Field hockey: Conant puts ConVal away in overtime; Mascenic wins their first 

  • The ConVal field hockey team hosted Conant on Tuesday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal field hockey team hosted Conant on Tuesday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal field hockey team hosted Conant on Tuesday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant’s Bella Hayes and ConVal’s Natalie Tremblay race down the sideline during Tuesday’s game under the lights on ConVal’s stadium field. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • The ConVal field hockey team hosted Conant on Tuesday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal field hockey team hosted Conant on Tuesday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal field hockey team hosted Conant on Tuesday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal field hockey team hosted Conant on Tuesday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal field hockey team hosted Conant on Tuesday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal field hockey team hosted Conant on Tuesday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal field hockey team hosted Conant on Tuesday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal field hockey team hosted Conant on Tuesday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal field hockey team hosted Conant on Tuesday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal field hockey team hosted Conant on Tuesday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal field hockey team hosted Conant on Tuesday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal field hockey team hosted Conant on Tuesday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal field hockey team hosted Conant on Tuesday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal field hockey team hosted Conant on Tuesday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal field hockey team hosted Conant on Tuesday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal field hockey team hosted Conant on Tuesday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal field hockey team hosted Conant on Tuesday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal field hockey team hosted Conant on Tuesday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal field hockey team hosted Conant on Tuesday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal field hockey team hosted Conant on Tuesday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal field hockey team hosted Conant on Tuesday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal field hockey team hosted Conant on Tuesday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal field hockey team hosted Conant on Tuesday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal field hockey team hosted Conant on Tuesday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal field hockey team hosted Conant on Tuesday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal field hockey team hosted Conant on Tuesday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal field hockey team hosted Conant on Tuesday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal field hockey team hosted Conant on Tuesday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal field hockey team hosted Conant on Tuesday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 9/11/2019 3:13:42 PM

The Conant and ConVal field hockey teams clashed under the lights on the Cougars’ stadium field Tuesday night in as big an early season game as you’ll find, the two rivals battling well into overtime before a victor was crowned.

“It was messy but we got it done,” said Conant head coach and reigning Division III coach of the year Jackie Brown after the 3-2 overtime win. 

The Cougars and Orioles split the season series last fall, with Conant winning first and ConVal taking the rematch, and those games were fresh on the minds of both sides of the budding rivalry.

“Coming into it, we wanted to get it back because we lost last year,” said Conant midfielder Abby Wheeler. 

“We used to beat them like 7-0 every year and they beat us first the last two years, so it gives us a good perspective – don’t take it lightly,” said ConVal midfielder Jacqueline Madeja. “We went in way too cocky the last few times and they got us.”

ConVal struck first Tuesday night, as senior center and scoring leader Cruz DellaSanta planted one in the back of the Conant net three minutes into the game and gave the Cougars an early lead. 

“For us to come out and score first was kind of a big deal,” said ConVal head coach Carrie Whittemore. The Cougars are focused on moving the ball down the sidelines and making long runs for through balls, and between DellaSanta, Shannon Allen, and sisters Molly and Ella Dishong, that was working; add freshman midfielder Laramie Wilson into the mix, and ConVal can put the pressure on opponents. 

“We have girls that want to score,” Whittemore said. “We have more people in [the circle], so we’re getting more touches.”

DellaSanta added another score five minutes later; ConVal went up 2-0, and the Orioles were on their heels.

“We definitely struggled at the beginning,” said Conant defender Erin Weidner, “but I think we slowly started to come together and talk about who was getting on it. We were very sloppy at the beginning, but we got a lot cleaner, we got lower, more on our feet toward the end.”

Weidner is tasked with filling the void in the center of the defense left by last year’s senior captain Mariah Chamberlain, and she’s stepped up to the task, along with her teammates, who faced the 2-0 deficit head-on and took control of the game with their trademark physicality.

“It’s a lot different than anyone we really play against,” Madeja said. “It’s a lot more body. I know they’re bred off of basketball and I think that’s really good for us. We don’t play a lot of teams that are built strong like that. They really prepare us. The way they play basketball is the way they play field hockey and it beats us. Their sticks are always down, you can’t go through them. I tried, but you literally can’t go through them, you’ve got to dodge.”

Conant basketball stars Teagan Kirby and Elizabeth Gonyea are the Orioles’ most dangerous field hockey scoring threats as well, and between Kirby’s patented aerial dribbling technique and Gonyea’s wild abandon, Conant started to tilt the field in their favor.

Gonyea, who left a trail of destruction in her wake all evening long, buried Conant’s first goal with five minutes remaining in the half and suddenly, the Orioles looked like the team in command. 

“Their passing patterns were good when they connected,” Brown said. “Their communication was good. As soon as they score that first goal, they know they can do it, they get the momentum from there.”

Gonyea scored again to even things up, and the two teams played a tight second half, each team’s goaltenders rising to the challenge. Conant and ConVal both sport rookie softball players in net; Conant’s Tessa Spingola made eight saves, and ConVal’s Makenzie Anderson had 17, deploying tactics she’d just learned from another softball convert, ConVal hall of famer Shauna Whittemore, coach Carrie’s daughter.

“I’ve had several softball players at goalie,” coach Whittemore said. “It’s the hands, and it’s also being tough.”

The overtime period was frantic at times, with Conant’s Bella Hayes and Wheeler pushing the ball forward in hopes of breaking through for the win. 

“It was stressful,” Wheeler said. “We were basically just hitting the ball up the field and hoping we’d get it and run.”

Conant got a number of chances, packed the box, and eventually, Gonyea broke out of the crowd and finished the game with her third goal, leaping in celebration.

“It was all a team effort, it wasn't just me,” Gonyea said. “We have seven up there, we just kept hitting it. It’s sudden death, next goal wins, so we had that mentality going into it.”

Conant (1-1) is at Mascenic for homecoming on Saturday at 11 a.m. ConVal (1-2) is at Stevens (1-1) Thursday at 4 p.m.

 

Mascenic 4, Monadnock 0

Alannah Johnson scored all four goals for Mascenic on Tuesday as the Viking girls shut out Monadnock.

“We played well offensively for sure,” said head coach Selena Shaw. “Moved the ball well. Defensively we were a little inconsistent.”

First-year keeper Becca Staton fended off a handful of breakaways to preserve her first career shutout. 

“Overall very pleased with the game,” Shaw said. 

Mascenic (1-1) played Bishop Brady (2-0) Wednesday after press time and hosts Conant Saturday at 11 a.m.


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