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Stevens Steams Vikings

Claremont — Stevens High School has not won a state championship of any kind since 1989, but the one sport that has given the school the best opportunity for a title in recent years has perhaps been field hockey.

After making it to the finals and dropping an overtime decision to Derryfield in 2011, the Cardinals lost a double-overtime quarterfinal game to Newfound last fall. Nobody is talking about a possible NHIAA Division III state championship this year just yet, but the way this season has started there has to be some feelings leaning in that direction.

Stevens moved to 3-0 on the young campaign on Monday with a 6-0 win over Mascenic at Monadnock Park. In the three games to date, the Cardinals hold a 15-0 edge in scoring.

Cardinals coach Patty Deschaine isn’t about to bite on the notion of doing some postseason damage, but after Monday’s latest win she agreed her team has that “potential” label.

“I don’t know where the power is yet this year, but Derryfield is always awfully good,” said Deschaine, who is in the St. Michael’s College Hall of Fame and has been coaching the Cardinals for 10 years.

Stevens returned almost everybody from last year’s 11-5 squad (although leading scorer Maddy Boardman is a significant loss). However, three returnees had an impressive 22-1 edge in shots on goal against the Vikings.

While Mascenic is winless at 0-3, it is a team that has cored nine goals in those defeats. Yet on Monday, the visitors had a hard time getting at freshman Stevens goalkeeper Karli Reynolds, who picked up the shutout win. Reynolds was filling in for regular keeper Cassandra Cutts who, along with two other varsity players, were listed as physically unable to perform for Monday’s game by assistant coach Rick Deschaine, who said he hopes to have all three girls back for Friday’s match at Mascoma.

While Mascenic saw the game get out of hand in the second half, the Vikings were troublesome for a good portion of the first half and had an early chance to tie the game at 1-1 when a crisp Victoria Salmonson shot got through the defense, but Reynolds followed the ball and booted it clear. The Vikings also had six corners in the first half.

“We had some good chances off those corners,” said Mascenic co-coach Selena Shaw, “but just couldn’t quite finish.”

Shaw knew that a victory was probably not going to happen. “We’re just trying to improve each time out, and I think we did that today,” she noted. “I’m not unhappy. We just kind of let down in the second half when the game got out of hand.”

Stevens had a 14-0 edge in shots on goal in the second half.

Five different players scored the six goals for Stevens, with Jenna Deschaine the only Cardinal with two tallies. Deschaine’s first goal put the Cardinals ahead 1-0 when her ground-hugger eluded the kick of Mascenic keeper Mindy Krook (16 saves). Stevens didn’t get its second goal until just before the half when Allison Lessard ushered in Hannah Scott’s pass into the cage.

The Stevens depth began to show in the second half as the Cardinals scored four times. Deschaine made it 3-0, and goals from Jessica Brogren, Anissa Girard and Julie Hackett closed the Cardinals’ account.

“And we haven’t played in a week,” Patty Deschaine noted, “so this was a pretty good day.”

Stevens puts its perfect mark on the line at Mascoma on Friday.