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Division 1 girls soccer: Northampton’s run ends in semifinals as Minnechaug rallies for 2-1 win

  • Northampton’s Jillian McGrath, right, and Minnechaug’s Emily Howard battle to control the ball, Thursday during the Western Massachusetts Division 1 girls soccer semifinal game at Springfield Central. GAZETTE STAFF/SARAH CROSBY

  • Northampton’s Emma Tanner, front, controls the ball under pressure from Minnechaug’s Grace Beaupre, Thursday during the Western Massachusetts Division 1 girls soccer semifinal at Springfield Central. Visit gazettenet.com for more photos. GAZETTE STAFF/SARAH CROSBY

  • Northampton’s Jillian McGrath, front, keeps the ball from Minnechaug’s Ryann Kuhn, Thursday during the Western Massachusetts Division 1 semifinal at Springfield Central. GAZETTE STAFF/SARAH CROSBY

  • Northampton's Caroline Tanner runs the ball against Minnechaug Nov. 9, 2017 during the Western Massachusetts Division 1 girls soccer semifinal game at Springfield Central. —GAZETTE STAFF/SARAH CROSBY

  • Northampton's Emma Tanner, left, tries to control the ball under pressure from Minnechaug's Grace Beaupre Nov. 9, 2017 during the Western Massachusetts Division 1 girls soccer semifinal game at Springfield Central. —GAZETTE STAFF/SARAH CROSBY

  • Northampton's Alexandra Bertuch-Wallace reacts after losing to Minnechaug Nov. 9, 2017 in the Western Massachusetts Division 1 girls soccer semifinal game at Springfield Central. —GAZETTE STAFF/SARAH CROSBY

  • Northampton's Bailey Maurer, center, controls the ball under pressure from Minnechaug Nov. 9, 2017 during the Western Massachusetts Division 1 girls soccer semifinal game at Springfield Central. —GAZETTE STAFF/SARAH CROSBY

  • Northampton's Emma Tanner, left, and Minnechaug's Grace Beaupre chase down the ball Nov. 9, 2017 during the Western Massachusetts Division 1 girls soccer semifinal game at Springfield Central. —GAZETTE STAFF/SARAH CROSBY

  • Northampton's Emma Tanner, front, looks to control the ball under pressure from Minnechaug's Grace Beaupre Nov. 9, 2017 during the Western Massachusetts Division 1 girls soccer semifinal game at Springfield Central. —GAZETTE STAFF/SARAH CROSBY



@Hargraves24
Friday, November 10, 2017

SPRINGFIELD — Two brilliant soccer plays ousted the Northampton girls soccer team from the Western Massachusetts Division 1 Tournament semifinals.

After taking the lead in the 47th minute, the third-seeded Blue Devils couldn’t hold on and lost 2-1 to No. 2 Minnechaug.

A free kick by Minnechaug’s Brooke MacDonald tied the game with about 20 minutes left.

“It was beautiful,” Northampton coach Vanessa Butynski said. “There was nothing we could do.”

MacDonald’s ball, kicked from 25-yards out near the sideline, sailed into the corner of the net to tie the game.

Ryann Kuhn scored the game-winner among two defenders to give the Falcons (13-3-4) the lead with 17:32 left.

Hamp (13-4-3) did not threaten again.

“We knew it was going to be a one-goal game,” Butynski said. “I am really happy with each player. They never gave up.”

After playing defense for most of the first half, the Blue Devils got going in the second half.

Peyton Pettiford-Rowan’s perfectly placed corner kick found Bailey Maurer’s head for Hamp’s lone goal.

“We focus on set plays, which is important in these tight games,” Butynski said. “It was a well-executed play.”

Minutes before Maurer’s goal, Emma Tanner had a sure goal taken away by sliding Minnechaug defender Grace Beaupre.

Tanner will continue her soccer career next year at Division I Marist. She will play basketball for the Blue Devils in the winter.

“I’ve honestly had the most ideal high school soccer experience that I could have asked for,” Tanner said. “My teammates have been great through all four years.”

Tanner moved to forward for her senior season and scored 19 goals.

“When we are older we won’t remember the wins and losses,” Tanner said. “We will remember the girls. I’ve been able to play with my best friends.”

Sydney White played a dynamic game in net for Northampton, making 10 saves in several fashions. Two stops in the second half came on breakaways to keep the Blue Devils at 2-1.

White’s aggressive approach leaving the net led to the stops, including one with her head as the ball was about to go past her.

“I don’t make a decision,” White said. “I just go for it. I was trying to be a sweeper-keeper.”

Alexandra Bertuch-Wallace played her last game for Northampton soccer, along with White, Maurer and Tanner.

“I was fortunate enough to coach them when they were younger,” Butynski said. “I have a deeper connection with them. They brought together this team and lead by example.”

Hamp’s Ella Quinn was all over the field for Northampton’s defense, thwarting several Minnechaug opportunities.