Girls Soccer: Young Franklin Tech falls to Pathfinder at home

  • Franklin Tech's Cailin McClure (11) is defended by Pathfinder's Victoria Stephens during the host Eagles’ 6-0 Bi-County League loss on Tuesday in Turners Falls. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Franklin Tech's Skylar Alamed, left, is shielded off the ball by Pathfinder's Brianna Valley during the host Eagles’ 6-0 Bi-County League loss on Tuesday in Turners Falls. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Franklin Tech's Christiana Dunn, right, is defended by Pathfinder's Brianna Valley during the host Eagles’ 6-0 Bi-County League loss on Tuesday in Turners Falls. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Pathfinder's Christine Pereira, left, and Franklin Tech's Ella Kolodziej vie for the ball during the host Eagles’ 6-0 Bi-County League loss on Tuesday in Turners Falls. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Franklin Tech's Anne Kolodziej passes the ball while being defended by Pathfinder's Steph Kozlik during the host Eagles’ 6-0 Bi-County League loss on Tuesday in Turners Falls. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Pathfinder's Victoria Stephens, left, and Franklin Tech's Emma Elliott vie for the ball during the host Eagles’ 6-0 Bi-County League loss on Tuesday in Turners Falls. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

Staff Writer
Published: 9/14/2021 9:41:15 PM
Modified: 9/14/2021 9:41:17 PM

TURNERS FALLS — Pathfinder’s Christina Pereira gave the Franklin Tech girls soccer team’s defense some problems on Tuesday.

Pereira scored two goals in the first half to give the Pioneers a 4-0 lead at intermission, then tallied a third in the second half to cap off the hat trick as visiting Pathfinder earned a 6-0 Bi-County League.

Franklin Tech coach Jason Butynski said he was pleased with the way his team came out in the second half compared to how it looked over the first 40 minutes of action.

“I’m happy with the way we responded in the second half after a disappointing first half,” Butynski said. “The first half was the worst we’ve played all year.”

It was a solid start for Eagles goalie Emily Merritt, who stopped five shots in the game’s first seven minutes as the Pathfinder offense was aggressive early.

That offensive charge was rewarded in the ninth minute, with Savanah Ranzie knocking a cross into the box that was stopped initially by Merritt. Pereira was there to clean up the loose ball and give the Pioneers the early 1-0 lead.

Franklin Tech had a great chance to tie the game in the 32nd minute. Anne Kolodziej got into the box and drove a shot on goal, but Pathfinder keeper Angelina Therein was alert and made a big save to keep the Eagles off the board.

Off that save, Pathfinder raced down the field where Ranzie drilled a shot off the post, but Victoria Stephens was there to clean it up and put the Pioneers ahead, 2-0.

Pathfinder kept the momentum rolling, as the visitors drew a penalty kick just before halftime. Pereira buried it into the bottom left corner of the goal to extend the Pioneer lead to 3-0. In extra time in the first half, Steph Kozlik made a great pass to Stephens, who blasted a shot in from the edge of the box into the top right corner of the goal and suddenly Pathfinder held a 4-0 advantage heading into the break.

With what is largely a brand new team, the Eagles are still learning how to gel.

“We’re young,” Butynski said. “We’re learning how to play together and how to play as a team.”

Franklin Tech came out with a renewed sense of energy in the second half, dominating possession for the first 10 minutes though the Eagles were unable to light up the scoreboard.

While the Pioneers didn’t have much possession early, they found a way to put a goal in the back of the net. Samantha Lowe hit a shot into the box where Pereira corralled it and fired it off the left post and in to make it a 5-0 contest. The final Pathfinder strike came in the 74th minute, as Stephens found Cordelia Hageman for a goal in front.

The Eagles (0-3) had a great chance to score in the 71st minute off a corner, but Skylar Alamed’s shot sailed just inches over the crossbar.

Three games into the season, Butynski is seeing progress from his group.

“I continue to see growth each time we’re out there,” Butynski said. “I see the girls are making good decisions out there.”

Franklin Tech is back in action on Thursday, traveling to Hatfield to take on Smith Academy for a 4 p.m. Bi-County League kickoff.


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