Local roundup: Williston’s pursuit of three-peat halted by Noble & Greenough in NEPSAC Elite title

Williston players celebrate a goal by Violet Carroll (5) against Tabor in the second period of the NEPSAC girls hockey quarterfinals Wednesday night at Lossone Rink in Easthampton.

Williston players celebrate a goal by Violet Carroll (5) against Tabor in the second period of the NEPSAC girls hockey quarterfinals Wednesday night at Lossone Rink in Easthampton. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Staff Reports

Published: 03-03-2024 5:59 PM

A third consecutive NEPSAC title was not in the cards for the Williston Northampton girls hockey team on Sunday.

The second-seeded Wildcats were unable to spring the road win against No. 1 Noble & Greenough on the Bulldogs’ home ice, falling 3-1 in the Chuck Vernon Elite Division championship game at Flood Omni Rink in Dedham.

The Wildcats, which won the last two Elite Division titles, finished their season 21-4-2 overall.

Noble took a 1-0 lead just 4:08 into the first period, when eighth grader Catherine McCool netted a tally on the power play.

Williston struggled with penalties in the opening period, as the visitors committed four minors in the opening stanza and had to kill off a 5-on-3 at one point.

The Wildcats got to the dressing room down just one goal however, and seemed to get their skating legs under them in the second. The teams traded opportunities but the game was still just 1-0 before disaster struck in the final minute.

With Williston on the power play, Noble’s Sophia Levering took control of the puck and skated toward Wildcats goalie Liv Ferebee. With a 2-on-1 breakaway, Levering decided to find the puck on net, and the Yale-bound forward buried a shot with just 39 seconds left in the second to give the hosts a 2-0 victory.

Noble’s Olivia Maffeo (BC commit) made it 3-0 with 9:22 remaining in the third period, but the Wildcats made one final push. On the power play with 6:17 to go, Riley Stocker finished a scoring chance past goalie Anya Zupkofska, cutting the deficit to 3-1.

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Williston drew a penalty on the goal, and immediately went back on the power play with a chance to make things very interesting late. Zupkofska held firm however, and the Bulldogs survived to hoist the trophy and halt Williston’s two-year streak.

The Wildcats had punched their title-game ticket via a 3-1 win over No. 3 Phillips Andover in the semifinal round on Saturday at Lossone Rink in Easthampton.

Div. 1 Round of 16

No. 9 Peabody Veterans 2, No. 8 Pope Francis 1 – Shirley Whitmore tallied the game-winning goal with 6:10 remaining in the third period, lifting the visiting Tanners to a 2-1 win and a spot in the Division 1 quarterfinals on Sunday at Smead Rink in Springfield.

The Tanners (18-4) will play top-seeded Notre Dame (Hingham) on Wednesday in Watertown.

Pope Francis finished its season 13-8-2 overall.

Trailing 1-0 in the third period, Kaitlyn Ondrick tied the game for Pope Francis with a blast from the circle midway through the frame. It was another big goal from Ondrick, who scored the game winner in the Round of 32 against Arlington.

Eleni Spack started the scoring with a second-period goal, and Peabody held that advantage into the third.

The Cardinals pushed late, drawing two penalties in the waning minutes of the third period but couldn’t find the equalizer.

Boys basketball

Div. 2 Round of 32 

No. 7 Sharon 65, No. 26 Northampton 54 – The Blue Devils fell into a 21-13 first-quarter hole and weren’t able to climb all the way out in a Round of 32 loss on Saturday in Sharon.

Northampton finished its season 11-11 overall, while Sharon (14-7) will host No. 10 Doherty in the Round of 16.

Sharon led 35-28 at halftime and 54-44 after three. Silas Coles led the way for ’Hamp with 19 points, while Marty Maslowski hit four 3-pointers and finished with 14 points. Naihmond Peters-Wolfe tossed in 11 points on the afternoon.

Boys hockey

Div. 1 Round of 16

No. 18 Arlington Catholic 4, No. 2 Pope Francis 2 – Just three days removed from a 12-1 first-round victory, the Cardinals saw their state tournament run and title defense come to an end on Saturday.

Visiting Arlington Catholic took a 2-0 lead after one period and then buried a pair in the third period after Pope tied the game to secure a 4-2 win at the Olympia Ice Center and a spot in the Division 1 state quarterfinals.

Trailing 2-0 in the second period, the Cardinals (17-6-0) received goals from Zachary Buffone and Wade Wegrzyn to pull even heading into the third. 

Arlington Catholic (11-11-1) scored twice in the third, stunning the defending Division 1 champs and moving on to the Round of 8.

Indoor track

New England Championships

The Amherst and Northampton relay teams capped their indoor track seasons at Saturday’s New England Interscholastic Championships in Boston.

The Amherst boys’ 4x800-meter relay team of Nicolas Lisle, Owen Platt, Miguel Pinero-Jacome and David Pinero-Jacome finished in 14th place with a time of 8 minutes, 16.57 seconds. Ridgefield, Conn. captured the New England title with a first-place finish in 7:47.62.

The Northampton boys’ 4x400 relay team of Juan Jose Adams Causton, Davis Wheat, Roan Dunkerley and Ryland Breen finished 24th via a time of 3:35.47. Lyman Hall (Conn.) won the title in 3:22.52.

Amherst freshman Angel Hernandez set a new PR in the wheelchair shot put, capturing first place with a top heave of 10 feet, 3/4 inches.

Colleges

UMass baseball goes 1-2 at UVA

The Minutemen pulled off an upset win over No. 13 Virginia on the road Saturday afternoon, scoring a 10-5 victory to highlight a weekend trio of games.

Saturday’s win, over a ranked opponent marked the first for the program since at least 2003, and handed the Cavaliers their first loss of the season.

UMass (2-5) was paced by Matt Travisano and Granby’s Michael Toth, who led the team with four hits apiece. Five other members recorded a hit on the day to aid the team to a season-high 13 hits, including Carter Hanson's second home run of the season. Kevin Skagerlind tallied a team-best three RBI, followed by Hanson and Toth with two each, as the Minutemen totaled a season-best nine RBI on the afternoon. Travisano, Jack Beverly and Toth contributed two runs apiece, as Kyle Hoog, Sam Hill, Hanson and Braden Sullivan all came across the plate once.

Virginia took the Sunday finale, 10-6, to secure a 2-1 series win.