Bowen’s hat trick boosts Bombers

The Westfield Bombers field hockey team scores one of eight goals in a shutout against the Holyoke Purple Knights Friday at Westfield High School. (MARC ST. ONGE/THE WESTFIELD NEWS)

WESTFIELD – The grades are in for the Westfield High School field hockey team’s first test and all the players passed.
Westfield forward Meghan Bowen recorded a hat trick, scoring three goals – – all in a row – – and the Bombers shut out the visiting Holyoke Purple Knights 8-0 Friday in a field hockey season opener at Boardman Field.
Westfield scored five goals in the first half and never looked back.
“It’s definitely amazing to get back on the field,” Bowen said, following a delayed start to the regular season due to coronavirus concerns. “The team worked hard.”
Westfield came out firing, attacking the Holyoke net with a controlled fury. Lara Finnie began the push for the Bombers. Finnie sent a slapshot just wide of the goal in the game’s opening minutes. A few moments later she pushed through the Holyoke defense, setting up Camryn Scanlon for a shot. The Purple Knights thwarted the effort again.
Claire Griffith and Emma Collingwood served up Westfield’s next big opportunity with a few shots on net, but the Holyoke defense prevailed yet again.
Westfield’s continued assault on the opposing net paid off in the second quarter.
Finally, three minutes into the second quarter, Scanlon gave Westfield its first goal of the 2020 season, scoring off a pass from Lilly Taglieri.
About two minutes later, Finnie retreated to the ball and sent it into the net with the quick flick of her wrist for a 2-0 lead. Then, 29 seconds after that, Griffith scored off a rebound.
Bowen gave Westfield a 4-0 advantage when she found a way to emerge from a scrum taking place out in front of the Holyoke net, and scored. The score came with 7:16 remaining in the first half.
Bowen scored again 44 seconds later when Finnie delivered a pass from midfield that Bowen finished off with a nice shot for a commanding 5-0 lead. She tallied her third goal in the second half. Scanlon and Jessica Isler also notched second-half goals.
Abby Daley finished with two assists.
“I think it was definitely a learning game for all these girls,” said Westfield High School field hockey coach Courtney Albee, referring to the temporary modifications made to the game due to the coronavirus. One of the biggest changes now features 7-on-7 play rather than the traditional 11 players on the field for both teams.
“I think it was kind of a test of what their endurance is, testing new positions, testing who should go where,” Albee said. “I think at first it was a slow start, but as time went on they started to get their groove, and they started to pass more, keeping it a simple, simple game.”
Bowen said the temporary rules changes were a definite challenge. “It was a bit tough,” she said. “There were a few calls we didn’t agree with but we had to deal with those.”
Still, it was a productive outing, according to the Bombers forward.
“Our goals this season are win half our games, score first, and have one or less goals scored by the other team,” Bowen said. “We did that today so we are definitely reaching our goals already.”

Bombers turn back Blue Devils
Westfield 2, Northampton 0

After a back-and-forth first quarter, Shea Drugan caught the keeper out in the first quarter from about about 40 yards for a Westfield score. Jack Fortier assisted.
On their second goal, Westfield played the ball in to Jack Keeney, who laid it off for TJ Liquori, who beat a defender and scored.
It was more than enough to get past Northampton.
“Even though we didn’t train it yet, the forwards – – Drugan, Keeney, and Nichita Solopa – – did a nice job pressing and creating turnovers high up the field,” Westfield boys soccer coach Andrew Joseph said.
Joseph said the dynamic play of Liquori, Jack Fortier, and Dominic Rinaldi created a lot of opportunities up front. Cam Klee had a solid game as the holding midfielder, breaking up counter attacks.
Aiden Van Oostveen (2 saves) recorded a shutout in net.

Williams lifts Saints in debut
St. Mary’s 3, Smith Voke 0

Anna Williams had a big day in her first game for St. Mary’s, scoring two goals and assisting on a third, a score from Emma Goodreau. Ali Goodreau had two assists.
Amelia Willenborg (7 saves) was stout in net and had two incredible stops late to preserve the shutout.
“We were really able to control the style of play and had possession for much of the game,” St. Mary’s girls soccer head coach Pat Olearcek said. “We had numerous shots (nearly 25) so the chances were there and it bodes well as the more game we play the more accurate I think we will become.”
St. Mary’s also delivered a stellar defensive effort.
“Hopefully the confidence of the many girls who played was elevated as they got a taste and feel of varsity level soccer,” coach Olearcek said. “We are very young again this year but we have solid talent.”

Duggan, Gators chase Tigers
Gateway 4, Westfield Technical Academy 0

Hannah Duggan had a hand in three goals, scoring twice (both off of passes from Isabella Lebarron) and setting up Peyton Bucko for a score as Gateway shut out Westfield Technical Academy at Bullens Field.
Rebecca Hyjek also scored a goal. Maia Kibbe assisted.
Gateway goalie Emma Bean-Barlow collected six saves. Lindsey Deland finished with eight saves in her debut in net for Westfield Tech. Tigers’ Caitlen Carter made two saves.

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