Lady Senators roll over Putnam 5-0
ORANGE — It was a display of complete and total dominance for the Lady Senators Thursday night at the James S. Woodward Sports Complex.
The No. 7 seed Mahar Regional girls soccer team pummeled tenth-seeded Putnam Vocational Academy, 5-0, in the first round of the Western Massachusetts Division III Girls Soccer Tournament, and it really wasn’t even that close. Play was on the Mahar (10-7-2) offensive end virtually all evening long, and the Beavers managed only three total shots on goal on the night to the Lady Senators’ 34.
“We’re not a big possession team, we’re more of a field position team, “said Mahar head coach Chad Softic. “We know the other team can’t score from our offensive end, so it’s kind of our strategy, chip and run. It’s a style that we’re comfortable with, and I thought the girls did a real good job here tonight. Putnam had a really hard time getting into our defensive third.”
Mahar got on the board just over four minutes in, at the 35:49 mark. On a breakaway down the left side, freshman striker Tori Tenney took a pass from junior midfielder Kelsey Killay and buried it into the back of the net from point-blank range for the 1-0 lead. It was the first of a hat trick for Tenney in the contest.
Mahar continued its offensive dominance, and at the 25:00 mark, senior midfielder Alex Temple doubled the lead with a gorgeous shot on a direct kick from fifteen yards out on the right side into the left corner of the goal. Tenney recorded her second goal less than a minute later with an assist from fellow freshman Jeanne Grutchfield, which originated with a corner kick perfectly placed by Temple.
Putnam (9-6-4) had a breakaway opportunity at the 18:25 mark, but it was broken up and kicked out of bounds by the defense, setting up a corner kick for the Beavers. Mahar controlled the kick and cleared, and the ball didn’t see the Putnam offensive end again until there were 12 minutes remaining in the half, when the Beavers had their best chance of the night, but couldn’t finish the deal.
First half scoring wrapped up with 2:34 remaining when off a direct kick from senior forward Maggie Bramhall, sophomore Katie Cleveland found the back of the net with a header. The Senators had several more chances in a frenetic final two minutes, but entered the break holding on to a 4-0 advantage.
Mahar’s offensive control continued in the second half, though the pace of scoring did not. Tenney completed her hat trick on a breakaway seven minutes in, making it 5-0, and though the Senators would have a few more chances, that would be the final.
“Our defensive backs, Jazmyn (Vautour), Brittany (Gray) and Kelsey (Killay) just did a great job all night, their touches were good in the back and they were sending balls all night, putting pressure on them. It was great to see,” said Softic.
Offensively, the coach was pleased as well, especially with his freshman striker Tenney. “Getting Tori going was big, she’s really our most athletic player, we only play one striker and she’s going to have to get those kinds of athletic goals, and she did that tonight,” he said.
Up next for Mahar is number two seed Wahconah, to which the Senators will travel Saturday for a 5 p.m. tilt.
“They’re outstanding. We’re going to have to be very tight in the back and take advantage of the few opportunities we get offensively, said Softic. “They’ll probably control a lot of the play, but we’re a quick counter team, and we can certainly beat them if we really limit our mistakes.”