High School Roundup: Conant field hockey rounding into form

  • The Conant field hockey team hosted St. Thomas on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant field hockey team hosted St. Thomas on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant field hockey team hosted St. Thomas on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant field hockey team hosted St. Thomas on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant field hockey team hosted St. Thomas on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant field hockey team hosted St. Thomas on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant field hockey team hosted St. Thomas on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant field hockey team hosted St. Thomas on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant field hockey team hosted St. Thomas on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant field hockey team hosted St. Thomas on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant field hockey team hosted St. Thomas on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant field hockey team hosted St. Thomas on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant field hockey team hosted St. Thomas on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant field hockey team hosted St. Thomas on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant field hockey team hosted St. Thomas on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant field hockey team hosted St. Thomas on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant field hockey team hosted St. Thomas on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant field hockey team hosted St. Thomas on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant field hockey team hosted St. Thomas on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant field hockey team hosted St. Thomas on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 9/13/2021 8:21:47 AM

Behind the senior leadership of captains Bella Hayes and Chelsea Dupuis, the Conant field hockey team is trying once again to shake the playoff monkey off their backs after three straight early tournament exits.

“I want this,” Dupuis said after Friday’s 1-0 win over St. Thomas. “I want a banner, and I know that coming off of those playoff games, we had the potential to keep going, but it just didn’t come together in enough time. So I think that this year, if we get ourselves and our team all together early, we can go really far.”

Dupuis and Hayes lead an excellent senior class that also boasts keeper Tessa Spingola, midfielder Olyvia Middleton and defender Emily Muilenberg. That core, along with a talented sophomore crew getting their first big taste of varsity action, makes up the bulk of an Oriole lineup that will need to figure out how to put the ball in the net consistently without the services of last year’s leading scorers Elizabeth Gonyea, who graduated, and Teagan Kirby, who opted not to play this fall.

“We’re young,” said head coach Jackie Brown, “and I’m still trying to figure out our offensive line, and I’ve moved a few girls around and they play in a different position. It may take the whole season, I don’t know – it’s just a different dynamic this year.”

The St. Thomas defense wasn’t doing Conant any favors in that regard Friday, as the Saints chose to bunch up the D in the middle of the box and make it harder for the Orioles to move the ball around in front of the net. Despite dominating the time of possession and earning a slew of corners, Conant went all but 90 seconds of the game without a score.

“It was hard to get a shot in because everyone was there,” Dupuis said, “and then you would try to widen it, and it just wasn’t going for us today – until the end.”

With time ticking away, Coach Brown was already planning her overtime lineup and strategy when Hayes got the ball deep in the St. Thomas end and sent a seeing-eye roller from the 10-yard mark that somehow snuck past everyone untouched and slipped into the lower right corner of the goal.

The Orioles haven’t scored more than three goals in a game yet this season, but they’ve got a staunch defense, with Spingola and Abby Quill splitting time in net (the two combined for a shutout Friday) and emerging sophomores Graecen Kirby and Katharine Weidner improving on the back line. With small and speedy forwards Hayes and Rylee Herr streaking up the sides and Dupuis, Madelyn Bergeron and Meg Newton distributing the ball, the Orioles will be dangerous on offense as well.

“We had a big chat in the beginning of the season,” Coach Brown said. “We’ve made it to the first round of  playoffs and fell off. We’ re that middle of the road team now, but how do we get to that next level? How do we get to the level where we can compete, really compete with the Gilfords and the Hopkintons? We’re trying to figure out how as a team we get there, and I think a lot of it is confidence. I’m trying to have them help me build the team’s confidence, you know? Cause they’ve been through it. They’ve been through it three times now that we’ve just made it to the first round and we just haven’t believed in ourselves and that’s the issue. So I think their experience with that will help.”

Conant (2-2) was set to host Gilford Monday after press time. 

FIELD HOCKEY

Mascenic 5, Mascoma Valley 0

The Vikings got one in the win column Friday, dispatching Mascoma for Mascenic’s first win of the fall. 

“We played a very strong first half,” coach Selena Shaw said. “Moved the ball really well. Very glad to get that first W!”

Olivia Shaw scored twice and had two assists; Lexis Vautour had two of her own and another assists, and Bella Knisley scored as well.

Mascenic (1-2) was set to host Newport Monday after press time.

 

Portsmouth 2, ConVal 0

Senior goalkeeper Makenzie Anderson made 27 saves against the Clippers Friday, but the Cougars couldn’t find the net and ended up with a shutout loss. 

ConVal has not scored in the past three games.

The Cougars (1-3) are at Souhegan Tuesday. 

GIRLS’ VOLLEYBALL

John Stark 3, ConVal 2

The Cougars lost a close back-and-forth battle with John Stark Wednesday despite a valiant effort.

ConVal dropped the first set 27-25 but pulled out wins in the next two, 25-21 and 26-24.

John Stark came out hot in the fourth set and took a commanding lead before winning 25-10; the Generals pulled away in the final frame for a 15-9 victory.

Sophomores Emma Rodenhiser and Makaela Drummond led the Cougars, coach Amanda Hinton said. Rodenhiser had nine kills, two assists, two aces, and 18 digs, and Drummond had six kills, four aces, three digs, and seven good serve receives. Kendall Sullivan added 12 digs, three assists, and two aces and Aria Laurent had six assists, two kills, three digs, and an ace. Samantha Henderson played well defensively with four digs and nine good serve receives and Brooklyn Sainsbury had eight digs and three aces.

Kingswood 3, ConVal 0

The Cougars came out a little flat after a long bus ride to Kingswood, Coach Hinton said, but the Cougars fought hard. The set scores were 25-20, 25-10, and 25-22, all in favor of the Knights.

Leading the Cougars offense were Kendall Sullivan with five kills, three assists, and four digs and Emma Rodenhiser with three kills, five aces and seven digs. Samantha Henderson had a great game as the defensive libero with eight digs, 10 successful serve receives and a back line kill.

The Cougars (0-3) travel to Hanover on Tuesday.

Mascenic 3, Mascoma Valley 0

Mascenic continued their hot start to the season Friday with a home sweep of the Royals, 25-8, 25-22 and 25-10.

Senior Annika Martel controlled the skies and finished with 10 kills and seven aces. Lyla Buxton had seven kills; Delaney Traffie had three kills and seven aces, and setter KenzieCormer had 20 assists and two kills.

“Kenzie has been great so far,” said head coach Karen Gibson. “And she has some good offensive players to set!”

Mascenic (2-0) is set to play at Hillsboro-Deering Monday and at Newfound Wednesday.

GOLF

Conant takes second

Rain canceled most local NHIAA contests on Thursday, but the Orioles played through it and took an all-wet second place at Beaver Meadow.

Host Bow took first, followed by Conant, Fall Mountain and Laconia.

Marcus Somero was Conant’s best, scoring a 17; Jordan Ketola carded a 15 and Tristin Herr and Draven Seppala had eight each.

Conant is home at the Shattuck Monday.

GIRLS’ SOCCER

St. Thomas 7, Conant 0

Head coach Adam Patria said the girls came out flat at last year’s No. 2 seed St. Thomas Friday, falling to a 5-0 deficit by halftime, though they showed some grit in the second half.

Conant (1-4) hosts Wilton-Lyndeborough Tuesday.

FOOTBALL

Campbell 16, ConVal 0

The Cougars came to Saturday’s game ready to give a great effort, and they did, coach Mike Jillson said.

“We showed improvement on both sides of the ball,” Jillson said. “We picked each other up and played as a unit.”

ConVal kept it a one-score deficit into the fourth quarter.

“A break here or there and it would have been closer,” Jillson said. “We still are learning and making some mistakes, but we are coming to play, and that’s all we can ask of them right now.”

ConVal (0-2) hosts Monadnock Friday at 7 p.m.

BOYS’ SOCCER

Mascenic 4, Monadnock 0

Sean Agonis scored all four of the Vikings’ goals Thursday as Mascenic rolled over the Huskies in the rain. Speedster Hunter Thompson set up one of the scores by blazing past a defender and getting taken out in the box leading to an Agonis PK.

Dylan Barthel did a great job controlling the offensive midfield, coach Andy Helliesen said, and also had an assist.

Mascenic 2, Winnisquam 2 (2 OT)

The Vikings played a double-overtime grinder at Winnisquam Friday and came away with a draw.

Joe Cocozella scored in the first minute off a Blaine Krook cross, and Hunter Thompson scored off a Dylan Barthel through ball.

Coach Helliesen said that two defensive mistakes led to two Winnisquam goals, one in each half.

Mascenic (1-1-1) is at Derryfield Tuesday.


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