Penalty Kicks Lift Mohawk Past McCann in Western Mass Quarterfinal
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- No matter how or when it comes, a loss in the playoffs is always tough to accept. Following tough home loss to Mohawk Trail in Monday’s Western Mass Division 4 quarterfinal playoff, the McCann Tech Hornets left the field at least knowing that they left it all out there. The Hornets fell 4-3, after Mohawk prevailed 4-2 in penalty kicks.
Goalkeeper Reuben Bassett connected for the deciding penalty kick for Mohawk (8-7-4). Jaime Colmenarejo, Veeman Ramirez and Tyler Dubreuil also found the net with their kicks.
Nick LaForest and Omar Uqdah scored for McCann on their penalty kicks.
The match was an even tug-of-war throughout, as both sides were very aggressive offensively. The Hornets took 32 shots on goal, while goalkeeper Andrew Levesque recorded 11 saves off 27 Mohawk shots on goal.
After both sides volleyed for control early on, the visitors drew first blood with a goal just before halftime. Dubreuil fired a hard laser from just a few feet directly in front of the goal, and even though Levesque got his hands on it the ball was hit so strong from so close that it still ricocheted off his fingers and into the back of the net.
McCann (11-7-1) answered back with a strong start to the second half that resulted in its first and only lead of the contest. Just 21 seconds into the second-half action, Ivan Liang bounced the equalizer shot past the keeper off a great feed from Connor Griswold. Just over nine minutes later Uqdah put his squad ahead when he fired a long-distance blast over the keeper and into the back of the net from about 35 yards out.
Mohawk responded with a pair of goals that put them back in the driver’s seat. Levesque was forced to leave the net to engage Mohawk attackers on a fast break and stop a shot, and Dubreuil then popped a shot past him and into the empty net off an assist from Maxwell Summers that tied the game back up with 25:33 remaining.
Just over five minutes later, Mohawk went back ahead when Colmenarejo rolled one into the net off an assist from Dubreuil that gave their team a 3-2 advantage.
With the clock ticking away on their season, the Hornets delivered in the clutch to even things back up and force overtime. With everyone up applying offensive pressure, Uqdah sent a great pass to LaForest and he then sent the ball soaring into the back of the net to make it a 3-3 game with 4:37 left in regulation.
Although both sides pushed the ball hard and fired away with every opportunity, neither club managed to slip one past the goalkeeper during either of the overtime periods. McCann took eight shots on goal during the two 10-minute overtime periods, but none found pay dirt. Bassett recorded two of his 10 saves during overtime, while Levesque stopped both shots on goal that Mohawk managed in the extra time.
With every play magnified and every moment crucial, the Hornets received big contributions all day. Levesque recorded several big stops all day long to keep Mohawk from opening up their leads, and Cole Boisvert came up with a big save when he knocked away a ricochet attempt after Levesque laid out to swat away a shot early in the first half.