Exeter Blue Hawks Field Hockey '21

Sun, Oct 31, 2021 11:00 AM @ Exeter
Team 1st 2nd Final
Windham 0 1 1
Exeter 0 2 2

Windham's 3-peat denied

  • Currently 0.0 with 0 votes.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Wednesday, February, 09 By David Willis

BEDFORD, N.H. — Though the disappointment on her face was clear, Windham star Amy Lanouette mustered a smile as she reflected on her field hockey career.

“The strides that we made from the beginning of this season to today is remarkable,” said Lanouette, the two-time defending Eagle-Tribune MVP. “This season, and my whole career with Windham, has been amazing. It’s been the most amazing run I could imagine. It truly was remarkable getting back to the championship game one last time. It never gets less exciting to be here.”

Lanouette gave No. 3-seeded Windham the lead midway through the third quarter with a penalty stroke goal, but No. 1 Exeter rallied for two goals in the final six minutes of the game to defeat the Jaguars 2-1 in the Division 1 field hockey state championship game on Sunday morning.

“Our girls played so hard,” said Windham coach Katie Blair. “We knew it was going to be a hard-fought game, and it went down to the end. Exeter’s a great team. I’m so proud of my girls. I would take this group any day of the week.”

The Jaguars were going for their third straight Division 1 title, and their fifth title overall in six years, having won the Division 2 crowns in 2016 and 2017. It was their sixth straight state title game appearance, and their eighth in nine years. Exeter last appeared in the title game in 2013.

Windham (15-3-1) had dealt Exeter (18-1-0) its only loss of the regular season, 1-0 on Oct. 12.

“We knew this was going to be a very tough battle,” said Exeter coach Deb Grott. “Windham’s all over the field the entire game. Sometimes it feels like they have more than the legal number of players out there. They know the game so well, they can think through the game and they have great stick skills. We had to run and battle them.”

Exeter came out fast, and carried the momentum for much of the first half. But Windham goalie Annie Mitchell was up to the task, making a few brilliant saves, including a kick save in the final seconds of the first quarter and a pad save midway through the second quarter.

“Annie put the pads on in June for the first time ever,” said Blair. “She’s only a freshman. Her work ethic is incredible and she got better every day. She had a great day today and has a very bright future for us at Windham.”

Lanouette finally broke up the scoreless tie with 7:17 to go in the third quarter, scoring a goal on a penalty stroke.

“A shot hit the foot of one of the Exeter defenders behind the goalie, so that gave me a stroke,” said Lanouette. “I knew it had to go in. It was a do-or-die situation. I just blocked everything out, put my head down and put it away.”

Windham held tightly to the lead thanks to a few more key saves by Mitchell and big plays by Cecilia Ponzini and Sophia Ponzini to keep the ball away from any open corner of the net.

But Exeter’s Addison MacNeil scored the tying goal with 5:58 left in regulation, then added the game-winner with 1:50 left in the game. Windham’s Kenzie Suech made two steals in the final moments to create offensive rushes, but the Jaguars could not tie the game.

After the final buzzer, Blair embraced every member of her team, making special note of the senior girls playing their final game.

“My senior class, what they’ve given to this program, leading us to the last four title games, I can’t say enough about them,” said Blair. “These girls have worked so hard, and I am so proud of them.”

Windham likely won’t be going anywhere, with 11 non-seniors listed on their championship game roster likely back next fall.

“It’s incredible how bright the future is for these girls,” said Lanouette, who will next play at the University of Pennsylvania. “I can’t wait to see what this group does, and I have no doubt they’ll be back in the title game next year and in future years.”

Exeter 2, Windham 1

Division 1 state title game

Goals: W — Amy Lanouette; E — Addison MacNeil 2

Assists: None

Saves: W — Annie Mitchell 10; E — Gabrielle Patterson 4

Windham (15-3-1): 0 1 — 1

Exeter (18-1-0): 0 2 — 2

Game Statistics:

Division 1 state title game

Goals: W — Amy Lanouette; E — Addison MacNeil 2  

Assists: None

Saves: W — Annie Mitchell 10; E — Gabrielle Patterson 4

0 Story Comments