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One goal’s enough for Stevens field hockey

  • Stevens goalie Ashley Michaud, left, and Bri Frisbee, right, celebrate their 1-0 NHIAA Division III playoff win over Newport at Monadnock Park in Claremont, N.H., on Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021. (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

  • Bri Frisbee, of Stevens, turns the ball toward goal after maneuvering around Maddox Lovely, of Newport in the first round NHIAA Division III playoff game at Monadnock Park in Claremont, N.H., on Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021. Stevens won 1-0. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Valley News photographs — James M. Patterson

  • Sofia Aldecoa, of Stevens, celebrates after scoring the Cardinals' first and only goal against Newport in the first round NHIAA Division III playoff game at Monadnock Park in Claremont, N.H., on Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021. Stevens won 1-0. (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

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 10/21/2021 9:28:49 PM
Modified: 10/22/2021 4:48:21 PM

CLAREMONT — When Stevens High field hockey faced Newport High during the regular season, the Cardinals scored four goals in each of the three victories.

The teams’ fourth meeting in the NHIAA Division III first round on Thursday at Monadnock Park was a tighter affair. The Cardinals made a 1-0 lead from a second-quarter goal last the entire game to advance to the quarterfinals.

Stevens head coach Patty Deschaine teared up after the game talking about her team.

“It was an amazing game between two rival teams,” Deschaine said. “I can’t be more proud of this team. I am so proud of them and what they have done from day one to today. I just love them.”

Stevens will take on No. 2 seed Gilford in the quarterfinals on Sunday at 2 p.m. The Golden Eagles had a first-round bye.

The Cardinals (10-4-1) emerged victorious despite not having any substitutes. Their goal came early in the second, when sophomore forward Sofia Aldecoa-Gallego struck from long range and scored. The goal was unassisted.

Aldecoa-Gallego, a Spanish exchange student, is second on the team with 15 goals and 22 points on the season. She’s more used to playing on turf than on grass, so she had to adjust to the different surface. Deschaine said she’s come a long way and has been crucial to the Cardinals this season.

“I told her if we get to the semifinals, it’s turf. So she’s looking forward to that,” Deschaine said. “She’s been very important to us. She is a joy to have on the team. We’ve really enjoyed her.”

Newport (5-10-0) battled but was unable to crack a stingy Cardinal defense. Stevens outshot Newport, 10-4. Deschaine said her defense was more in sync Thursday than they’d been all season.

Tigers freshman goalie Breanne Robertson kept her team in the game on several occasions. She came up with seven saves, and both Deschaine and Newport head coach Kaitlynn Porter praised her performance. Porter also credited her defense, including seniors Mia Fischer and Samara Mace, for keeping the game within reach.

Despite the result, Porter was pleased with her team’s effort.

“This was the best game we had against Stevens,” Porter said. “Even though we didn’t win, it was the best we’ve played. Lots of intensity, it was a very back-and-forth game. They just were stronger tonight. It was upsetting, but they played well.”

The loss brings the Tigers’ season to an end and concludes Porter’s first year coaching the team. She felt that her girls made notable progress throughout the season and is already eyeing 2022.

“I think we definitely got stronger near the end,” Porter said. “The whole season, there’s been lots of injuries, lots of people out, no subs. So as the season went on, we definitely improved. Next year, we’re coming back definitely stronger.”

Seth Tow can be reached at stow@vnews.com.




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