Charlie Anischik nets hat trick as South Hadley boys soccer buries Blackstone Valley Tech for Division 4 state title

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  • The South Hadley boys soccer team celebrates with the trophy after winning the Division 4 state championship 5-2 over Blackstone Valley Tech on Saturday at Doyle Field in Leominster. STAFF PHOTO / KYLE GRABOWSKI—

  • South Hadley captains Nate Carillon, left, Colin Quinn and Charlie Anischik celebrate with the Division 4 state championship trophy after defeating Blackstone Valley Tech on Saturday at Doyle Field in Leominster. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • South Hadley captain Colin Quinn, left, raises the state championship trophy and celebrates with Charlie Anischik and the rest of his team after they defeated Blackstone Valley Tech in the Division 4 state championship game Saturday at Doyle Field in Leominster. STAFF PHOTO / KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • From left, South Hadley’s Colin Quinn, Xaiver Macon, Eddie Wykowski and Ben Foley celebrate defeating Blackstone Valley Tech in the Division 4 state championship game Saturday at Doyle Field in Leominster. STAFF PHOTO / KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • South Hadley’s Charlie Anischik celebrates his first goal against Blackstone Valley Tech in the Division 4 state championship game Saturday at Doyle Field in Leominster. The senior put away a hat trick. STAFF PHOTO / KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • South Hadley’s Charlie Anischik (22) scores on a penalty kick against Blackstone Valley Tech in the second half of the MIAA Division 4 state championship game Saturday at Doyle Field in Leominster. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • South Hadley players celebrate a penalty kick goal scored by Charlie Anischik (22) against Blackstone Valley Tech in the second half of the Division 4 state championship game Saturday at Doyle Field in Leominster. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • South Hadley’s Braden Joy (17), left, gets a shot past Blackstone Valley Tech defenders Matthew Mooney and Mason Baldini to score the game-tying goal in the second half of the Division 4 state championship game Saturday at Doyle Field in Leominster. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • South Hadley senior Braden Joy celebrates his game-tying goal against Blackstone Valley Tech with Moki Kovacs during the Division 4 state championship game Saturday at Doyle Field in Leominster. STAFF PHOTO / KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • South Hadley goalkeeper Eddie Wykowski stretches for a save against Blackstone Valley Tech in the second half of the Division 4 state championship game Saturday at Doyle Field in Leominster. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • South Hadley’s Braden Joy, left, celebrates with Moki Kovacs after scoring the game-tying goal against Blackstone Valley Tech in the second half of the Division 4 state championship game Saturday at Doyle Field in Leominster. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • South Hadley’s Charlie Anischik (22) takes a shot past Blackstone Valley Tech defenders Mason Baldini (18) and Anthony Magalhaes (4) in the second half of the Division 4 state championship game Saturday at Doyle Field in Leominster. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • South Hadley’s Charlie Anischik (22) fires a shot off a corner kick to score against Blackstone Valley Tech in the second half of the Division 4 state championship game Saturday at Doyle Field in Leominster. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • South Hadley’s Charlie Anischik (22) takes a shot past Blackstone Valley Tech defenders Mason Baldini (18) and Anthony Magalhaes (4) in the first half of the Division 4 state championship game Saturday at Doyle Field in Leominster. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • South Hadley’s Nate Carillon passes the ball up the field against Blackstone Valley Tech in the Division 4 state championship game Saturday at Doyle Field in Leominster. STAFF PHOTO / KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • South Hadley’s Charlie Anischik (22), left, heads the ball over Blackstone Valley Tech’s Tyler Stevens in the second half of the Division 4 state championship game Saturday at Doyle Field in Leominster. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • South Hadley’s Charlie Ansichik (22) feeds a pass into the box against Blacksone Valley Tech in the second half of the Division 4 state championship game Saturday at Doyle Field in Leominster. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • South Hadley’s Ben Foley, center, battles for the ball in the penalty box against Blackstone Valley Tech in the Division 4 state championship game Saturday at Doyle Field in Leominster. STAFF PHOTO / KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • South Hadley’s Xavier Macon, right, send the ball up the field against Blackstone Valley Tech in the Division 4 state championship game Saturday at Doyle Field in Leominster. STAFF PHOTO / KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • South Hadley’s Colin Quinn (25), left, heads the ball against Blackstone Valley Tech’s Mason Baldini (18) in the second half of the Division 4 state championship game Saturday at Doyle Field in Leominster. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • South Hadley’s Carlos David (10) carries the ball downfield against Blackstone Valley Tech in the second half of the Division 4 state championship game Saturday at Doyle Field in Leominster. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • South Hadley’s Charlie Anischik (22), right, heads the ball over Blackstone Valley Tech’s Mason Baldini (18) in the first half of the Division 4 state championship game Saturday at Doyle Field in Leominster. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • South Hadley boys soccer against Blackstone Valley Tech in the Division 4 state championship game Saturday at Doyle Field in Leominster. STAFF PHOTO / KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • South Hadley senior Charlie Anischik controls the ball against Blackstone Valley Tech in the Division 4 state championship game Saturday at Doyle Field in Leominster. STAFF PHOTO / KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • South Hadley’s Charlie Anischik converts a penalty against Blackstone Valley Tech in the Division 4 state championship game Saturday at Doyle Field in Leominster. STAFF PHOTO / KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • South Hadley’s Carlos David (10) fights for possession against Blackstone Valley Tech’s Anthony Magalhaes (4) in the first half of the Division 4 state championship game Saturday at Doyle Field in Leominster. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • South Hadley’s Colin Quinn (25), right, heads the ball against Blackstone Valley Tech’s Rudy Patete (21) in the second half of the Division 4 state championship game Saturday at Doyle Field in Leominster. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • South Hadley’s Alex Martin-Romero (21) jumps up for a header against Blackstone Valley Tech goalkeeper Mason Dorr in the second half of the Division 4 state championship game Saturday at Doyle Field in Leominster. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • South Hadley’s Ben Foley (23), middle, gets a shot past Blackstone Valley Tech goalkeeper Mason Dorr before being blocked by defender Anthony Magalhaes (4) in the second half of the Division 4 state championship game Saturday at Doyle Field in Leominster. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • South Hadley’s Ben Foley (23), right, tries to get a shot past Blackstone Valley Tech defender Anthony Magalhaes (4) in the second half of the Division 4 state championship game Saturday at Doyle Field in Leominster. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Staff Writer
Published: 11/19/2022 1:21:35 PM

LEOMINSTER — Charlie Anischik turned South Hadley’s nightmare start into a dream finish.

Blackstone Valley scored three minutes into Saturday's MIAA Div. 4 boys soccer state championship game at Doyle Field. Matthew Drons unleashed his signature long throw after a shaky clearance out of bounds, and Ryan Sauter delivered a direct header to give the No. 6 seed an early lead over the top-seeded Tigers.

Many state championship games end with just one goal – tight, intense affairs where a mistake haunts a town. Anischik converted it to fuel.

“We’ve been training for that for two days. To see them score the way that we didn’t want them to score was very frustrating. These boys have a lot of fight in them,” Anischik said. “The whole year I’ve been our main guy. That just set me off.”

He poured in a hat trick in his final high school game and keyed a pulsating second half, as the Tigers won 5-2 to claim their first state championship. It was their first appearance in a state final.

“I’ve been dreaming about this since I was a little kid. I’ve been watching other teams win these like, dang I really want to be there,” South Hadley senior Colin Quinn said. “Now that we’re really here, it’s an honor.”

“Here” appeared far away after the first half. Anischik tied the game at 1 in the 10th minute. He corralled a Carlos David pass and guided the ball into the outside of the net with the outside of his foot.

“I started playing angry, started being a little more selfish,” Anischik said.

Blackstone’s Marek Rutkowski pounced on a long pass in the 14th minute to restore the Beavers’ 2-1 lead. It couldn’t last. The Beavers’ dam of a back line sprung too many leaks.

“Our scouting report was you can probably attack their back line and you can get some shots,” South Hadley coach Eric Castonguay said. “We knew we had our plan and we needed to execute, we just needed some more time.”

The second half provided plenty. 

Senior Braden Joy elated the Tigers with the tying goal in the 45th minute. He was first to a nodded ball from Anischik between two Blackstone defenders and laced it on the turf to make it 2-2.

“We’ve been through it before, going down, fighting our way back,” Joy said. “We’ve always been a resilient ream. We never give up. We got that back.”

And more.

The Tigers’ pressure intensified as the second half continued. They earned a corner 10 minutes later. Nate Carillon lofted it over Blackstone defenders to the six-yard box, where it bounced to Anischik. He measured the hop and struck a volley into the back of the net for the go-ahead goal 3-2.

“It feels like instinct. Perfect height, made a perfect connection,” he said.

Anischik completed the hat trick in the 62nd minute. Matt Gillis drew a penalty chasing a loose ball when a Blacksone defender brought him down from behind in the box. Every Tiger expected Anischik to step to the penalty and bury it, which he did to the left side of the net as the goalie dove the opposite way. That gave Anischik 38 goals on the season. He’d already set the Tigers single-season record.

“Every game, he always delivers,” Joy said.

Sophomore Moki Kovacs put a bow on the game when he swung through a botched Blackstone clearance in the 63rd minute.

“That shut them out completely,” Kovacs said. “After that, we knew it was over.”

Quinn dropped to his knees when the final whistle blew. The Tigers converged and piled on him. Their student section stormed the field delivering chest bumps and hugs before they were ushered off the field for the trophy ceremony.

“I’m gonna remember this for a long time,” Joy said.

South Hadley had never won even a Western Massachusetts championship before Saturday. Now the Tigers are state champions. No need to pinch them. It’s not a dream.


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