Field Hockey Opens Season with 3 Wins
By Michael James LeClair
The Nashoba Regional field hockey team opened the 2014 season on the right foot Wednesday afternoon.
The Chieftains hit the road to kick off the campaign with a trip to Hudson High School and a date with the host Hawks.
Nashoba received two goals from senior captain and forward Sarah Gaffney, a goal and an assist each from junior forward Sidney Lowe and senior captain and midfielder Emma Caviness as the visitors headed home with a 4-0 victory at Riverside Field.
“I was pretty happy with the way the girls came out; they were strong right from the start. In the past I think they have had this thing about playing on a grass field,” said Nashoba eighth-year head coach Jaime Mariani following Wednesday’s victory. “At Nashoba we play all of our home games on turf so I think it was a good game for them and a real confidence booster.”
Nashoba finished the contest with a marginal advantage in the shots on goal department, outshooting the Hawks 33-0 and also a 16-2 upper hand in penalty corners.
Chieftains’ goalie, sophomore Katie Crowley was awarded a shutout victory despite not facing a single shot.
“This win wasn’t just from one or two players. I think a lot of girls contributed to this win. We have 18 players on our roster and I think each of them played a good amount of minutes,” said Mariani. “Moving forward, it’s nice to be able to have players come off your bench and give you some strong minutes when it’s their turn to go in. It’s great when your last player off the bench can come in and work just as hard as your starters.”
Nashoba’s balanced offensive attack found the back of the cage twice in each half while Hudson couldn’t muster any offensive momentum throughout the 60 minute game.
The Chieftains began their scoring barrage just 5:14 into the first half when Gaffney rifled a scoring bid by Hudson net minder Kelly Young (29 saves). Lowe was credited with the assist.
Gaffney buried her second goal of the game with just under 10 minutes left before halftime to make it a 2-0 contest. Junior midfielder Olivia Magliozzi found Gaffney with a pass and she poked it home.
Nashoba managed 16 first half shots on net, peppering Young for most of the opening half hour.
The second half was more of the same as the Chieftains again controlled the run of play. Caviness and Lowe each registered goals in the second half to cap the scoring.
The Chieftains kept their winning ways going with a 2-0 victory over the Patriots on Friday afternoon. Caviness and
junior forward Tess Anderson each potted goals for the winners on Friday and Crowley made four saves to notch her second straight shutout to open the season.
Caviness scored the lone first half goal with the assist going to senior midfielder Olivia Hurd before Anderson doubled the advantage in the second half with an unassisted goal.
Through first two games the Chieftains defense did not allow a goal and it’s in large part to the collective effort of Nashoba’s defensive unit, anchored by junior Allyson Conlin and classmate Erica Taft, along with senior Karleigh Elkins. They are among the many Chieftains to limit the scoring chances of the opposition.
Nashoba returned to action on Monday for its home opener against the Crusaders of Groton-Dunstable Regional. The Chieftains put another mark in the win column, outscoring G-D 8-1. Goals were brought home by Emma Caviness, Tess Anderson, Sarah Gaffney and MaryKate Magliozzi to give the Chieftains a 3-0 record for the start of the season, reported Coach Mariani.