HOLYOKE, Mass. ---- Holyoke's Samantha Tersavich lofted in a goal with 33 seconds left in overtime of the Region 21 Division III Women's Soccer Championship to defeat the Massasoit women's soccer team, 2-1, in heart-breaking fashion on Sunday afternoon at William B. O'Connell Memorial Field.
With the victory, HCC advances to the Northeast District Tournament to host Nassau Community College of Region 15 on Saturday. The district winner advances to the NJCAA National Tournament hosted by Rock Valley Community College in Illinois.
An even contest throughout saw the top-seeded Warriors lead 1-0 at the break. With exactly four minutes left in the opening stanza, the Warriors corralled a goal kick by HCC. Samantha Baston (Carver) trapped the kick, passed it to fellow freshman Anya Welch-Batstone (Avon) who gave it right back to Baston who rocketed it to the back of the net to take the 1-0 lead.
Following intermission, the Warriors held onto their slim margin until the 72nd minute.
A throw in was intercepted by HCC's Gabrielle Petlock, who then took the ball to go on a breakaway to even the game with under 18 minutes left.
Massasoit had one chance to win the game at the end of regulation, but an offsides penalty was called negating a take a late lead.
Despite momentum shifting in favor of the home Cougars, Massasoit showed plenty of energy during the bonus period.
It appeared the game would go to a second overtime, but an attempted clear out pass by Massasoit found its way to the middle of the field, where Tersavich was there to connect for the golden goal and give HCC its seventh consecutive Region 21 Championship.
Saturday marked the final contest for sophomores Alex Santos (Whitman), Marlene Andrade (Brockton), Sabine Bernard (Brockton), Karen Snow (Irving, NY), Amanda Sesock (Whitman) and Athena Grant (Randolph).
Saturday marked the fourth time HCC and Massasoit met in the Region 21 Finals, all coming since 2013 and the first matchup since 2015.
Baston's goal marked the first time Massasoit has scored in a Region 21 Final vs Holyoke, being shutout in the previous three meetings.
Massasoit is still search of its first Region 21 Championship in women's soccer since 1999.