Waitt over, Autumn arrives

Southwick’s Autumn Waitt pushes a shot past the Taconic goalie for her third goal of the game during a West Division 3 girls soccer tournament opener Saturday night at Whalley Park. The Rams advanced to the quarterfinals with a 5-0 shutout. (Photo by Bill Deren)

SOUTHWICK – The stars shined brightly over Whalley Park Saturday night – and for good reason.
No. 5 Southwick-Tolland Regional made a sterling debut in a 2017 West Division 3 high school girls soccer tournament opener, shutting out visiting Taconic 5-0 Saturday night at Whalley Park.
Autumn Waitt scored a hat trick. Emily Giancola and Kayla Russ each had one goal. Liz Tenerowicz made two assists, and Brooke Waitt, Giancola, and Russ had one apiece.
Southwick goalie Hannah Gerrish (3 saves) recorded a shutout. Taconic keeper Jackie Boateng finished with 13 saves.
With the victory, Southwick (9-4-5) advances to take on No. 4 Mahar (13-2-4), a 3-1 winner over 13th seeded Pioneer Valley Regional (9-6-2).

Tigers eliminated
No. 8 Lee 4, No. 9 Westfield Technical Academy 1

Shannon Finnegan had a hat trick and No. 8 Lee (10-8) held serve over ninth-seeded Westfield Tech (9-6-3) Saturday afternoon.
Liliya Stepanchuk scored the lone Westfield Tech goal off a pass from Heather Lannon.
“I don’t feel like we got beat by a better team,” Westfield Tech coach Lyle Washington said. “We just had a really tough first half.”
Westfield Tech fell behind 3-0 and could not recover.
“Losing the game was unfortunate but I was glad we made it to the playoffs,” Washington explained. “We’re just going to look at this as a stepping stone moving forward with our soccer program.”
It was an emotional ending for eight seniors – Heather Lannon, Emily White, Sydnie Brock, Lilya Stepanchuk, Nina Kirpicheva, Bri Hoffman, Gwen Mineau, and Liza Lapko – who Washington said “will all be greatly missed on and off the field.”

Drohen lands top 10 finish
Southwick High junior Rebecca Drohen posted one of the best times at the Pioneer Valley Ineterscholastic Athletic Conference cross country championships besting all but nine other girls at Stanley Park on Saturday. Drohen clocked in with a 10th place time of 20:02.18. Westfield’s Sophia Gronbeck (12th, 20:04.71) and Southwick’s Gabriela Peterson (20th, 20:31.41) managed to crack the top 20. … Gateway’s Brandon Daniels finished 40th in 17:35.42.

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