Div. 4 boys soccer: Charlie Anischik’s OT goal lifts South Hadley past Frontier, into state final (PHOTOS)

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  • South Hadley’s Carlos David, front, and Eddie Wykowski celebrate by making snow angels after defeating Frontier in overtime to win the Division 4 boys soccer state semifinal Tuesday in West Springfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • South Hadley’s Charlie Anischik celebrates after scoring the game-winning goal in overtime against Frontier to win the Division 4 boys soccer state semifinal Tuesday in West Springfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier's Chanhee Son (17) jumps up for a header against South Hadley’s Colin Quinn (25) as snow falls in the second half of the Division 4 boys soccer state semifinal Tuesday in West Springfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier's Chanhee Son (17) moves the ball defended by South Hadley’s Jack Chagnon (14) as snow falls in the second half of the Division 4 boys soccer state semifinal Tuesday in West Springfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier's Brady Burch (9), left, takes a breakaway shot saved by South Hadley goalkeeper Eddie Wykowski in the second half of the Division 4 boys soccer state semifinal Tuesday in West Springfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • South Hadley’s Nate Carillon (9) passes the ball under pressure from Frontier’s Nico Fasulo (5) as snow falls in the second half of the the Division 4 boys soccer state semifinal Tuesday in West Springfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Nico Fasulo (5) heads the ball against South Hadley as snow falls in the second half of the Division 4 boys soccer state semifinal Tuesday in West Springfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier's Chanmin Son, second from right, heads the ball away from South Hadley while his teammate Matt Sicard, second form left, observes. South Hadley's Ben Foley, left, and Matt Gillis, right, fight for the header in the Division 4 boys soccer sate semifinal Tuesday in West Springfield STAFF PHOTO / KYLE GRABOWSKI—

  • South Hadley senior Charlie Anischik scored two goals against Frontier during the MIAA Division 4 boys soccer state semifinals Tuesday at Clark Field in West Springfield. The Tigers won 2-1 in o STAFF PHOTO / KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • Frontier’s Fernando Saravia, left, and South Hadley’s Brady Graham battle for the ball during the MIAA Division 4 boys soccer state semifinals Tuesday at Clark Field in West Springfield. STAFF PHOTO / KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • Frontier’s Chanhee Son, right, dribbles while South Hadley’s Matt Gillis defends during the MIAA Division 4 boys soccer state semifinals Tuesday at Clark Field in West Springfield. STAFF PHOTO / KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • South Hadley’s Charlie Anischik, right, turns upfield ahead of Frontier’s Jack Storm during the MIAA Division 4 boys soccer state semifinals Tuesday at Clark Field in West Springfield. STAFF PHOTO / KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • South Hadley’s Xavier Macon, left, and Frontier’s Fernando Saravia battle for the ball during the MIAA Division 4 boys soccer state semifinals Tuesday at Clark Field in West Springfield. STAFF PHOTO / KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • Frontier’s Devin Niles, right, rips a shot toward goal against South Hadley during the MIAA Division 4 boys soccer state semifinals Tuesday at Clark Field in West Springfield. He had the Redhawks’ lone goal in a 2-1 overtime loss. STAFF PHOTO / KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • South Hadley’s Charlie Anischik heads the ball upfield against South Hadley during the MIAA Division 4 boys soccer state semifinals Tuesday at Clark Field in West Springfield. STAFF PHOTO / KYLE GRABOWSKI

Staff Writer
Published: 11/15/2022 9:45:04 PM

WEST SPRINGFIELD – Charlie Anischik only knew he scored because of the way the crowd roared. South Hadley’s senior striker met a Nate Carillon cross at the back post with his forehead, aiming low and across the goal to the far corner.

The ball bounced on the snowy Clark Field turf once and skipped into the Frontier Regional net three minutes into overtime of Tuesday’s MIAA Division 4 boys soccer state semifinal. He sprinted to the opposite corner flag as his soaking, freezing teammates converged.

“I heard everybody screaming, so it must have gone in,” Anischik said. “Dream come true, but the job’s not finished.”

That goal cemented a 2-1 victory for No. 1 South Hadley and sent the Tigers to their first state final. It was South Hadley’s second corner of the sequence.

A lack of opportunities due to Frontier’s defense and the conditions frustrated Anischik for most of the game. Eventually he created his own rather than waiting for them.

“Of course it comes through for him in the end,” South Hadley coach Eric Castonguay said. “With these guys coming through like that when the surface changed and nobody really knew how to react to it, the guys stayed with it.”

The teams were meeting for the third time this season, and the Tigers improved their record to 2-0-1 in the matchup of Moriarty League rivals. A Moriarty team will play for the Division 4 title for the second year in a row.

“It’s a hard pill to swallow, but it means our league is good,” Frontier coach Evan Horton said.

South Hadley will face either No. 10 Randolph or No. 6 Blackstone Valley at a site to be determined Saturday. They play the other semifinal at 4 p.m. Wednesday in Walpole. Frontier reached the state final last season and is one of just two Western Massachusetts teams along with Belchertown to return to the state Final Four.

Frontier’s Devin Niles, as he did for most of the Redhawks’ run to the state final last season, showed up in a big spot. The ball bounced out to him in the 38th minute, and he blasted it in for a 1-0 lead.

“That was everything. It elevated us. To be honest, I thought that was it,” Horton said. “I thought we’d hold onto 1-0, or I thought we’d get a second one. Dev’s always a spark. Everyone focuses on Brady (Burch), but Dev’s that guy that takes care of chances.”

The goal deflated South Hadley heading into halftime after they didn’t get a chance to push back for an equalizer.

“The first five and last five of any half can either control or kill the game at any point,” Castonguay said. “They were defeated at the end of the half, and we talked about it if we weren’t going to recover from this we might as well get on the bus and go home.”

The first five of the second half wounded the Redhawks. They were whistled for a hand ball in the box in the 43rd minute. There was no doubt Anischik would take the spot kick. The senior buried the penalty down and to the left for his 34th goal of the season, setting a single-season school record. More importantly, it knotted the game at 1-1.

“I realized it’s just a penalty and to not overthink it. I just put it away,” Anischik said. “I’ve worked pretty hard these past couple years, and I’m glad I’m finally breaking out as a player.”

The score stayed there for the rest of the second half as the snowfall intensified. A white layer blanketed the field, obscuring the lines. Flakes first fell in the 23rd minute, and picked up as the night continued.

“It truly fit perfect to go to the state championship,” Carillon said.

Players, coaches and fans stamped out the boundaries of the field and the penalty boxes before the overtime period.

“I’ve played in games like this. You’ve just got to do it,” Horton said. “It is one of those things they’ll remember forever. Over time, the loss won’t be as big a part of it.”


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