High School Roundup: Conant field hockey looks like contender in win over Monadnock

  • Conant senior co-captain Elizabeth Gonyea attacks the Monadnock net during the Orioles’ field hockey game in Swanzey Tuesday afternoon. Gonyea scored three goals in the win. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • The Conant field hockey team played at Monadnock on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant field hockey team played at Monadnock on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant field hockey team played at Monadnock on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant field hockey team played at Monadnock on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant field hockey team played at Monadnock on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant field hockey team played at Monadnock on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant field hockey team played at Monadnock on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant field hockey team played at Monadnock on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant field hockey team played at Monadnock on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant field hockey team played at Monadnock on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant field hockey team played at Monadnock on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant field hockey team played at Monadnock on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant field hockey team played at Monadnock on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant field hockey team played at Monadnock on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant field hockey team played at Monadnock on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant field hockey team played at Monadnock on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant field hockey team played at Monadnock on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant field hockey team played at Monadnock on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant field hockey team played at Monadnock on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant field hockey team played at Monadnock on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant field hockey team played at Monadnock on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 10/6/2020 10:09:09 PM

The long rebuilding process is officially over for the Conant field hockey team. Now in their fourth year under head coach Jackie Brown, the Orioles went from an easy W in their opponents’ win column to a contender, and this fall, they’ll go as far as they believe they can.

“Seeing the growth from freshman year when we had a losing streak to now is really amazing,” said Conant senior captain Tiffany Marrotte after Tuesday’s 7-1 win at Monadnock. Marrotte is one of four seniors – along with co-captain Elizabeth Gonyea, Abby Wheeler and Erin Weidner – who’ve been around for the entire four-year rebuild, going from winless to a pair of playoff appearances that ended in one-and-dones.

This year, the girls hope to go even further, and they’re off to a great start.

“We picked up kind of where we left off last year,” Brown said. “It wasn’t like starting over, so I think that’s helped our momentum, helped our scoring.”

The Orioles added nine freshman to the roster this season, and the newcomers acclimated quickly, accelerating Conant’s improvement.

“This year, with the addition of so many freshman, we’ve had a lot of room to grow, and we definitely have,” Marrotte said. “We found who we work really well with and we’re incorporating it into games. We always have room for improvement but we’re doing great things this year – we’re getting a lot better, a lot faster than we have in previous years.”

That growth was evident in Tuesday’s game in Swanzey, where the Orioles swarmed the outmatched Huskies, scoring early and often and leaving no doubt. Conant dominated on time of possession and corners and kept the ball away from keeper Tessa Spingola and out of the defensive end. The key? Communication, Marrotte said. 

“We have really become good at playing as a unit and communicating really well,” Marrotte said. “Even sometimes when we aren’t talking, we start meshing together, and once we get those passing patterns going, we get it right into that goal. As long as we stay as a unit for the rest of the year we can finish with a really good season.”

Conant’s top scoring threats, Gonyea and junior Teagan Kirby, struck three times apiece for a pair of hat-tricks against Monadnock, and junior co-captain Chelsea Dupuis rocketed home a slapshot to complete the Orioles’ scoring. 

“It was good to see Chels get a goal – she’s been working hard on that,” Brown said, adding that Kirby, Emily Muilenberg and Olyvia Middleton all played well. 

Monadnock was able to score a late goal once Spingola was lifted from the net as Brown emptied her bench to get her rookies some experience in the fourth period. 

The NHIAA is expected to meet this week to finalize details of this fall’s field hockey postseason format, but regardless of how the tournament might look, the Orioles aren’t planning on going out in the first round like they did in both 2018 and 2019. 

“We’ve got to have that improvement this year,” Brown said. If the Orioles are going to make that next leap, she said, it’s a matter of confidence; Conant’s as good a team as any in Division III if they believe it. 

“We’re competitors, we are talented and we can do it,” Brown said.

Conant (3-1) hosts Monadnock Friday at 4 p.m. and then travels to Mascenic Sunday at 2 p.m.


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