale on Thursday night for the Division 2 state semifinals at David J. Adams Memorial Field in Shrewsbury.

  • Frontier lines up prior to the game against Hopedale on Thursday night for the Division 2 state semifinals at David J. Adams Memorial Field in Shrewsbury. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Staff Writer
Published: 11/14/2019 10:29:15 PM
Modified: 11/14/2019 10:29:04 PM

SHREWSBURY — The Frontier Regional School field hockey team could not quite get to its final goal of statewide supremacy.

The vision of a state championship vanished after the Red Hawks lost to Hopedale High School, 1-0, in double-overtime in the Division 2 state semifinals on Thursday night under the lights at David J. Adams Memorial Field.

Frontier (16-3-1) had sporadic opportunities, but could not get anything past Duke University-bound goalie Piper Hampsch and a tough Blue Raider defense.

“It was a combination of both,” Frontier coach Missy Mahar said. “The goalie comes out and is aggressive.”

Frontier had a chance just before Hopedale’s game-winner. Olivia Vecellio got in alone on Hampsch and tried to get to her backhand. Hampsch thrusted her feet toward the ball, knocking it away, which created the Blue Raider opportunity on the other end.

“They played their hearts out,” Mahar said. “Obviously, you hope for a different ending because one of their goals was to get to the state final on Saturday. I know they are going to hang their heads, but I am proud of them. They got to this point, and I couldn’t ask for any more from them. They played all out.”

Carly Smith scored with 3 minutes, 54 seconds left in the second overtime, advancing Hopedale (17-2-3) to the state finals against South champion Dover-Sherborn.

Smith took possession of a deflected pass and fired it to the right corner of the cage for the game-winner. 

Skyla Burniske (six saves) made a diving save in the first overtime , and another in the second to keep the game going for the Red Hawks.

Vecellio finished her career at Frontier with more than 100 points and a Western Mass. championship in her senior season.

“It’s been six years,” Vecellio said. “Six amazing years with Missy (Mahar).”

The Red Hawks lose eight seniors going into next season.

“I am going to miss them,” Mahar said. “They are one special group. They’ve played in a Western Mass. final all their years here. That’s something to be said about them and what they have brought to the program. They are a great bunch of girls. There will be a void next year without them.”

Madison Fifield, Amanda Fuller, Sofia Patten, Cassidy Bardwell, Emily Roberts, Lily Spencer, Grace Wesoloski and Vecellio played their final game for the Frontier field hockey program.

“Missy (Mahar) has made me into the person I am,” Spencer said. “Not just field hockey wise. Not being able to play for her is just really sad. I am hoping to continue my career in college, but it won’t be the same without her.”

Frontier put four shots on Hampsch and forced five corners.  Maeve Griffin was a strong presence for the Hopedale defense.

“They were just everywhere,” Spencer said of the Hopedale defense. “We couldn’t really dribble through them, which we’ve been used to doing. They were intercepting passes left and right. So it was tough.”

Frontier got in deep early in the game against the Blue Raiders. A shot by Vecellio off a penalty corner went wide, before Spencer’s centering pass bounced around in front of Hampsch before the keeper kicked it away.

The Red Hawks were pinned back for most of the first half after opening with offensive opportunities. In the second half, Vecellio wheeled her way to the front of Hopedale cage, but Hampsch went horizontal to bury the attempt. 

With 1:32 left in regulation, a play after a penalty corner made it to the far post, but the ball went wide and out of bounds before the Red Hawks could get a stick on it. 

Hampsch made four saves in the shutout.  The Blue Raiders had seven shots with three corners on the night.




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