H.S. Field Hockey: Big first half powers Greenfield past Turners, 8-0

  • Greenfield’s Katie Haselton, left, and Turners Falls’ Jade Tyler battle for possession during the host Green Wave’s 8-0 victory on Wednesday in Greenfield. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Greenfield’s Kaylah Eggsware carries the ball with Turners Falls’ Paige Sulda defending during the host Green Wave’s 8-0 victory on Wednesday in Greenfield. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Turners Falls’ Ella Guidaboni clears the ball out of the zone with Greenfield’s Maddy Kuchieski (7) nearby during the host Green Wave’s 8-0 victory on Wednesday in Greenfield. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Greenfield’s Maddy Kuchieski, left, tries to hold off Turners Falls’ Paige Sulda during the host Green Wave’s 8-0 victory on Wednesday in Greenfield. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Greenfield’s Katie Haselton winds up with Turners Falls’ Paige Sulda defending during the host Green Wave’s 8-0 victory on Wednesday in Greenfield. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Greenfield’s Jenna Elwell, right, dribbles the ball with Turners Falls’ Brynn Tela trying to intercept during the host Green Wave’s 8-0 victory on Wednesday in Greenfield. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Greenfield’s Maddy Kuchieski fires a shot for a goal during the host Green Wave’s 8-0 victory on Wednesday in Greenfield. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Greenfield’s Amber Taylor, left, tries to keep pace with Turners Falls’ Taylor Murphy during the host Green Wave’s 8-0 victory on Wednesday in Greenfield. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

Staff Writer
Published: 10/28/2020 7:45:36 PM
Modified: 10/28/2020 7:45:31 PM

GREENFIELD — If Wednesday’s contest between Greenfield and Turners Falls wasn’t officially for the Franklin County title, nobody told the Green Wave.

Though Greenfield still has two games to play due to cancellations, Wednesday’s game against the Thunder pitted the two teams with the best record in the area, setting up an unofficial championship tilt.

The Green Wave certainly treated it as such, putting constant pressure on Turners defenders from the opening whistle. Three first-quarter goals were followed by another three in the second quarter, and that culminated in an 8-0 victory. 

“We came out this way the first game of the season,” Greenfield coach Erin Thayer said. “Then we lulled a little bit. I think today, they came out fired up and kept that going. We didn’t start strong the last time against Turners. Even though we have two games left we went out there today and said ‘Hey, this is our tournament game, let’s treat it like one.’” 

It was a balanced scoring effort for the Green Wave (6-0), with Kaylah Eggsware, Madyson Kuchieski and Katie Haselton each scoring twice in the win. Heather French and Lilia Kachelmeyer also tallied goals for the hosts.

“We went in with that tournament mindset,” Haselton said. “We got cut short with the tournament season but (Turners) and Frontier are our rivals so we try to get hyped before the game and treat it like a tournament game.” 

Haselton was all over the field for Greenfield. The senior added an assist and generated multiple chances for teammates in front of the cage. 

The two goals also pushed Haselton closer to the 100-point mark for her career, and she’s now just two points shy of reaching the milestone with two games remaining. While reaching the 100-point mark is a major accomplishment, Haselton said it’s not what’s on her mind on the field. 

“I don’t keep track of it,” she offered. “I just keep track of the wins and losses. It’d be cool to get (100 points). It’s a great accomplishment but I’m more worried about being there for my teammates and getting a win.”

Eggsware opened the scoring for the Green Wave in the first quarter. The junior intercepted a Thunder pass right outside the circle, raced straight toward the cage and put it home to give Greenfield the early lead. 

It took just 27 seconds for the hosts to strike again, with Haselton stealing the ball and passing it to Amber Taylor in front of the net. Taylor put a dangle move on the Turners defender in front of her, drawing all the attention to herself before dishing it off to a wide open Kuchieski for an easy score to make it 2-0 with 10:29 to play in the first quarter. 

The Wave lit up the scoreboard for a third time in the first quarter off the stick of Kuchieski via a cross-crease pass from Haselton.

“We had good practices all week before the game,” Haselton said. “We all were ready to play. We were practicing passing lanes and being there for each other.” 

The Thunder defense did a solid job to slow down the relentless Greenfield attack during the beginning of the second period, but the Wave offense came alive in the final minutes before the halftime whistle.

Greenfield made it a 4-0 game with 4:05 left in the half thanks to a goal from Eggsware off a great pass from French, and 35 seconds later, Haselton fired a missile in the slot for another goal. French added another with 31 ticks to play in the period off a dish from Kuchieski to make it a 6-0 game at the break. 

Thunder keeper Haleigh Greene was under constant duress, but came up with multiple stops to prevent even further damage.

The second half once again saw most of the play on the Turners side of the field. That resulted in a pair of Greenfield goals, the first from Kachelmeyer on a near breakaway in the closing seconds of the third quarter. Haselton fired a shot in for a tally during the fourth quarter to close out the scoring. 

The Thunder had a chance to get on the board late, but Hannah Marchefka’s shot hit off the post. Marchefka had a chance on the rebound, but Green Wave goalie Ainslee Flynn came across to make a great save and preserve the shutout. 

It was the final game of the season for Turners, making it the final high school field hockey game for nine Thunder seniors. Head coach Becky Dame said she couldn’t be more proud of the progress her team has made over the last few years. 

“Most of them have played since I started coaching in middle school and they were in eighth grade,” Dame said. “They’ve been with me the whole time I’ve been coaching here too, so it’s definitely a big loss. They’ve worked so hard the last five years. A lot of them played over the summer. They worked together for five years and to finally be seniors, they wanted this to be their year. They wanted this year to be the one to step forward. Today is a tough loss but Greenfield is a really good team and we played hard the whole game.”

Greenfield still has two games left on its schedule, as the club is scheduled to play against Frontier (today) and Pioneer (Nov. 4). The team is hoping to finish the season undefeated. 

“Being my senior year, that was our main goal,” Haselton said. “We wanted to end on that statement to take the Western Mass. championship back seeing as Frontier won it last year. Our goal was undefeated because that’s the best we could do so we’ll try our best all season.” 

Athol 2, Franklin Tech 0 — The other seeding matchup played Wednesday was between the Red Raiders and the Eagles, with Athol coming away with a 2-0 victory. 

Abby Kirwin scored the first goal for Athol off an assist from Sadey Lehtomaki. Christa Cucchi scored the insurance marker to put the game away off a dish from Kirwin.

Sam Kenniff stopped all three shots that came her way for the Red Raiders while Kyleigh Baleno stopped 13 shots for Franklin Tech. 


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