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Cards Shut Out Marauders

Claremont — A pair of goals in a 15-minute span sent the Stevens High field hockey team to a 2-0 victory over Hanover on Wednesday night.

Her team was at its best, and it had to be against a good Hanover team that left Monadnock Park a bit frustrated. The Marauders hovered around the Stevens goal, but just couldn’t get one past senior keeper Cassandra Cutts and a defense led by Jenna Deschaine, Sydney Boardman and Abby Duford.

It was the sixth shutout for the Cardinals (7-3) the three losses all by 1-0 scores.

“We didn’t know what to expect when we came down here,” Hanover coach Jean Essex said. “We knew we were going to see a well coached team, and that’s what we saw.”

Essex didn’t make any excuses, but before the game she found out that she couldn’t use regular goalkeeper B Sachsse and had to take Emily Gougelet from the field and put her in the cage.

“I went to her just before the game and told her she was our goalie for tonight,” said Essex.

It was a game of long momentum swings, as both teams were able to get the ball up and down the pitch, the Division III Cardinals getting 11 shots on goal compared with eight for the D-II Marauders.

The only two goals came 28 seconds apart in the first 15 minutes of the first half, which gave the impression that this would be a big scoring night. But that was it. There were near-misses galore, but Cutts and Gougelet held their ground with the help of some of their friends.

The first Stevens goal, scored by Hannah Scott, came after the sophomore showed some slick stick-handling and was rewarded when one of her shots was rebounded to Alyssa Redmond, who moved the ball to Scott, who slipped it past Gougelet. The goal came after a Hanover surge by Hannah Seibel and Christine Croitoru was repelled by Cutts. Just 28 seconds later it was 2-0, Allison Lessard scoring with the assist going to Deschaine.

Hanover might have been a little stunned at this point, and Essex took a timeout, trying to regroup a bit. But the Marauders were denied as Eleanor Patten and Ellie Stout had close attempts that Cutts kicked away. Patten’s effort was particularly impressive. She found herself digging among a mess of feet and she somehow dug the ball out and got a clear shot at Cutts, who always seemed to be in the right place at the right time and booted the ball clear.

Croitoru and Seibel continued to show solid passing and stick skills all throughout the second half. Twice in the first part of the second half Croitoru fed the ball from the left wing to Seibel who had cleared to the right of Cutts, Seibel first shooting wide, then into the pads of Cutts.

It was that kind of half for the Marauders, who held Stevens without a shot until the final five minutes.

Essex said the frustration was just a reflection of what kind of sport field hockey is.

“We didn’t put it in, but we played tough and hung in there” she said. “We gave it our best shot.”

Stevens’s strong start has come during a season when the schedule has included the top three teams in the division, and tough nonleague games against Rutland, which plays in Vermont Division I, and Hanover.

“I don’t care how tough the schedule is it will make us a better team come tournament time,” Stevens coach Parry Deschaine said.

Hanover goes to Con-Val on Friday. Stevens heads to Newfound today, the third time this season the Cards have had to play twice in 24 hours.