Ware Manages to Escape with Win at Hoosac Valley

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires.com Sports
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ADAMS, Mass. -- It has been a long and frustrating season for the Hoosac Valley girls soccer team.
And if Thursday’s home match against Ware was the finale, it was appropriate.
The Hurricanes, who rallied from an 0-12 start to win two straight in the middle of the month, ended the year 2-14 after dropping a 1-0 decision to Ware at Renfrew Park.
Hoosac Valley was shut out for the 13th time in 16 games despite outshooting the visitors by a margin of 15-9.
“I’ve coached enough soccer, and this has happened enough times both ways,” Hoosac Valley coach Kathy Budaj said. “Soccer is one of those games that you can dominate and lose. And we did.
“We did a lot of good things. That’s soccer. You can do all the right things and still not win, and that was tonight.”
Early on, the Hurricanes kept Ware pinned in its end of the field, but its first shots were just wide or high of the mark.
Ware keeper Cassandra Pendleton stopped a half dozen shots in the first half, but the better Hoosac Valley shots were just inches off target, sailing harmlessly over the goal for goal kicks.
Meanwhile, Ware could not get much going offensively until the midway point, and it cashed in on its first quality chance.
Riley Dulak on the left wing drew Hoosac Valley keeper Emma Meczywor off her line. They collided in side the 18, but not before Dulak was able to direct the ball toward the goal, where Madisyn Davis finished to give Ware a one-goal advantage it never relinquished.
Meczywor left the game after the play to get a look from the trainer, but Mallory Mazzeo stepped in to make three saves, including one on a direct free kick from just outside the 18 in the final minute of the half.
Meczywor returned after half-time and made five saves in the second half.
Pendleton was tested much more after the break, but made nine second half saves to preserve the lead.
“She kept them in the game, no question,” Budaj said.
“We dominated so much … We had a lot of the right things. We just couldn’t find the back of the net.”
The Hurricanes were on the bubble for a playoff berth in the PVIAC Western Mass tournament to be played next week. Hoosac Valley was the eighth seed in the preliminary Class D rankings released earlier this week. Eight teams will make the field in each class when the pairings are announced this weekend.
“Let’s see where the seedings come out,” Budaj said. “If we make it, we make it, if we don’t, there’s nothing we can do about it now.”
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