Olivia Vecellio strikes twice in Frontier field hockey’s opening win

  • Frontier’s Lily Spencer hits an off balance shot against Turners Falls on Thursday afternoon in South Deerfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Lily Spencer fires a shot against Turners Falls on Thursday afternoon in South Deerfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Olivia Grace Wesoloski lunges to send the ball downfield against Turners Falls on Thursday afternoon in South Deerfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Olivia Vecellio, center, clears the ball downfield between Turners Falls defenders on Thursday afternoon in South Deerfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Olivia Vecellio fires a shot for a goal against Turners Falls on Thursday afternoon in South Deerfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Olivia Vecellio takes a shot against Turners Falls on Thursday afternoon in South Deerfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Olivia Vecellio, right, carries the ball downfield against Turners Falls on Thursday afternoon in South Deerfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Staff Writer
Published: 9/5/2019 9:57:02 PM

SOUTH DEERFIELD — A pair of goals by Olivia Vecellio was the difference for the Frontier Regional field hockey team in a 2-0 season-opening win over Turners Falls on Thursday.

Frontier’s attack settled in nicely, as the Red Hawks controlled possession in Turners Falls’ defensive zone for most of the second half.

“I think we had our jitters,” Frontier coach Missy Mahar said. “I really felt like we didn’t come in to our own until the second half when we fell into place. We got into a groove.”

Vecellio’s first goal was a laser at 18 minutes, 24 seconds of the first half. Her second goal came on an assist from Grace Wesoloski at 13:14 of the second half.

The Red Hawks have a mix of experience and some newer players.

“We have a very young group,” Vecellio said. “But all the seniors have been playing for a very long time.”

The two goals put Vecellio at 98 points for career with Frontier. The Red Hawks host Westfield on Monday.

“Hopefully, Monday will be the big game,” Vecellio said. “Two more, and it will be 100.”

The 100 points will be a nice accomplishment, but the focus will be on the unit for Vecellio moving forward.

“I don’t like to think about it as a just me thing,” Vecellio said. “It’s more of a team game than just once person. We are just here playing our game and trying to have fun.”

Turners Falls did not create any shots on Frontier keeper Skyla Burniske, but the defense proved hard to score against.

The combination of Taryn Thayer, Jade Tyler and Aly Murphy did well in thwarting scoring attempts by Frontier.

“Our defense went really well together,” Turners Falls coach Becky Dame said. “Defensively I am very proud of them.”

Haleigh Greene made eight saves for the Thunder, facing 17 shots and 12 penalty corners from the Red Hawks.

“She (Green) saves us a lot,” Dame said. “She was stopping some hard hits. She was good today. She’s going to be strong for us this season.”

Outside of four penalty corners, the Thunder could not get much going against the Frontier defense.

“We are still working on moving the ball as a team without Casside (Wozniak),” Dame said. “I think they are doing well in practice but today was rough. They will get there.”

There was a rush from the Thunder near the beginning of the first half but the attack dissipated as the game progressed.

“There were some holes that Turners took advantage of,” Mahar said. “We were just kind of out of position. We made some adjustments in the second half. We felt more grounded and more secure as a defensive unit. They made the transition nicely.”

The Thunder lost 6-0 to Frontier Regional in the Division 2 playoffs last season.

“It was nice to come out and play better,” Dame said. “It gave the kids come confidence to play better the rest of the season that they can stick with a team as good as Frontier.”

Frontier had an active game from Lily Spencer, who made several runs up the sideline to generate offensive opportunities.

The Red Hawks got some strong attacks from newcomer Rebecca Walas-West, who joined the team this season from South Hadley.

Walas-West showed a good motor attacking the defense, and created several penalty corners for the Red Hawks.

“We are so welcome to have her,” Vecellio said. “She is super fast. She’s great.”

Amelia Sobieski missed the game for Frontier with a knee injury but will be back this season.


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