Field Hockey at Top of the League…Nov. 4, 2015
By Jess Thomas
After losing in the state title game last season, the Nashoba Regional field hockey team has kept the ball rolling in an elite direction with a 4-1 victory over Lincoln-Sudbury on Monday, Oct. 26 at home.
Nashoba clinched the Mid-Wach A title on Wednesday, Oct. 28 with a 6-0 win over a struggling Shepherd Hill squad. The Chieftains finished the season 15-2-1 (8-1-1 in league), one win ahead of Algonquin in league action.
Monday’s big win over the Lincoln-Sudbury Warriors helped Nashoba’s seeding for the playoffs, a place in which the Chieftains will face supreme competition.
Head coach Jaime Mariani said she is very happy with how her squad has stayed focused following such a dominant 2014.
“Last year was our first year in the Mid-Wach A conference and for them to come out as strong as they did and again this year, it’s really outstanding. They knew that there was a lot of pressure coming into this season from where we left off last year, and I think that they are doing a great job,” Mariani said.
Against the Warriors, the Chieftains actually found themselves on the wrong side of the score early, as Lincoln-Sudbury took advantage of Nashoba goalie Katie Crowley’s positioning. Crowley came out of the goal and L-S’ forward Aly Dutoit slipped the ball past two Nashoba defenders who were attempting to cover the goal.
That goal was in the first six minutes of the contest and would be the only score Lincoln-Sudbury would end up putting in the back of the net.
With 17:26 left in the first half, Nashoba senior Rachel Farley slapped in the Chieftains’ first goal to tie the game at one.
Just six minutes later, senior captain Tess Anderson took a shot that bounced off the Warriors’ goalie and caromed back to junior Sarah Johnson, who was left open on the right side. She didn’t miss her opportunity and put Nashoba up 2-1.
The Chieftains scored two more goals in the second half to extend the lead to 4-1, as they were the more aggressive team, seemingly wearing the Warriors down.
“Overall, I think that the second half we really did turn it on and it did seem like they may have gotten a little bit tired,” Mariani said. “Our defense played strong in the back.”
Lincoln-Sudbury came into the game with a 7-6-2 record.
Nashoba’s first second half goal was tallied by senior Mary Kate Magliozzi with 22:28 left in the game.
With eight minutes left, Anderson flew from mid-field to the goal, blowing by defenders and she buried the final score.
“I think they’ve really come together and come out ready to play every game,” Mariani said. “They really work hard every day in practice and on the field.”
Perhaps the most important aspect for Nashoba is the team chemistry they have developed behind captains Anderson and Sidney Lowe, who will look to carry them in the postseason.
In terms of any improvement the team could make for another deep playoff run, Mariani focused on doing the little things correctly all the time.
“Just consistently having intensity, cutting for every ball, not standing still,” Mariani said. “We just need to make sure that we’re doing it all the time, especially when we’re going to be playing all these other top teams. It’s a very close group of teams in the running,” she finished.