Windham Jaguars Field Hockey '19

Tue, Oct 29, 2019 05:00 PM @ Neutral Location
Team 1st 2nd Final
Windham 0 2 2
Bishop Guertin 0 0 0

Windham takes down BG to advance to fourth straight title game

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Tuesday, November, 19 By Kyle Gaudette

EXETER — Maddi O’Hare made run after run down the right sideline of Exeter’s Bill Ball Stadium, juking around the same defenders time after time — just trying to make something happen.

But for the first half of Tuesday’s Division 1 state semifinal, the Windham junior kept getting denied.

Sure, there may have been a little frustration creeping up. But much like her team — which is trying to redeem itself from last year’s state title loss — O’Hare is never going to stop pushing.

And it finally happened.

Early in the second half, O’Hare beat her defender down the sideline yet again, and sent a centering pass that Cam Livingstone finished. That goal sparked No. 2 Windham to an eventual 2-0 win over No. 6 Bishop Guertin, sending the Jaguars back to Sunday’s state championship.

In its two seasons since moving to Division 1, Windham (16-1) has made the title game each time. 

“It felt really good to know that (the first goal) kind of secured the game from that moment on,” said O’Hare. “It felt good to do it for my seniors.”

That’s something you should feel good about, Maddi, because your senior class is quite impressive.

Led by goalie Kayla Antonucci, forward Livi Manchester and midfielders Ryane Farrell and Mary Johnson — among others — this Windham High senior field hockey class has known nothing but state championships. They won two titles in a row as freshmen and sophomores in Division 2, then bumped up to the “big time” and have led their team back to the final game of the season twice.

“Our senior leadership is incredible,” said Windham coach Katie Blair. “They know what it takes to get here. I know D2 is different than D1, but they won the state title as freshmen and sophomores in D2 before coming up here. They have heart, grit and work ethic that you can’t teach.”

Both Blair and her players agree that there is an extra sense of determination on this year’s sideline to avenge what happened a year ago. But at the start of Tuesday’s game, the weight of the moment may have hit.

Bishop Guertin (11-6) raced down the field and drew a corner in a blink, and Blair didn’t hesitate to call a timeout just over a minute into the game.

“Basically, she told us to stop playing afraid,” said O’Hare. “We really had to get after it, and we needed that boost of confidence.”

The Jaguars responded immediately, and controlled play for what felt like the rest of the game. Finally, early in the second half, Livingstone found the back of the cage.

O’Hare added a goal of her own with four minutes left for insurance, but the Jaguars didn’t need it with how well the defense was playing, led by Sabrina Lippold. Every long ball the Cardinals rocketed down the field, the junior would track down and send out of danger.

“Our defense is so strong,” said Lippold. “We rely on each other so well, and we just know how to play together. Our defense is just so well put together, and we know how each other play. So that just makes it so much easier for everyone.”

Blair was certainly impressed with the play of both O’Hare and Lippold in particular.

“Those kids would run through walls if they could,” she said. “They have no quit, they have tenacity, they hustle, they have great field hockey talent and you can’t ask for better kids, too.”

So the date is set, and now the only thing standing between Windham and redemption is No. 5 Concord, which earned its way into the final by beating Merrimack in Tuesday’s late game. 

The Jags won the regular season matchup, 1-0, but know that anything can happen when they step off the bus at Bedford High on Sunday (4 p.m.).

“It feels amazing to be going back,” said Lippold. “It just feels so good.”

Windham 2, Bishop Guertin 0

NH Division 1 Semifinals

Goals: Cam Livingstone, Maddi O’Hare

Saves: W — Kayla Antonucci 2; BG — Monina Tosi 7

Windham (15-1): 0 2 — 2

Bishop Guertin (11-6): 0 0 — 0

Game Statistics:

NH Division 1 Semifinals

Goals: Cam Livingstone, Maddi O'Hare

Saves: W — Kayla Antonucci 2; BG — Monina Tosi 7

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