Top 5 Defenders to Watch

# 5

Morgan LeBaron

Year of Graduation: 2018

High School:  Tilton

Club:  None

Colleges Considering: Salve Regina University and Endicott College

 

2016 Team Performance: 10-7-1 (W-L-T), final four OT loss to New Hampton, 1-2.

2016 Stats: 18 games played

2016 Accolades: Varsity Starter / Granite State Games Gold Medal / New England Premier Showcase participant

2017 Accolades: Varsity Starter / Granite State Games Gold Medal / New England Premier Showcase participant

Biggest Strength:  Pace. Her speed enables her to make overlapping runs offensively, and be able to get back without worrying about counterattacks. She is also able to press high up the field, and not worry about getting beat because if she does she will be able to catch them, and if there's a through ball pass there's a 90% chance she is going to get it before the attacking team does. Plus on corners she is a great a flyer, she can get out fast and make it very difficult for the offense to get a shot or even a pass off before she gets to it.

Biggest Weakness:  Her aggression. LeBaron is a very aggressive player, and normally this would not be an issue, but with her, she can be overly aggressive. When she does this, it can get her into trouble with the officials. LeBaron is not afraid to play physical, which many people do not like, when she can perfect it she is a brilliant and annoying defender to play against, but when she over does it she can be carded. As an example, last season in her quarterfinal tournament game, LeBaron was recovering from getting beat, she caught up, but when she went in for the challenge, she body checked the attacker. The other team was awarded a corner, nothing happened, they ended up clearing the ball, but it is an example of how it can hurt her team, especially if you have officials who do not like any body contact.

Morgan LeBaron’s strength and ability to see the field from the defensive end is vital for our teams structure on the field. Having the ability to run the defensive end, while being confident in her skills as well as her teammates helps us all have a strong defensive zone from the 25 down.
— Tilton teammate & forward Tia Raspante

# 4

Myranda Byars

Year of Graduation: 2020

High School:  Gilford

Club:  None

College Commitment: None

 

2016 Team Performance: 15-1-1 (W-L-T), State Champions

2016 Stats: 17 games played / 132 tackles

2016 Accolades: Varsity Starter / State Champion

2017 Accolades: Varsity Starter / New England Premier Showcase participant

Biggest Strength: Her ability to read the game. Byars is extremely intelligent when breaking down a play as it's happening. She'll know when to go in for a tackle, cut off a pass or peel off to watch for a through ball. She has also gotten faster in the off season, which will help her if she gets beat.

Biggest Weakness:  Her in game decision making, counter attacking. Defensively Byars is one of best in the state at reading the game, but offensively she needs to fine tune her counter attack passing, and she will be close to the perfect defender. She made a mistake last season, she won the ball off a tackle, but then her youth panic kicked in, and she passed across goal, and the other team ended up scoring off of it. If she can kill her youth panic, she will be great, and she certainly seemed to do so already. The game she made that mistake they lost 0-2, after that they went on to a 12-0-1 (W-L-T) run, including winning the state championship and allowing four goals in those 13 games.

Works at being a leader and bettering herself every time she is on the field.
— Gilford Head Coach David Rogacki

# 3

Hayleigh LeTourneau

Year of Graduation: 2018

High School: Newfound

Club: None

College Commitment: None

 

2016 Team Performance: 14-2-1 (W-L-T), final four loss to Gilford, 1-2.

2016 Stats: 17 games played / 2 assists / 1 goal / 4 points

2016 Accolades: Varsity Starter / NHFHCA 1st Team All State

2017 Accolades: Varsity Starter

Biggest Strength: Being a complete player. LeTourneau can do everything, she can obviously defend, she is a good passer, great dribbler, fast, and she can score goals when she wants to.

Biggest Weakness:  Going forward. LeTourneau is not bad at going forward, to be honest, she is probably the best player on her team moving the ball, but she is also their best defender. So, when she does make runs forward, if she loses the ball or if she makes a pass and her teammates miss it, there is going to be a gap in their defense. Moreover, teams who are fast and know how to counter attack can cause many problems for Newfound if LeTourneau is not back there defending.

She is the anchor on our defensive end. Much of the team’s success in limiting the number of shots taken at our goal is due to Hayleigh.
— Newfound Head Coach Karri Peterson

# 2

Timberlane.jpg

Taryn MacKinnon

Year of Graduation: 2018

High School:  Timberlane

Club:  Seacoast United

College Commitment: University of Massachusetts Lowell

 

2016 Team Performance: 12-5-1 (W-L-T), State Champions.

2016 Stats: 18 games played /  6 assists / 4 goals / 14 points

2016 Accolades: Varsity Starter / NHFHCA 2nd Team All State

2017 Accolades: Varsity Starter / Granite State Games Bronze Medal / Shooting Star Easter participant

Biggest Strength:  Clearing and passing the ball. MacKinnon is one of the best passers in the state, and she uses that to her full advantage when clearing the ball. Most players just get the ball out of the circle no matter where it goes, but MacKinnon is incredibly quick thinking on her feet. She can use her dribbling skills to get out of a situation, then use her vision to make big passes down the field. 

Biggest Weakness:  Oddly, her defense. MacKinnon is not at all a bad defender, but it is her weakest link. She's a better offensive weapon, than defensive, but with the absence of Timberlane's and the state's best defender, Julia Lanctot, in the back, and the loss of both their goalies, MacKinnon will have to step up in the defensive role.

Taryn is a very skilled defender who anchors our defensive unit with her intensity and determination. A well rounded player she actually could play on any line of the field.
— Timberlane Head Coach Mim Ryan

# 1

Devon Hamilton

Year of Graduation: 2019

High School: Windham

Club:  None

College Commitment: None

 

2016 Team Performance: 15-2-0 (W-L-T), State Champions.

2016 Stats: 17 games played 

2016 Accolades: Varsity Starter / State Champion

2017 Accolades: Varsity Starter

Biggest Strength: Put simply, her defense. She has the pace to keep up with almost anyone. Her decision making knowing what kind of tackle to make, and when to make it is almost perfect. Her in game awareness knowing when to run with the attacker, peeling off to run with another attacker or peeling off to cut off a through ball is a level above anyone else's.

Biggest Weakness:  Her offense. To be honest, it's irrelevant, considering she isn't a forward.

Hamilton anchors the defense for the Jags. Her ability to see the field and step up in crunch time is an intricate part to our defenses success. We are excited and expect big things from #5.
— Windham Head Coach Katie Blair