2019 Upper Valley high school field hockey preview

  • Lebanon High junior forward Sydney Gonyea follows through during an Aug. 19, 2019, practice drill in Lebanon, N.H. The Raiders have some of their highest participation numbers in recent years, and Gonyea is the team’s offensive force. (Valley News — Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Valley News photographs — Tris Wykes

  • Windsor players, from left, Hannah Wood, Peyton Richardson and Ashley Grela walk through the postgame handshake line with Lebanon. The teams met during an Aug. 24, 2019, preseason scrimmage at the Mascoma jamboree in West Canaan, N.H., the Yellowjackets winning, 1-0. (Valley News — Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Windsor High’s Peyton Richardson passes upfield against Lebanon during the teams’ Aug. 24, 2019, scrimmage at the Mascoma preseason jamboree in West Canaan, N.H. Windsor won, 1-0, scoring in the final minute. (Valley News — Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Hartford High field hockey coach Heather Scudder breaks into laughter during the late stages of the Hurricanes’ Aug. 26, 2019, practice in White River Junction, Vt. The team will play on a newly-aligned and sodded field that lies partially atop the old baseball infield. A new scoreboard and signage promoting the program’s long standing as a Vermont power have also been erected. (Valley News — Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Hanover Captain Mollie Broder, number 2, leads her teammates in high-fiving with Coach Megan McFarland, left, before a scrimmage with Mascoma in Hanover, N.H., Monday, August 27, 2019. Hanover won 63-39.(Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. James M. Patterson

  • Alex Perez, of Stevens, gets under a short ball close to the net during a scrimmage with Mascoma during a preseason gathering at Hanover High School in Hanover, N.H., Monday, August 27, 2019. Mascoma won 41-39. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. James M. Patterson

  • Mascoma Coach Eric Ramage, right, talks with Lindsay McDonald, middle, as Jadyn Bates retrieves a ball while warming up for a scrimmage with Hanover High in Hanover, N.H., Monday, August 27, 2019. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. James M. Patterson

  • Lee

Valley News Correspondent
Published: 9/11/2019 3:34:34 PM
Modified: 9/11/2019 3:34:27 PM

What a season it was for Upper Valley field hockey in 2018: Four state semifinal appearances, two championship berths and one school’s 35-year title drought broken. With another fall fast approaching, last year’s successes have upped the ante.

No one is riding higher than the Mascoma Royals, whose stingy defense led to its first state title since 1983. The championship has put something of a target on the program, which graduated some key leaders. However, Mascoma also returns firepower that may make up for those losses.

Hanover, Windsor and Lebanon are all on the cusp, coming off deep playoff runs that ended in disappointment. Hartford, Woodstock, Stevens and Newport will continue to develop, all with returning head coaches and plenty of returning talent.

HANOVER

Coach: Jean Essex (18).

Last Year: 13-3-1, lost in finals.

League: NHIAA Division II.

Returnees: Seniors — Macy Curtis (M), Ella Edmonds (G), Miranda Galbraith (F), Macy Lawson (F), Maggie Logan (F), Katie Naughton (M), Emma Marks (D), Sabin Mitchell (M/D), Katrina Randall (D), Anna Stafford (F). Juniors — Natalie Chapman (D), Wylie Lucas (M).

Newcomers: Junior — Kate Blaisdell (F). Sophomores — Mia Edmonds (D), Hillary Mackall (F), Gail Morse (M), Stella Pinto (D), Olivia Trummel (F).

Analysis: Hanover’s biggest strength is in its numbers, with a whopping 44 athletes — and 14 freshmen — turning out. The Marauders have made back-to-back trips to the D-II championship game, both resulting in 1-0 defeats. Diana and Lois Schwarz, key pieces in the Marauders’ latest tournament runs with a combined 21 goals and 15 assists last fall, have moved on to play at Wesleyan (Conn.) College, leaving sizable holes to fill.

HARTFORD

Coach: Heather Scudder (31).

Last Year: 7-7-2, lost in quarterfinals.

Leagues: VPA Division II, Southern Vermont League.

Returnees: Seniors — Greer McCarty (F), Daisy Phelps (F), Emi Harlow (F), Emma Urso (F), Maliya Sinclair (D), Kennedy Mullen (F), Tayler Simmons (D). Juniors — Bailey Cameron (G), Ryelee Potwin (M), Morgan Barwood (F). Sophomores — Chloe Jensen (M), Brianna Roberts (D), Elsie Davis (F), Caroline Hamilton (F), Kaedence Brower (F).

Newcomers: Junior — Zoe Pfeiffer (F). Sophomores — Autmn Kimball (M), Grace Gardner (D). Freshmen — Nedra Dwinell (M), Marina Grassi (D), Alice Piper (F), Ava Thorburn (D).

Analysis: Mullen and McCarty return a year after leading the team with a combined 16 goals and 13 assists. But Scudder’s crew has its work cut out for it defensively, needing to cut back on the 43 goals allowed in 2018. The Canes are 15-12-4 during their last two seasons of Scudder’s second stint at the helm.

LEBANON

Coach: Amanda Valliere (3).

Last Year: 11-4-2, lost in semifinals.

League: NHIAA Division III.

Returnees: Seniors — Izzy Barden (D), Maddy Finnell (F), Izzy Fabry (M/D), Amanda Thibodeau (D), Sydney Brochu (D). Juniors — Lena Nowell (M), Sydney Gonyea (F), Kaeley Skakalski (F), Autumn Crowell (G). Sophomores — Molly Smith (F), Amalia Hickey (M).

Newcomers: Seniors — Abby Smith (F), Brooke Giaccone (F). Sophomores — Clara Smyrski (D), Claire Thibodeau (M/D), Sally Tretter (M).

Analysis: Lebanon took a big step forward last fall, outscoring opponents, 37-18, before running into defensive-minded Mascoma in the state semifinals. The Raiders offense remains mostly intact with Gonyea (18 goals, 5 assists), Finnell (6 goals, 1 assist) and Brochu (11 assists). Crowell appears to have inherited the starting goaltender position. “Our offensive passing is a strength and something that we will be looking to as we start the season,” said Valliere.

MASCOMA

Coach: Jenn Hammond (6).

Last Year: 16-1-0, state champions.

League: NHIAA Division III.

Returnees: Seniors — Michaela Dowd (M), Nikki Williams (M), Amelia Wilson (F), Mackenzie Labrie (F), Kayleigh Thurston (D). Juniors — Paige Jette (D), Sophia Guziewicz (D), Natalie Poitras (F), Lily Bennett (M). Sophomores — Morgan Towne (M), Chloe Crate (D), Allie Goullette (D), Emilie Conrad (G).

Newcomers: Freshmen — Rosie Bennett (D), Carmen Zani (F), Ari Lecuyer (G).

Analysis: The Royals are in the midst of their best run in decades: back-to-back state finals with a championship last fall. Graduation losses, particularly on defense, have left holes for Hammond to fill. Wilson had a team-high 18 goals and five assists last season and senior Labrie added 12 goals and one assist.

NEWPORT

Coach: Steve Christensen (11).

Last Year: 8-8-0, lost in quarterfinals.

League: NHIAA Division III.

Returnees: Seniors — Lacy McNeel (F), Alyshya Lee (F). Juniors – Eliza Bates (M), Jenna Maheu (D), Hayley Avery (M), Morgan Roberts (D), Maddie Miller (F), Kirsten Hurd (D), Kelsey Wheeler (G).

Newcomers: Juniors — Erin Seagrove (D/G), Morgan Oakley (D). Sophomores — Mia Fischer (D), Samara Mace (M/D). Freshmen — Bella Osgood (M/D), Maddie Norris (M/D), Jordan Ploss (F), Kirsten Williams (D).

Analysis: Bates (13 goals, 5 assists), Miller (8 goals, 5 assists) and McNeel (5 goals, 4 assists) will once again lead an offense that scored 32 goals last fall. The Tigers surrendered 37 goals, including four during a playoff loss to Hopkinton and will need to improve there. Still, Christensen is encouraged by his team so far. “Expect Hayley Avery and Alyshya Lee to play key roles,” he said.

STEVENS

Coach: Patty Deschaine (16).

Last Year: 6-7-2, lost to Lebanon in the first round.

League: NHIAA Division III.

Returnees: Seniors — Clara Avery (M/D), Riley Craig (D), Fallon Lavertue (D), Scotlyn Daignault (F/M), Lexi Eitapence (D), Rylee Little (M), Jenna March (G), Emily Emerson (F). Juniors — Julia Tursky (F/M), Gabriella Savo (D), Abbie Thurber (F), Zoey Foote (F/M), Abigail Farro (D), Emily Herbert (M), Adria Smolenski (F). Sophomore — Bri Frisbee (F).

Newcomer: Senior — Nicole Salls (G).

Analysis: Finding offense will be an early-season priority for the Cardinals, who managed just 20 goals and were shut out eight times in 2018. Frisbee (5 goals) and junior Julia Tursky (4 goals, 1 assist) return after leading the offense. March takes over as goaltender.

WINDSOR

Coach: Jody Wood (3).

Last Year: 11-4-0, lost in semifinals.

Leagues: VPA Division III, Southern Vermont League.

Returnees: Seniors — Miranda Todt (D), Angelina Bigwood (F), Hayley Fortin (D). Juniors — Ashley Grela (M), Sadie Balch (D), Linda Ricard (F), Paige Kleefisch (D), Cicely Harrington (D), Hannah Wood (F/M), Alyssa Slocum (M/D), Madison Leduc (G), Glenna Ricard (G). Sophomores — Peyton Richardson (F), Reese Perry (D), Karen Kapuscinski (F), Meagan Holling (M), Lindsey Young (G).

Newcomers: Senior — Chloe Husser (F, transfer from Springfield High). Sophomores — Lisa Todd (F), Kim Knippenberg (D, exchange student from Germany). Freshmen — Alexina Peckinpaugh (F), Mallory Martel (D).

Analysis: It’s an important year for coach Wood and the Yellowjackets, who have turned a once-shuttered program into a perennial contender. Windsor hasn’t lost any graduates in two years and had only three upperclassmen on the roster a year ago. Now, with a little bit of experience, Wood believes her team is ready to finish the job.

WOODSTOCK

Coach: Wendy Wannop (20).

Last Year: 9-5-2, lost in semifinals.

Leagues: VPA Division II, Southern Vermont League.

Returnees: Seniors — Maggie Parker (G), Mackenzie Yates (F/M), Natalie Stevens (F), Sami Yates (D). Juniors — Allie Cimis (M), Anna Steele (D), Lili Sorrentino (F), Lilia McCullough (F), Sadie Gravelle (D), Natasha Springer (D), Oona Tracy (D), Laura Shands (F). Sophomores — Nora Duane (D).

Newcomers: Junior — Tobin Calder (F/M). Sophomores — Heidi Alf (F), Nicole Fullerton (M/D), Gabby Hazen-Simuro (F), Sophie Yates (M), Megan Tarleton (D). Freshmen — Lily Gubbins (F), Myah Earle (D), Norah Harper (F), Natalie Parent (F), Emma Allegretti (F), Cassandra Summarsell (D), Beale Dunn (F).

Analysis: Wannop’s return to the helm las year has put the Wasps back on track. Graduation losses have hurt Woodstock this season, while two other players have chosen to sit the season out. However, Wannop is encouraged by the presence of captains Parker, Mackenzie Yates and Sami Yates. “I am fortunate that the team is led by three senior captains that cover the field for leadership,” Wannop said.




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