Timberlane 4, Londonderry 2
When Timberlane and Londonderry met Sunday, Timberlane was hunting for back to back state titles, and Londonderry was trying to do something no one thought they would do, win.
Londonderry had come off two huge playoff wins, beating Bishop Guertin 3-2, in Penalty Corners, then knocking off top tanked Pinkerton, in the Final Four. The real question they faced on Sunday, was could they do what they did to Pinkerton, against Timberlane, the answer was yes, but only for a half.
Londonderry came out and matched Timberlane, for the entire first half. Londonderry scored first, with eleven minutes to go in the half, as Vanessa Magoon assisted Maeve McPhail on a corner. The lead held until there were two minutes left, when D1 leading scorer, Kylie Fitzpatrick, scored to tie the game at one and take it into halftime 1-1.
When the second half got underway, Timberlane came out looking for the kill, and Londonderry just couldn't keep up. Timberlane earned eight corners to Londonderry's one, in the second half. With only five minutes gone in the half, Rachel Paradis found Tori Rothwell to take a 2-1 lead. 60 seconds later Timberlane had another chance, but a Londonderry defender was there to make a defensive save. With 12:57 to go, Emma Lannon connected with Taryn MacKinnon, to give Timberlane a 3-1 lead. With four minutes to play, Sammy Hamilton scored Timberlane's fourth goal, to kill off the game. Londonderry would have a stroke, with 42 seconds left, as McPhail buried it, but it was too little too late, as Timberlane celebrated their back to back titles, winning 4-2.
All credit to Londonderry for making it all the way to the finals, we do not think anyone, including us, thought they would get as far as they did.
Newfound 2, Mascoma 0
Newfound may have been riding a perfect season going into the game, including knocking off Winnisquam's very talented senior class and defending champs Gilford, but what Mascoma had done in the tournament, was undeniable. Before the game started we are willing to bet everyone that wasn't a Newfound fan, maybe even some of the Newfound fans, deep down, would've loved to see Mascoma's story never hit midnight, and if you do not get that reference, watch some Disney movies.
As the game started Mascoma came to play and gave Newfound some scary moments, including a couple of corners, and a one on one breakaway, but Mascoma couldn't keep the ball under control as it went out of bounds. With 21:28 left in the first half, Jasmine Peterson assisted Kylee MacDonald, to take a 1-0 lead. Newfound would have another chance with six minutes to play in the half, but Nicole Williams was able to make a defensive, to keep it a one-goal game. With 2:45 left in the half, MacDonald would connect with Julianne Marchand to take into halftime 2-0.
In the second half, Mascoma never quit, continuing to give problems to Newfound both offensively and defensively. They held Newfound to three shots on goal in the second half. They did stop Newfound from scoring, but couldn't find the back of the net themselves. They did put a ball into the goal, with under ten minutes to play, but it was called back, because no one from Mascoma touched the ball, once it entered the circle, as it deflected off of a Newfound defender's stick. Newfound was able to hold on for the last ten minutes of the game and finish with a 2-0 victory, and a perfect season, going 17-0-0.
Windham 1, Hanover 0
If you are a real competitor in sports, whenever you lose you want to be able to blame the loss on yourself, not necessarily on the individual, but as a team. You got blown out, okay the other side was just better, you chocked a lead, you got complacent, or you just didn't take it seriously after you got up by a certain amount. You want to able to accept the loss, and know that it was your fault. The one thing you cannot take is when the loss is entirely out of your control because officials cost you the game.
The game was probably the evenest game out of the three finals. Windham held the edge in corners, 9-8, and they both had seven shots on goal.
With 17:38 left in the first half, Windham scored the only goal of the game, when Anna Desjardin inserted to Kenna Melvin, to put Windham ahead 1-0. That is the moment Hanover lost the game. When Melvin took the shot it was outside of the circle; it deflected off a Hanover player's stick and went in, but no one from Windham touched it. The rule is, the ball has to touch an attacking player's stick, inside the circle, for the goal to count, which it did not do. It should have been a 25-yard long hit, coming in, for Windham. Hanover tried to argue the call, but the officials were not having it, as it went into halftime, 1-0. The goal should never have counted; the officials were wrong.
In the second half, Hanover had two huge chances. The first one, was when Diana Schwarz beat Desjardin in a one on one, to go one on one, with Windham goalie, Abby Harris, who probably had the best game all season. Schwarz beat Harris, but Desjardin made the smart defensive play, instead of chasing the ball when she got beat, she looped behind Harris, who came out to challenge and went straight to the goal line. Desjardin stopped Schwarz's initial shot, then stopped the second as Schwarz prevented the ball from being cleared. It was probably the most clutch defensive saves you will ever see. Desjardin was just phenomenal on the night.
Now for the second chance. With no time left on the clock, Hanover earned a corner. Hannah Curtis received the insert, she got the ball to the top of the circle and did a reverse chip shot to put it into the circle. The ball went up, and Diana Schwarz deflected into the back of the net to tie the game. Hanover jumped on Schwarz, and the Windham players were in disbelief. Literally, about two, maybe three seconds went by, and the official said no goal, it was too high. It was probably the greatest thing to watch, as far as the swing of emotion between two teams that were right next to each other. As soon as the official made the call, the Windham players turned from walking back to their bench, thinking it was going to overtime, to running to and jumping on Harris, knowing they had just won the state title. Hanover went from celebrating their goal, which would have sent it to overtime, to some of them running to the official to argue the call, including Head Coach Jean Essex, and some of them collapsing to the ground in shock.
Was the ball high? Unfortunately, that decision is left solely up to the opinion of the official. We did not think so; we thought it was a goal. One reason we thought it was for sure a goal, is the game before, Mascoma v. Newfound, one of Newfound's goals, the ball was literally, three to four feet higher than the Hanover goal, and it counted. Even if you say, "Okay the ball was high, it was a 50/50 call.", the fact is Windham's goal should never have counted, that call was not 50/50, it was black and white.
Hanover lost the state championship, not because Windham was better than them, not because Windham got lucky, not even because Hanover played bad, but because the officials made two drastic calls, that changed the game. One of them was completely wrong, and that is something that we cannot stand. When you are playing at the highest level of high school field hockey, that this state has to offer, and Windham and Hanover are putting everything they have on the line for 60 minutes, you cannot have a state championship decided by officials who made a 100% wrong call, that is utterly ridiculous. We genuinely hope those officials never officiate another state final, final four, or even a tournament game, because that was awful. If you have read our recaps throughout the season, you know we have seen bad officiating, but that takes the cake.
Just think about it for a minute, the D2 State Championship, wasn't decided by the players of Windham or Hanover, who were playing the game. It was determined by two officials, who could not make the right call. How do you have a state championship that isn't decided by the players?
And anyone who thinks we're taking shots at Windham, you are gravely mistaken. Windham played a great game, Anna Desjardin, probably had the best defensive game of the season, she was absolutely electric, and Abby Harris probably had the best game of her career.
So, that is how Championship Sunday went. In a way, it was very entertaining, throughout all three games.
That wraps up our Public School season, if you read our social media update, you will know we are not done just yet. Our prep schools still have a week and a half of their regular season left, then have their tournament.
We will also be doing our own in-house awards, but we will go into more detail with that, as well as some other things going forward when the prep schools wrap up their season. So don't leave us just yet.