By John Anderson
When the Auburn Varsity Field Hockey girls line up for the National Anthem they look like the typical team, that is until the sticks get raised. Every three girls form an “A” and towards the end of the song, the tapping starts, woody and rhythmic. Most teams can’t do this since it would take gymnasts to assembly an “S” or a “G.” Leicester, doable. Quaboag, no way.
The camaraderie of these girls is incredible; they play together, hang together and cry together. Tears were in order last Tuesday night when Auburn fell to Quaboag, 3-2, in the Central D2 Semi-Final. This was the fourth semi-final against the Cougars in the last four years, but it was the first time the Rockets misfired.
The events leading up to Auburn’s loss were described as “unprecedented” by a former longtime referee. Auburn received two cards during the contest, and also suffered two scores on penalty strokes. Both are rare events in this game, but that’s the way it was called and nobody’s complaining. After the game, Coach Bethann Cormier said, “I’ll give up a stroke anytime to prevent a goal.” The other reality, Quaboag only scored one goal, Auburn had 2.
Both the players and coaches deserve a big shout out for this terrific 14-4-3 season, and next year looks bright. Developing players at the middle school is critical to the success the high school teams have had, and there is every indication it will remain a popular program.
Next year, there will likely be three seniors on the team, and juniors may dominate with seven or so. Several freshmen have shown great potential this fall, and more will move up from J.V. This year’s playoff end was tough to handle, but the experience is priceless for this young team.
Sadly, six seniors will be graduating including Captains Kileigh Hynes and Lindsey Berthiaume. Also leaving are Paige Lefrancois, Allison Woeller, Sophia Laperle and Nora Leblanc. Hynes has proudly worn #3 for four years, and whoever gets that jersey next fall has some big shoes to fill. Kileigh’s time at Auburn High will be remembered for years to come as she has been both a great player and a solid leader. A lot of young players have learned from her.
Cormier sent a text on Wednesday morning to Auburn Mass Daily, “I’m confident that we will be back!” We have no doubt. Thank you.