Hopkins boys cruise past Westfield Vocational and into Division 3 soccer final
The Hopkins Academy boys soccer team will receive a shot at what they’ve been seeking since last season — redemption.
For the second straight year, the second-seeded Golden Hawks will play in the Western Massachusetts Division 3 Tournament championship game. Behind four goals from junior Paul Delamy, the Hawks beat No. 3 Westfield Vocational 6-0 in the semifinals at Amherst Regional Saturday.
Hopkins (16-1-3) will take on longtime rival and No. 4 Smith Academy (13-4-2) at 1:15 p.m. Monday at Westfield State University. Hopkins fell 2-1 to Lenox in last season’s final. Smith beat Lenox 1-0 in the other semifinal Saturday.
Reaching the finals has “been (the goal) since the day we met in August,” Hopkins coach Justin Campbell said. “We want to keep everything in perspective, take it one goal at a time, but these guys wanted to get back there. Now we’re back and we’ll see what we can do.”
Sophomore Evan Delaney (two goals) echoed Campbell.
“After last year, my first goal was to come back to Western Mass. and win one,” Delaney said.
Delamy started the scoring eight minutes into the game when he pounced on a loose ball following a scramble, and beat Tigers (13-5) goalie Vitaly Covileac (six saves).
In the 15th minute, Delaney pushed the lead to 2-0 on a goal assisted by Sean Quill. Quill lofted a free kick from midfield to the 18, where Delaney trapped the ball, turned and struck a hard, low shot past Covileac.
Delamy scored a goal similar to his first in the 18th minute, then tallied the first-half hat trick in the 28th minute.
Brennan Mitrolka booted a corner kick in Delamy’s direction and when a defender deflected the ball into the air, Delamy one-timed it into the net to give his team a 4-0 halftime lead.
Delamy’s best goal came eight minutes into the second half. He carried the ball deep down the right side into Westfield Voke’s territory, and appeared like he’d attempt a cross. Instead, Delamy turned down the end line, burned a few defenders, then snuck the ball near-post with the outside of his foot.
“He did some nice things today and he got us some good goals,” said Campbell.
Tyler Szymkowicz helped create the Golden Hawks’ final goal, when he sped past the Tigers’ defense along the left side, then forced Covileac to make a diving save. Covileac was caught out of position for the rebound and Delaney tapped the ball into goal.
The Golden Hawks have outscored opponents 78-5 this season. They scored 16 goals in two playoff games and allowed none.
Hopkins outshot the Tigers 21-5 and Ben Pitta made three saves in the shutout.