For the first time in 26 years, Lebanon will miss out on the tournament.
We were not at the game, but we thought it was something worth mentioning. For the past five years, Lebanon has been a powerhouse in D2 field hockey winning three of the previous five state titles and being in each one of the final fours. However, times are changing. Lebanon legend Deb Beach stepped down during the offseason, after heading the Lebanon program for 40 years, if this is not the definition of "coaching is everything," we do not know what is. Lebanon had to win both of their games to have a chance at making the tournament, but Plymouth's Olivia Eastman and Kate Ogden both put away hat tricks, killing Lebanon's season, as Plymouth beat Lebanon, 7-5. So know for the first time 26 years Lebanon will not be in the tournament, and the landscape of D2 seems to have changed.
Stagg scores in OT, as Derryfield escapes Kennett, 2-1.
Well, here we go again, when the #4 and #5 ranked D2 teams met, yesterday afternoon, you would think, you would have officials who know what's going on, but you know... To be fair, they were not both bad; it was just one that was shocking. The shocking one did not seem to know left from right, when making calls, always switching directions. Also, not knowing whether it was a 16-yard going out or a 25-yard long hit, coming in. It was, for lack of better words, comical, for how bad it was. The other official was not bad, they were decent, but there were two controversial calls that changed the game, for both teams, and both coaches were not happy with their calls, obviously, but we will get to those in a bit. Into the game...
Derryfield controlled most of the game, out cornering Kennett, 14-4, and outshooting them 10-3. Derryfield finally got on the scoreboard, with three minutes to play in the first half, when Maggie Cissel dumped a pass to Holly Rohlfs, for an easy tap-in. It seemed Derryfield would go into the half with a 1-0 lead, but Kennett had other ideas. With just over 40 seconds to play, Kennett earned a foul inside the 25, Paige Hill took the free hit, she dribbled, blasted into the circle, and Natalie Perry was there to put it away, to take it to halftime, 1-1. This was the first controversial call that changed the game, the foul was no question, but the argument was made, by Derryfield Head Coach Lenny McCaigue, that Hill did not go the five yards. Even when the half ended, after Derryfield had actually gotten down and earned a corner as time expired, but couldn't convert, McCaigue came out onto the field to talk to the officials. From our view, it seemed very close, but we were on the other side of the field.
In the second half, the game would go scoreless. Derryfield had two big chances in the second half. One came at the nine-minute mark, when Kennett goalie Hannah Frittenburg dove for a ball, and missed, but a Kennett defender was there to clear it off the line. The other was as time was expiring, they earned a corner, and scored, but the goal was called back due to hitting a Derryfield player's foot. Coach McCaigue and the Derryfield fans were not happy about the call, but it was the right call.
In overtime, Derryfield had full control, allowing Kennett no corners or shots. Now the second controversial call that changed the game. With 9:58 to go, Derryfield earned a stroke, we saw no signal from the official for what exact foul was committed but were told after the game it hit a Kennett player's foot. Now it was Kennett Head Coach Cassie Johansen's turn; her team bench was on the far opposite side of the field; hopefully, that makes sense for a visual, she came right to the 50, arguing how is that a stroke, also saying it should have been hacking on Derryfield. She also told her speaking captain, to ask the same. The game was stopped, and the officials talked to Coach Johansen, but it did not change her mind. Nothing explicit was said by either coach during both calls, but they made their presence well known, that they were not happy.
Stagg stepped up to take the stroke and buried it; bottom left corner. Frittenburg tried to make a splitting save, but couldn't get to it. Oh yeah, on that call for the stroke, we did not see it hit a Kennett player's foot, but you heard the sticks.
Other than some of the officiating, it was a great game to watch. Stagg was her usual self. Derryfield's Tori Sipes had moments of brilliance. Kennett's Alexa Gutowski had an excellent match for Kennett, always looking a threat. One player, we were impressed with, was sophomore defender, Ava Drummond. Her defense was crucial in stopping Derryfield's attacks, she is not a Sarah Collins, but she is very good.
Healy picks up three assists, as Exeter edges North in OT, 4-3.
We are happy to say, our second game of the day, the officiating was excellent, there were a couple of calls we thought they missed, but for the most part, they were great.
Going into this game, we thought Exeter would be dominant, but that was far from the truth, the absence of star player Bri Petruccelli was also a factor. Exeter opened the scoring, five minutes into the game when Alyssa Pietz scored, to make it 1-0. North answered back two minutes later, when Dani Upton made an argument for the goal of the season, rivaling Diana Schwarz's 70-yard run. Upton picked-up the ball at the 40-yard line, air dribbled it all way to the goal, dropped it a few yards from the goalline, and tucked it past Exeter goalie, Delaney Hayward, to tie it at one. With 4:15 to go in the half, Exeter countered North, and Teagan Healy sent a cross to Alyssa Pietz, who put away a beautiful shot, to take it to halftime, 2-1.
Exeter would score three minutes into the second half when Healy found, Kirsten Johansson. You thought, okay, Exeter is going to run away with this one, but North never gave up. 60 seconds later, Allie Alton assisted Emily Sweet, to make it a one-goal game. The game would stay 3-2 until there was 1:42 left on the clock. Izzy Gates put a ball into the circle, and Kayleigh Eckenrode, put the ball opposite corner, scoring the tying goal.
In overtime, North never saw Exeter's goal. With 9:32 to go, Healy assisted her third goal, as she connected with Lily Keans for the game-winner.
North had plenty of opportunities to score during regulation, including out cornering Exeter, 8-2, but they just couldn't convert.
Central earns ten corners, but can't convert, as they tie Salem, 0-0.
Bartlett scores twice, leading Keene past Merrimack, as they win in OT, 2-1.
Fitzpatrick picks up two goals, helping Timberlane past Bedford, 6-2.
Morse scores off a corner, as Dover slips by South, 1-0.
Carlee Smith, Chloe Smith, Gifford, & Larochelle all score, as Goffstown beats Milford, 4-2.
Cranney & Dudek both score two, as Souhegan goes past Sanborn, 4-1.
Vogel picks up 20 saves, but it is not enough, as Portsmouth falls to Kingswood, 1-0.
Davis scores two, as Pinkerton blanks Concord, 3-0.
Seven players score for Londonderry, as they rout Memorial, 8-0.
Meserve scored her 15th goal of the season, as Hopkinton beats Bow, 4-1.
- Winnacunnet sneaks by Guertin, 1-0.
- Hanover rolls past Merrimack Valley, 4-0.