Lee boys fall in Western Mass. D-III soccer quarterfinals
The Lee boys soccer team ran into a proverbial buzz saw Monday, as Hopkins Academy scored twice in the first five minutes and the the Wildcats couldn’t recover.
The No. 2 seeded Golden Hawks had the pedal down from the opening kick Monday and eliminated Lee, 10-0, in quarterfinals of the Western Massachusetts Division III boys soccer tournament.
"It’s been a rough year overall," Kollmer said. "This was a culmination of how things went all year long."
Hopkins (15-1-3) advanced to the semifinals to face No. 3 Westfield Voc, which beat No. 6 Sabis in the semifinals. Lee finished its season at 7-8-3.
Tyler Szymkowicz got things started in a hurry for the Hawks. Chad Sanderson fed him moving up the left wing and Szymkowicz accelerated diagonally toward the net. Lee goalkeeper Heamon Williams came out to cut off the angle, but he was too late as Szymkowicz poked it into the right side of the net 3 minutes and 13 seconds into the half.
Szymkowicz struck again 1:17 later. He headed Sean Quill’s aerial pass to the ground, took two steps through the defense and then fired the ball into the net to make it 2-0.
"Tyler is a worker," Hopkins coach Justin Campbell said. "He just works and works and works. That’s what makes him something special. He doesn’t just settle for being speedy."
Any hope Lee might have had of climbing out of its early hole disappeared, when Brennan Mitrolka tiptoed through a pair of Wildcats from the right side and buried a goal that made it 3-0 with 11:30 left.
"Hopkins has what we’re most susceptible to," Kollmer said. "They have speed up top and guys in the middle that can feed them. That type of team has beaten us all year long. Theese guys were better at it than most. We knew what we were coming into. We just hoped we could keep it closer."
Campbell said the start gave his team some breathing room, a rarity in postseason.
"We know how delicate tournament soccer is," Campbell said. "We’ve been on both sides of it with this group. We know the importance of trying to get out and get a goal. It was nice to start that way."
Paul Delamy didn’t get an assist on Szymkowicz’s third goal, but he made it happen. He made a nifty move to slip through the Lee defense, Williams came out and was called for the foul in the box when he took Delamy down.
Campbell sent Szymkowicz out for the penalty kick and the junior calmly kicked it inside the right post with 12:30 left in the half.
Szymkowicz repaid Delamy, 3:30 later with a cross across the box that Delamy stopped and then popped in with eight minutes left in the half.
Williams stopped seven shots for Lee, while Ben Pitta made five saves for Hopkins.