Marauders mow down Sabers for NHIAA D-II field hockey title

  • Hanover's Ella Edmonds hoists the hardware as she and her teammates Hillary Mackall (9), Sabin Mitchell and Katie Naughton acknowledge the crowd following their 3-0 NHIAA Division II field hockey championship win over Souhegan in Bedford, N.H., on Nov. 3, 2019. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Hanover head coach Jean Essex hugs Olivia Trummel after the team's 3-0 NHIAA Division II field hockey championship win over Souhegan in Bedford, N.H., on Nov. 3, 2019. In the background are Hanover's Gail Morse (16) and Kate Blaisdell. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Hanover's Anna Stafford, second from left, works to score against the defense by Souhegan's Ellie Byram (53) and Margot Manz during the first half of their NHIAA Division II field hockey championship in Bedford, N.H., on Nov. 3, 2019. Hanover won, 3-0. At left is Souhegan's Sarah Geary. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 11/3/2019 7:24:15 PM

BEDFORD, N.H. — Coach Jean Essex handed out medals at the beginning of the receiving line as her Hanover High field hockey team passed the NHIAA Division II state plaque from player to player.

After back-to-back years of watching other teams handle the elusive championship hardware, it was time for the Marauders to enjoy the post-game celebrations at Bedford High’s Bulldog Stadium.

Behind a fast start, relentless offensive attack and another Ella Edmonds shutout, second-seeded Hanover beat No. 4 Souhegan, 3-0, on Sunday afternoon to capture the Marauders’ first NHIAA title in 10 years.

“Third time’s the charm. I said it was nice to be on that side instead of the other side for a change,” Essex said.

Added Edmonds: “The past two years, I was the goalie crying and hugging Coach. Definitely a fan of ending things the happy way.”

Hanover lost in the final the last two years, both by 1-0 scores. Both losses hurt, especially last year’s, which featured a Hanover goal being waived off in the final seconds of play. On Sunday, the Marauders’ game plan was to start fast and not allow the contest to hang in the balance in the closing minutes.

Kate Blaisdell opened the scoring for Hanover with less then 10 minutes to play in the first half. Her 15th goal of the season came on a shot from the top of the circle.

The Marauders extended their lead less than five minutes into the second half when Macy Curtis scored on a penalty stroke. After the goal, Hanover players on the field met at midfield for a quick huddle. Knowing they were in control, Curtis said, Hanover took a second to regroup but also enjoy the situation.

“We all came into our little huddle and we said, ‘Let’s just do this for her (Essex),’ ” Curtis said. “She cares so much about us. There’s not one girl on this team that hasn’t been improved thanks to her. She’s like a mom to me.”

Olivia Trummel sealed the win for Hanover with 11:04 to play. The sophomore received a pass from Maggie Logan to the right of the net and finished the play by poking in the ball.

“Coach always says have your stick down and be ready for anything. I was just there, and I tipped it in,” Trummel said about her seventh goal of the season.

Edmonds and Curtis played a vital role in Hanover’s journey to reclaiming the championship trophy. Both played in all three title games and have built off of the experiences.

While both will continue their field hockey careers — at Brown and Davidson, respectively — Sunday’s win was the best way for their high school experiences to close.

“This is exactly how I wanted to end my high school career,” Edmonds said. “Macy and I’s mentality coming into this game was our next big season would be in college. I wanted to end my career with a shutout; she wanted to end hers with getting a goal. We both did that.”

Before the season started, Essex gathered her 10-player senior class together. Twice before, she had coached a senior class with identical numbers. Neither ended the season with a state championship.

This senior class of Curtis, Edmonds, Miranda Galbraith, Macy Lawson, Logan, Katie Naughton, Emma Marks, Sabin Mitchell, Katrina Randall and Anna Stafford bought into Essex’s message.

Hanover (14-1-1) only faltered once this season, dropping a 2-1 overtime decision to archrival Lebanon on Sept. 30.

After that loss, the Marauders won seven straight games, topped by Sunday’s victory.

“I said learn from their mistakes. Learn that you got to be one and have to be united,” Essex said. “They really took it to heart. It’s been a lot of fun to see.

“They’ve learned from everything, even the little things. Some girls didn’t eat a good breakfast last year, so we talked about what we were going to do for breakfast. We crossed every T and dotted every I.”

Pete Nakos can be reached at pnakos@vnews.com or 603-727-3306.

UPDATED 8:55 p.m.: A previous version of this story had an incorrect college listed for Macy Curtis.




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