Through two state tournament games, the Manchester Essex field hockey has lived up to the billing as the No. 2 seed.
With a 3-0 win over No. 15 Frontier Regional in the second round of the Division 4 State Tournament, the Hornets roll into the quarterfinal round with their second straight shutout victory. In two tournament wins, the Hornets (15-4-1) have outscored their opponents by a combined score of 8-0.
Manchester Essex got it going right away in Wednesday’s win as Elsa Wood put home a pass from Amy Vytopilova just 1:55 into the contest for a 1-0 lead.
The Red Hawks held off the home team for the remainder of the first despite a few close chances, but the Hornets added an insurance goal just 1:23 into the second frame with Wood’s second goal of the contest to make it 2-0.
Manchester Essex stymied Frontier Regional for the duration of Wednesday’s contest, allowing just one shot on goal in the shutout win thanks to standout defense from Hadley Levendusky in front of goalie Paige Garlitz.
Frontier’s best stretch of play came in the third quarter, when it generated enough pressure to earn three straight corner chances. But Manchester Essex handled all of them without allowing a shot and continued to hold a territorial edge.
The Hornets made it 3-0 in the middle of the fourth quarter on a shot from Cailie Patrick from the top of the circle.
Manchester Essex now moves on to the Division 4 Quarterfinals, where a familiar opponent waits. The Hornets will be hosting Cape Ann League rival Lynnfield, the No. 7 seed, on Saturday at Hyland Field (5 p.m.). The two teams met in late October with Manchester Essex rolling to a 4-0 win.
Saturday’s winner will advance to the Division 4 Semifinals the winner of Saturday’s semifinal between No. 3 Uxbridge and No. 6 Cohasset.