WMass Div. 2 Field Hockey: Turners Falls drops OT heartbreaker

  • Bailey McCoy, right, of Smith Academy, ahead of Turners Falls defenders Hannah Marchefka, left, and Jodi Rode, Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019 in Hatfield. Charlotte Cavanaugh, front, of Smith Academy, runs beside them.

  • Charlotte Cavanaugh, right, of Smith Academy, shoots against Turners Falls goalie Haleigh Green while defended by Audrey O'Keefe, Wednesday in Hatfield. Staff Photo/Jerrey Roberts

  • Amanda Novak, center, of Smith Academy, and Olivia Whittier, of Turners Falls, go to the ball, Wednesday in Hatfield. Staff Photo/Jerrey Roberts

  • Charlotte Cavanaugh, right, of Smith Academy, looks for a shot against Turners Falls defenders Haleigh Green, from left, Taryn Thayer and Jodi Rode, Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019 in Hatfield. Maisy Dyer, second from left, of Smith Academy, looks on.

  • Bailey McCoy, right, of Smith Academy, shoots against Aly Murphy, of Turners Falls, Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019 in Hatfield.

  • Hannah Marchefka, left, of Turners Falls, moves the ball beside Smith Academy defenders Makena Valentine, center, and Amanda Novak, Wednesday in Hatfield. Staff Photo/Jerrey Roberts

  • Alina Smiarowski, right, of Smith Academy, moves the ball against Jodi Rode, of Turners Falls, Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019 in Hatfield.

  • Amanda Novak, right, of Smith Academy, moves the ball against Jade Tyler, of Turners Falls, Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019 in Hatfield.

  • Makena Valentine, left, of Smith Academy, and Aly Murphy, of Turners Falls, go to the ball, Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019 in Hatfield.

Staff Writer
Published: 10/30/2019 10:59:21 PM
Modified: 10/30/2019 10:59:10 PM

HATFIELD — The work of the Turners Falls defense nearly led to a huge upset on Wednesday.

Seventh-seeded Turners Falls came to play against unbeaten Smith Academy in the quarterfinals of the Western Mass. Div. 2 Field Hockey Tournament. The Thunder didn’t allow a goal through all 60 minutes of regulation.

The problem for Turners was that the Smith Academy defense stood tall as well, keeping the Thunder off the scoreboard through regulation to force overtime. The Falcons capitalized with 2 minutes, 20 seconds remaining in the first 7-on-7 overtime period, and No. 2 Smith Academy advanced to the semifinals with a 1-0 victory.

“It’s frustrating, but I’m proud of them for making it this far,” Turners Falls coach Becky Dame said. “They beat us twice in the regular season so to hold them and force overtime, I’m proud. I know they’re very frustrated but they played a really good game.”

Smith Academy’s Karlie Guimond sealed the win for the Falcons (16-0-3), driving into the circle and putting a shot on goal that was initially saved by Thunder keeper Haleigh Greene. Guimond didn’t quit however, as she rushed in and put another shot on that was once again saved by Greene. The third attempt was the charm however, as she finally put one into the back of the cage for the game-winner.

“They worked hard and really wanted to win and knew they had the chance,” Dame said of her team. “They went in wanting to be (Smith’s) first loss of the season. They just had someone in the right spot at the right time.”

Greene was a big reason why Turners (9-6-1) forced overtime. The junior was a proverbial wall between the pipes, recording 12 saves. She consistently turned away attempts by the Falcon forwards, which put consistent pressure on the Thunder defense.

“She had some amazing saves,” Dame said of Greene. “She hit some of them out of the air with her hands. She was great. She’s been great all season.”

Offensively, it was a struggle for Turners. The visitors generated just four shots on goal, with play consistently on its defensive side of the field.

Early in the first half, the Thunder had multiple opportunities on penalty corners. They had four attempts in the first half of play, but were unable to generate many scoring chances.

The Falcons clamped down in the second half, allowing a mere two shots and two corners. Turners didn’t have a shot or corner in the 7-on-7 overtime period.

“They put pressure on our forwards,” Dame said. “As much as we tried to get the ball in there, they put hard pressure on us.”

Smith Academy thought it scored a pair of first-half goals that were taken off the board. 

The first came when the ball ricocheted off a Falcon forward in the circle off a corner, but the referee waved the goal off as the ball never exited the circle.

The second came minutes later, as a shot from outside the circle hit the corner of the cage. The ball laid right on the goal line however, and the referee ruled it never crossed over.

After nearly surrendering the pair of goals, the Thunder defense was put on high alert, buckling down for the remainder of the contest.

“That was a good turning point for our girls,” Dame said. “That got them really pumped up. They picked up their defense at that point. Those were two close ones, now we have to hold down the fort and they did.”

Smith Academy advanced to play No. 3 Greenfield in the WMass Division 2 semifinals. That contest is set for next Wednesday at 5 p.m. at Holyoke High School.

Smith Academy 1, Turners 0

Turners

0

0

0—

0

Smith Academy

0

0

1—

1

Goals: (SA) Guimond.

Assists: None

Shots: Turners 4. Smith 13.

Saves: (TF) Greene 12. (SA) Szynal 4.

Corners: Turners 6. Smith Academy 8.


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