Boys Soccer: Frontier earns tie in final game

  • Frontier’s Tom Kurkulonis (8) and Sam Felton-Emrick (15) fight for possession against Monson’s Luke Hedspeth on Thursday at Herlihy Park in Whately. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Carson Kocot, right, takes a shot past Monson defender Logan Gerry in the first half Thursday at Herlihy Park in Whately. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Ethan DeMaio heads the ball in the first half against Monson on Thursday at Herlihy Park in Whately. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Brady Burch, center, heads the ball under pressure from Monson defender Jacob Williams in the first half Thursday at Herlihy Park in Whately. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Tom Kurkulonis traps the ball in the first half against Monson on Thursday at Herlihy Park in Whately. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Brady Burch, left, sends a cross at the end line past Monson defender Connor Santos on Thursday at Herlihy Park in Whately. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Staff Writer
Published: 10/31/2019 9:18:14 PM
Modified: 10/31/2019 9:21:19 PM

WHATELY — It wasn’t the ending to the season the Frontier Regional boys soccer team imagined. 

Following an 11-8-1 campaign in 2018 which saw the Red Hawks make it to the Div. 3 finals, expectations were high for a Frontier team that returned 12 seniors to the roster. 

Instead, the Red Hawks (5-9-3) didn’t have the season they envisioned, failing to make the tournament and closing its season with a 0-0 tie with Monson on Thursday. 

The game was called at halftime due to rain and slippery field conditions, with the Mustangs not wanting to risk injury as they had already qualified for the tournament. 

“We were actually playing some good soccer late in the first half,” Frontier coach Evan Horton said. “I thought we were going to put one in. Some of my younger guys were playing good, so more playing time for them would have been great. I’m not here to ruin someone’s tournament, though. I think they have a chance to go pretty far. If we were in their position, I would have wanted it to go the same way.” 

The draw marks a positive note for the Red Hawks, as the last two games haven’t gone the way they had imagined. 

On Monday, Frontier was officially eliminated from the tournament after a 4-0 loss to Mount Greylock, all four goals coming in the second half. Two goals came on penalty kicks within a minute of each other. 

Without anything to play for, the Red Hawks put up a clunker against Northampton on Wednesday, suffering a 4-1 loss to a Blue Devil team who had just one win entering the contest. 

Through a couple minutes against Monson, Horton was worried his squad wasn’t bringing any energy, but the Red Hawks quickly picked up the pace. 

“We didn’t start off great,” Horton said. “We had the same mentality as yesterday which wasn’t great. I told the players to try to finish it the right way and there was a good response to that. Definitely positives, it’s hard to have a lot of positives at this point in the season.” 

The Mustangs finished with a 9-3 shot advantage, with Nick Jarvis coming away with five saves in goal for Frontier. 

The Red Hawks thought they the scored game’s first goal toward the end of the first half, as Dwight Balk put the ball in the back of the net, but it was called off as the referee ruled he had kicked it out of the keepers hand. 

With the game not holding tournament implications for Frontier, Horton had an opportunity to play younger players to get them varsity experience going into next year. 

Freshman Avery Keller stepped into goal for part of the first half, not having to make any saves but getting to see his first varsity minutes. 

Keller figures to slide into Jarvis’ role next season, having stopped five penalty kicks in junior varsity action this year. 

Horton was proud of the way the young players handled themselves. 

“Some of the younger guys played well, which was good to see moving forward,” Horton said. “We have to figure out what next year looks like and we have to have a mentality change. A lot of that won’t carry over to next year from today but I think it’s important for these guys to see so next year we can realize we don’t want to be in this situation again next year.” 

For Jarvis, Ben Morse, Sam Felton-Emrick, Tenzin Tsundue, Ethan DeMaio, Tom Kurkulonis, Vick McNutt, Eliot Johnson, James Morgan, Sam Battisti, Connor Waitkus and Emmett McGranaghan, Thursday’s game marks the final time they’ll suit up for the Frontier soccer team. Horton hopes the final stretch doesn’t sour their memory of the team, hoping the effort they showed Thursday takes some of the bad taste out of the mouth. 

“I know what it’s like when it’s over,” Horton said. “It’s been 20 years and I still have memories like that. You don’t want to think back on these last couple games as a negative thing. That’s what I’m trying to get away from them and I’m hoping they can forget about it and the underclassmen can put it in their pocket and know next year we have to change how we approach things.” 

Frontier 0, Monson 0

Ware

0

0

0

Frontier

0

0

0

Goals: None

Assists: None

Saves: (M) N/A 2. (F) Jarvis 5.


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