By John Anderson
Saturday’s cloudy skies and plunging temperature had no apparent effect on Auburn’s Field Hockey Team as they defeated Littleton 4-2 for the MIAA Division 2 Central Title.
The game was a bit delayed as Shrewsbury and Algonquin required an overtime period to finish the match. Shrewsbury would prevail 1-0, `(Shrewsbury’s second straight title).
Littleton was in the D2 final in 2012 as well, but they fell to Oakmont 2-1. Sadly for the Tigers, history repeated.
In the 2012 season, the Rockets only made it to the first playoff round when they lost to Lunenburg 1-0. Auburn was ranked in 6th place with a 15-1-2 record. This year was a lot better as the Rockets were ranked 1st and came into the playoffs undefeated 18-0. With Saturday’s win, the ladies are 22-0.
It took the Rockets over 15 minutes to put a point on the board with the Tiger defense providing some stiff opposition. Erin Collins scored with a Jackie Matthews assist. Less than a minute later, Jamie McNamara made her first of three unassisted goals, and her hat trick made all the difference. Jordan Lavallee was at the net opening but let McNamara’s shot roll past. With 2 minutes left in the first half, McNamara scored again and gave the Rockets a 3-0 advantage at the half.
The Tigers came out with unsheathed claws in the second. Elliana Stormwind scored at 27:54 with an assist by Sarah Lizotte. A few minutes later Stephanie Gentile put up another point for Littleton with Erin Kish assisting. It looked like the game would be tied when Lizotte took a penalty shot, but Abby Lucas made an incredible save. McNamara secured the game with 5:27 left when she scored her third goal. The Lady Rockets burned the rest of the time with clever passing and shielding.
Elizabeth Porell earned 8 saves in the Littleton net and played a very solid game defending 12 Auburn corners and 7 shots from McNamara alone. The Tigers had 7 corners, and Lucas had 7 saves. Several cards were given during the match, but this seemed to have little affect on the game aside from calming down some excited players.
Coach Bethann Cormier credits all her players but recognized Sweeper Mary Grace Judge and Goalie Abby Lucas in particular. As for McNamara’s hat trick, Cormier was ecstatic with her aggressive play. With respect to the state semi-final on Tuesday, “From here on, everything else is gravy.” They do, of course, intend to win.
Jamie McNamara summed up her team, “We haven’t played our best game, but this was the best one yet.” “We trust each other, and we have to keep doing what we’re doing.” Auburn will face Smith Academy on Tuesday evening at 5PM in Grafton. Let’s hope they keep doing it.