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Wednesday’s high schools: After tough start, South Hadley field hockey rebounds with strong week

A rough first half of the season has put the South Hadley field hockey team in a deep hole if it hopes to qualify for the Western Massachusetts Division 2 Tournament.

The Tigers took a big step forward this week, however, going 2-0-1 over three days capped by a 9-1 win over Central in Springfield Wednesday.

“We definitely didn’t expect to be in this position,” said coach Tara Cole, whose team has reached the postseason in five straight years and won the WMass D-1 title in 2010. “But having three starters injured for two weeks definitely messed with the flow of the team a little bit. The younger kids did a nice job, and they got some good experience, but we have a long climb ahead of us.”

After going 1-7-1 over the first half of its season, South Hadley (3-7-2) tied Palmer 1-1 Monday, defeated West Springfield 3-0 Tuesday and then rolled against the Golden Eagles Wednesday.

“We are hoping to make a big push,” Cole said. “The next few weeks should be exciting.”

Olivia Szydziak netted a hat trick Wednesday, while Dominique Wilkins (one goal, two assists), Hayley Racicot (two goals) and Merry Kocot (one goal, one assist) each scored multiple points.

Emily Florence and Hannah Nelson scored once each. Nelson’s goal was the first of her varsity career.

Allie Rondeau and Jordan Roy each were credited with an assist. Roy’s was the first of her varsity career.

Sam Brault made four saves for South Hadley.

Girls soccer

Amherst Regional 2, Hopkins Academy 0 — The Hurricanes scored a goal in each half as they held off the Golden Hawks in Hadley.

Zoe Freedman-Coleman and Emma Biggs each scored unassisted goals, and Rebecca Carkhuff made three saves in the shutout for Amherst (4-6-2).

Amanda Olson made 13 saves for Hopkins (4-6-2).

Boys soccer

Athol 6, Easthampton 0 — Despite 12 saves by Brady Parker, the Eagles fell at home.

The Red Raiders scored three times in each half and Easthampton (1-8-1, 1-5-1 Schmid) couldn’t keep up.

Palmer 5, Frontier Regional 0 — The Panthers scored four times in the second half to pull away from the Red Hawks in South Deerfield.

Shawn Mazur-Garcia made four saves for Frontier (0-11, 0-6 Schmid).

Girls volleyball

Amherst Regional 3, West Springfield 0 — The Hurricanes moved within one win of qualifying for the Western Massachusetts Division 2 Tournament, cruising past the Terries 25-16, 25-19, 25-17.

Athena Donta had five kills, three aces and seven digs to lead Amherst (8-5). Ali Ziomek added eight kills, two aces and three digs, while Grace Frank had 18 assists and two aces, and Haley Parker had four blocks and four kills.

Mahar 3, Belchertown 0 — Marissa Kopacz had five kills and one block for the Orioles (6-7) in the loss at home.

Kayla McGrath added three kills in the 25-14, 25-16, 25-21 defeat.

Prep schools
Girls soccer

Williston 9, Cushing 0 — Gia Parker of Amherst had three goals and three assists, while Gabby Thomas of Florence had two goals and one assist as the Wildcats (3-4) won in Ashburnham.

Grace Simpson of South Hadley had one goal, while Karly Simpson of South Hadley, Kelly O’Donnell of Belchertown and Maddison Fulcher-Melendy of Easthampton each had one assist.

Boys soccer

Choate 2, Williston 0 — Bailey Gawron made two saves but the Wildcats (3-2-2) fell at home.

Girls volleyball

Kingswood-Oxford 3, Williston 1 — Khrystyna Vatseba, Samantha Rach and Sydney Curley played well but the Wildcats fell 25-19, 25-15, 19-25, 25-16.

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