Frontier Girls Top Mount Greylock in Western Mass Opener
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- With Talia Cappadona making strong runs up the left wing and Madison Ross pressuring on the right, everything was working for the Mount Greylock girls soccer team early in Saturday night’s Western Massachusetts Division 3 playoff game.
Everything, except for getting on the scoreboard.
The Mounties just missed a couple of chances early, and Frontier made the most of its first good opportunity en route to a 4-2 win and a berth in the quarter-finals.
Natalie Denkiewicz scored a natural hat trick to lead No. 10 Frontier (13-3-2) past the seventh-seeded Mounties (9-7-2).
It was Caitlynn Devine who got the scoring started for the visitors, converting a cross from the left wing in the 12th minute to kick start Frontier’s offense.
“I thought we played well to begin with,” Mount Greylock coach Tom Ostheimer. “I think the game would have been very different if, in the first 10 minutes when we dominated play, if we had put one in the back of the net.
“We had pressure, and it seemed like things changed when they put [Denkiewicz] in. We were on our heels a little bit. They brought in some speed. They stretched our defense, and they found some gaps.
“They’re a good team. Hats off to them.”
Denkiewicz doubled Frontier’s lead with a shot from high on the left wing late in the first half.
Mount Greylock had a chance to cut the lead in half in the 39th minute, but Lauren Howard’s free kick from 25 yards out rang off the crossbar, and it remained a 2-0 Frontier lead at the break.
The Mounties did finally get on the board in the 54th minute when Clara McWeeney scored to make it a one-goal game.
But Mount Greylock could not put in the equalizer despite generating more pressure than it did for most of the first half, and Frontier got an answer from Denkiewicz with 15 minutes, 33 seconds left in regulation to push the lead back to two goals.
In the final two minutes, Denkiewicz completed her hat trick, and senior defender Maia Hirsch netted her first goal of the season for the Mounties.
Frontier moves on to face second-seeded Monson (12-2-4), which had a bye in the first round of the sectional tournament.