Published: 2/8/2022 21:33:13
SOUTH HADLEY – Lauren Marjanski solved the win-or-go house tension early on.
The up-and-coming junior from South Hadley scored the first of her three goals in 90 seconds against No. 6 Chicopee Comp in the Pioneer Valley Summer Soccer League High School Girls A quarter-finals on Tuesday, netting a goal from the six-yard box after a strong run. run .
“If you lose, you’re out. We wanted to get one on the board quickly,” Marjanski said.
She continued to put them on the board, contributing to all five goals with a hat-trick and two assists in a 5-0 win. The third-seeded Tigers will face number 2 Monson or number 7 Agawam in the semifinals, which was postponed due to rain.
“It gives us a chance to see how we handle these situations and prepares us for the real playoffs,” said upcoming sophomore Maddie Soderbaum.
South Hadley reached the Class B Championship in Western Massachusetts last fall, playing in the Division 3 state tournament. While only about half of the Tigers’ expected fall roster played Tuesday, the summer season has allowed them to build the chemistry teams on the field.
“We have a lot of work to do, but I think if we keep practicing and moving forward, we’ll be pretty good,” said Marjanski.
She and fellow striker Jordyn Balint showed a familiarity with holding the ball and running away from each other’s possession. Marjanski cut across the left side of the goal, while Balint worked it down the right sideline in the 18th minute. Balint found her for another close-range goal and a 2-0 lead.
Three minutes later, the Colts collapsed on Marjanski’s run and she cut the ball back to the edge of the 18-yard box where Soderbaum waited. Soderbaum fired a shot on her first touch into the back of the net for a 3-0 lead amid a bubble of clear grass she created with her movement into open space.
“I just find my way in,” Soderbaum said. “The more I play with this team, I feel more comfortable and find my space.”
Marjanski completed the hat-trick three minutes into the second half after another piece of complementary passing and player movement.
South Hadley then moved her to the backline to protect a lead that looked safe, but she still found ways to influence the attack. After expropriating a Comp player in the Tigers half, Marjanski rushed onto the field and slashed through Colts’ defenses. She made it all the way into Comp’s penalty area before handing a comfortable ball to Madelyn McArdle, who beat the Colts keeper to the ball and tapped the ball under the No. 5 goal in the 65th minute.
“When they started to get me, there was room for our other strikers,” said Marjanski.
Tiger keeper Rylee Suchenicz kept a clean sheet and made the handful of saves she was asked to make. The South Hadley defense neutralized most of the Comp attacks before threatening the goal line.
In another PVSSL quarterfinal action, it defeated No. 2 Belchertown Boys A team No. 7 Agawam 5-2 in the Boys A bracket.
No. 2 Frontier defeated No. 7 West Springfield 5-0 in a Boys B quarterfinal. 5 South Hadley upset No. 4 Granby 1-0 on the other side of the bracket.