Division 3 girls soccer: South Hadley repeats as Western Mass champions

  • The South Hadley girls soccer team hoists its trophy after winning the Western Massachusetts Division 3 girls soccer championship, Sunday against Monson at Westfield State University. Visit gazettenet.com for more photos. SARAH CROSBY

  • South Hadley's Paige and Lindsay Marjanski perform double cartwheels for their cheering teammates Nov. 11, 2018 after winning the Western Massachusetts Division 3 Girls Soccer championship game 4-0 against Monson at Westfield State University. —SARAH CROSBY

  • South Hadley's Lindsay Marjanski, right, keeps the ball from Monson's Rylee Bonneau Nov. 11, 2018 during the Western Massachusetts Division 3 Girls Soccer championship game at Westfield State University. —SARAH CROSBY

  • South Hadley's Sydney Mercier, center, moves the ball through Monson defense including Alivia Skowyra, left, during the Western Massachusetts Division 3 Girls Soccer championship game Nov. 11, 2018 at Westfield State University. —SARAH CROSBY

  • South Hadley's Paige Marjanski, right, keeps the ball from Monson's Cam Lobik Nov. 11, 2018 during the Western Massachusetts Division 3 Girls Soccer championship game at Westfield State University. —SARAH CROSBY

  • South Hadley's Lindsay Marjanski, left, works around Monson's Olivia Colling to line up a shot Nov. 11, 2018 during the Western Massachusetts Division 3 Girls Soccer championship game at Westfield State University. —SARAH CROSBY

  • South Hadley's Reese Carey and Alexa Blaney hug after scoring against Monson Nov. 11, 2018 during the Western Massachusetts Division 3 Girls Soccer championship game at Westfield State University. —SARAH CROSBY

  • South Hadley’s Teagan Gawron, left, advances the ball under pressure from Monson’s Rylee Bonneau during the Western Massachusetts Division 3 championship. SARAH CROSBY

  • South Hadley's Sydney Mercier, left, goes down while trying to keep the ball from Monson's Lizzie Miller Nov. 11, 2018 during the Western Massachusetts Division 3 Girls Soccer championship game at Westfield State University. —SARAH CROSBY

  • South Hadley’s Lindsay Marjanski, right, goes after the ball controlled by Monson’s Rylee Bonneau during the Western Massachusetts Division 3 girls soccer championship game, Sunday at Westfield State University. SARAH CROSBY

  • South Hadley girls soccer players celebrate together Nov. 11, 2018 after winning the Western Massachusetts Division 3 Girls Soccer championship game 4-0 over Monson at Westfield State University. —SARAH CROSBY

  • South Hadley girls soccer players rush the field to greet their teammates Nov. 11, 2018 after winning the Western Massachusetts Division 3 Girls Soccer championship game 4-0 over Monson at Westfield State University. —SARAH CROSBY

  • South Hadley's Carla Jarrett, left, Paige Marjanski and Sydney Mercier celebrate with their team trophy Nov. 11, 2018 after winning the Western Massachusetts Division 3 Girls Soccer championship game 4-0 over Monson at Westfield State University. —SARAH CROSBY

  • South Hadley girls soccer coach Rich Marjanski, left, presents the trophy to players Olivia Blaney, Carla Jarrett, Anna Moriarty and Bailey Gawron Nov. 11, 2018 after they won the Western Massachusetts Division 3 Girls Soccer championship game 4-0 over Monson at Westfield State University. —SARAH CROSBY

  • South Hadley girls soccer players including Sydney Mercier and Madelyn Doolittle walk off the field Nov. 11, 2018 after winning the Western Massachusetts Division 3 Girls Soccer championship game 4-0 over Monson at Westfield State University. —SARAH CROSBY

Staff reports
Published: 11/11/2018 5:08:30 PM

WESTFIELD — South Hadley floored the gas pedal from the opening kick of the Western Massachusetts Division 3 girls soccer championship.

The Tigers put three shots on goal in the first 10 minutes against Monson and found the back of the net in the seventh minute. South Hadley looped a corner kick into Olivia Blaney, who laid the ball back to Maddie Doolittle. She laced it into the back-left corner after two bounces.

“We had to set the tone. We play best when we pressure the ball,” South Hadley coach Rich Marjanski said. “I told the girls at the beginning of the game, ‘you guys need to have as many chances as you can produce.’”

South Hadley produced a lot of chances and converted many of them, beating Monson 4-0 to claim its second straight sectional championship at Westfield State University.

South Hadley (22-0-0) will meet Central Mass. champion Blackstone Valley Tech (17-2-2) in state semifinal at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Chicopee Comp. The Tigers lost to Sutton in the state semifinals last year.

“Since we played it in last year we know what we’re expecting and we’re more prepared for it,” South Hadley senior Teagan Gawron said.

The Tigers needed penalties to beat Monument Mountain in the sectional finals last season. They emphasized avoiding them in 2018.

“It was really stressful last year,” Gawron said. “We tried our hardest to not get into that position.”

Gawron doubled South Hadley’s lead in the 12th minute. Blaney shot in close, but it was saved by Monson keeper Hannah Garon (12 saves). Teagan Gawron followed the rebound with a one-time shot.

“I knew she was going to shoot it, and I wanted to get into a position where if the goalie deflected it, I could get it,” Gawron said.

South Hadley entered halftime with a 2-0 lead.

“We had to do everything we could possibly do to get that third goal,” Monson coach Eric Degnan said.

Instead, South Hadley (22-0) scored the third goal in the 48th minute. Gawron found Alexa Blaney near the edge of the 6-yard box, and she calmly slotted the ball into the net.

Olivia Blaney put a bow on the game with a goal in the 78th minute on a feed from Lindsay Marjanski. Four Tigers scored in the game and three had assists.

“They have an unbelievable amount of team speed. They’ve got multiple kids that can beat you,” Degnan said. “You look at what they’ve done over the past couple years, it’s nothing short of spectacular.”

The Tigers maintained pressure on Monson’s goal for most of the game thanks to dominating possession. Their defense snuffed out the Mustangs (14-4-4) attacks usually before they started, but Bridget Sears made four saves.

South Hadley shut out its last nine opponents. The Tigers last allowed a goal Oct. 20 against Lenox.

“They’re so fast back there. We only play three back, so they can play up on people but still recover if they get beat,” Rich Marjanski said. “That’s been our go-to, the speed we have in the back.”

Kyle Grabowski can be reached at kgrabowski@gazettenet.com. Follow him on Twitter @kylegrbwsk.



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