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Division 2 field hockey: Frontier blanks South Hadley, sets up finals rematch with Greenfield

  • South Hadley's Kelly Clare (24) contends for the ball against Frontier's Olivia Vecellio (7) in the first half on Monday, Nov. 6, 2017 in Holyoke. RECORDER STAFF/DAN LITTLE

  • South Hadley defenders Taylor Gelinas (8), left, and Kelly Clare (24) attempt to strip the ball away from Frontier's Olivia Vecellio (7) in the first half on Monday, Nov. 6, 2017 in Holyoke. RECORDER STAFF/DAN LITTLE

  • South Hadley's Isabelle Yee (9) contends for possession against Frontier's Grace Wesoloski (4) in the first half on Monday, Nov. 6, 2017 in Holyoke. RECORDER STAFF/DAN LITTLE

  • South Hadley's Corryn Moroney (11) defends against Frontier's Kathryn Mason (32) in the first half on Monday, Nov. 6, 2017 in Holyoke. RECORDER STAFF/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier Regional’s Olivia Vecellio, left, hugs goalie Skyla Burniske after beating South Hadley, 3-0, in the Western Massachusetts Division 2 Tournament semifinal, Monday in Holyoke. The Red Hawks will play Greenfield for the championship, Thursday. Visit gazettenet.com for more photos. RECORDER STAFF/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier's Amelia Sobieski (18) dribbles the ball downfield in the first half against South Hadley on Monday, Nov. 6, 2017 in Holyoke. RECORDER STAFF/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier's McKenzie Patterson (6) sprints on a breakaway defended by South Hadley's Jillian Ayers (5) in the second half on Monday, Nov. 6, 2017 in Holyoke. RECORDER STAFF/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier's Olivia Vecellio (7) carries the ball downfield between South Hadley defenders Emma Rahilly (16) and Breanne Foley (19) in the first half on Monday, Nov. 6, 2017 in Holyoke. RECORDER STAFF/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier's Olivia Vecellio (7) winds up for a shot in the first half against South Hadley on Monday, Nov. 6, 2017 in Holyoke. RECORDER STAFF/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier's Lauren MacDonald (12) clears the ball downfield in the first half against South Hadley on Monday, Nov. 6, 2017 in Holyoke. RECORDER STAFF/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier's Emma Wesoloski (14) takes a shot in the first half against South Hadley on Monday, Nov. 6, 2017 in Holyoke. RECORDER STAFF/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier's Olivia Vecellio (7) takes a shot through South Hadley defenders in the first half against South Hadley on Monday, Nov. 6, 2017 in Holyoke. RECORDER STAFF/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier's McKenzie Patterson (6) takes a shot for a goal in the first half against South Hadley on Monday, Nov. 6, 2017 in Holyoke. RECORDER STAFF/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier's McKenzie Patterson (6) and Lauren MacDonald (12) celebrate Patterson's goal in the first half against South Hadley on Monday, Nov. 6, 2017 in Holyoke. RECORDER STAFF/DAN LITTLE



@Hargraves24
Monday, November 06, 2017

HOLYOKE — The rematch is set for the Frontier Regional field hockey team.

The top-seeded Red Hawks beat No. 4 South Hadley, 3-0, in the Western Massachusetts Division 2 Tournament semifinals, Monday at Holyoke High School.

The win sets up a finals confrontation with No. 2 Greenfield (14-4-1), Thursday 6 p.m. at Agawam High School.

The Green Wave beat the Red Hawks last season in the finals.

Greenfield and Frontier are friendly off the field, but it is all business between the lines.

“When they put their uniforms on it comes to Frontier and Greenfield,” Frontier coach Missy Mahar said.

McKenzie Patterson, who missed last year’s playoff run with mononucleosis, scored Frontier’s first goal on an assist from Emma Wesoloski.

“That first goal proved why I am here,” Patterson said. “Why I am here for my team, my coach and myself.”

Constant pressure on the Tigers (10-8-2) produced several penalty corners for the Red Hawks (14-2-3), who converted two of them.

Olivia Vecellio scored twice in the second half. Vecellio’s first goal, also assisted by Wesoloski, was a laser from 15 yards out.

The Red Hawks welcomed another game against the Green Wave. Frontier won 3-0 in South Deerfield and the teams tied 2-2 in Greenfield.

“Greenfield is our rival,” Vecellio said. “We love seeing them.”

South Hadley’s Brittany Cote was excellent in net, making eight saves.

“She played really well for us,” South Hadley coach Tara Cole said. “She was fantastic.”

But South Hadley could not get through Frontier’s midfield and defense for many scoring opportunities.

“They move the ball very well and they’re fast,” Cole said. “They have good skill and chemistry.”

It was the final game for South Hadley seniors Cote, Julia Miele and Jillian Ayers.

“They were leaders on and off the field,” Cole said.

Isabella Yee’s playmaking ability is something to watch in the future for the Tigers.

Skyla Burniske made two saves in the shutout for Frontier. In three career playoff games, Burniske has allowed one regulation goal.

After Patterson’s goal, the Tigers made a push against the Red Hawks before the half.

During the season, the Tigers came back from a 2-0 deficit against the Red Hawks to tie 2-2.

“We talked about it going into this game,” Mahar said. “You can’t rest with a one-goal lead or a two-goal lead. They coached well and are a strong team.”

Vecellio scored her second goal with about 11 minutes left in the game, before adding her second three minutes later to make it 3-0.