Rams rise up for shining effort

Southwick’s Emily Martin (5) swings the ball upfield before the Holyoke defense can set up early Monday in a home high school field hockey contest. (Photo by Chris Putz)

SOUTHWICK – Rise … and shine!
The Southwick high school field hockey team clearly took both to heart, ending a three-game losing streak with a sparkling 7-0 shutout of Holyoke Monday morning at home.
Southwick senior Emily Martin recorded a hat trick to pull within nine points of her career 100th, and senior Alex Grimaldi delivered two goals and two assists. The Rams, who improved to 7-5 with the victory, can secure a postseason berth with two more wins (in addition to a few other scenarios involving ties).
“Martin’s trying to get (her 100th) before the end of the regular season (and) we’re trying to get to tournament so it’s really firing the girls up – and they wanted to beat Holyoke,” Southwick field hockey head coach Jenn Oakland said.
Southwick won a fierce battle early, scoring the lone first half goal when Grimaldi squeezed a shot in between the defense for a 1-0 lead with 1:31 left on the clock.
If there was any question as to whether that first half goal would be enough for a Southwick victory, the Rams answered that with a clear statement by exploding for six second-half goals.
“We were really working on sending the ball wide, taking quick balls,” coach Oakland said.
Southwick goalie Clare Stratton made two big quick kick saves in the opening minutes of the second half. After Stratton’s second stop, the Rams moved the ball upfield with unparalleled swiftness and scored on a shot from Martin.
The next scoring play was a thing of beauty as Devan Fox air-dribbled the ball for nearly 25 yards, beginning at midfield. It was an act made with the precision and concentration of a tightrope walker and juggler, all wrapped into one. When the ball finally fell to the grass, Southwick’s strong offensive push resulted in a another goal from Martin.
“We just keep on fighting,” Martin said.
The floodgates opened.
Southwick peppered Holyoke’s net with relentless pursuit. The concerted effort resulted in subsequent goals from Grimaldi, Marisa Coviello, Martin, and Avey Glynn. Grimaldi set up Coviello and Martin’s goals. Sam Pitoniak assisted Glynn.
“We were more confident than the last couple games,” Grimaldi explained.
Southwick was scheduled to return to action Wednesday against Palmer, followed by games at Turners Falls (Oct. 17), vs. Pioneer Valley Regional (Oct. 19), at Mahar (Oct. 21), vs. Mohawk (Oct. 22), and at Athol (Oct. 24).

Westfield 5, East Longmeadow 3

Kaela Mochak and Catie Bean scored two goals apiece, and Westfield outscored East Longmeadow 3-1 in the second half to pull away.
Emma Pedro also scored a goal for Westfield. Bombers’ Chandler Pedolzky and Sage Smith each had an assist.

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