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Newfound brings home Division III championship, completes perfect season

  • Mascoma midfielder Amelia Wilson (left) battles Newfound forward Julianne Marchand during the first half at Bedford High School on October 29, 2917. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Mascoma midfielder Amelia Wilson (left) battles Newfound forward Julianne Marchand during the first half at Bedford High School on October 29, 2917. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Newfound forward Julianne Marchand (center) works around the goal in the second half at Bedford High School during the Division III championship on Sunday. BELOW: A Mascoma midfielder reacts after Newfound forward Kylee Macdonald raises her arms after the team scored their second goal of the game. Newfound defeated No. 10 Mascoma, 2-0, to complete a perfect season. GEOFF FORESTER photos / Monitor staff

  • Mascoma midfielder reacts after Newfound forward Kylee Macdonald raises her arms after the team scored their second goal at Bedford High School on October 29, 2017. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • ABOVE: Newfound’™s Kylee Macdonald (left) Kaylan Santamaria, Julianne Marchand and Hayleigh LeTourneau hoist the championship trophy after defeating the No. 10 Mascoma Valley Royals, 2-0, in the Division III state title game on Sunday afternoon at Bedford High School. AT RIGHT: Newfound’s Hayleigh LeTourneau gets a hug from Tiffany Doan (center) as the team leaves the field. The Bears ran the table this season, going a perfect 17-0. GEOFF FORESTER photos Monitor staff

  • The Newfound field hockey team celebrates as the championship game ends at Bedford High School on Sunday. BELOW: Mascoma midfielder Nicole Williams reacts after Newfound forward Kylee Macdonald raises her arms after the Bears scored their second goal of the game. Newfound defeated No. 10 Mascoma, 2-0, to capture the Division III title and complete a perfect season. GEOFF FORESTER photos / Monitor staff

  • Newfound’s Kylee Macdonald (left) Kaylan Santamaria, Julianne Marchand and Hayleigh LeTourneau hoist the championship trophy after defeating Mascoma at Bedford High School on October 29, 2017. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff



Monitor staff
Sunday, October 29, 2017

BEDFORD – They outscored their opponents 67-5 in the regular season and 8-1 in the playoffs. Fourteen of their 17 wins were by two goals or more and 11 of them were shutouts. They beat last year’s champ, Gilford, three times.

The Newfound field hockey team owned Division III this fall, and on Sunday at Bedford High the top-ranked Bears put a fitting exclamation point on their 17-0 season with a 2-0 win over No. 10 Mascoma (11-7) in the D-III title game.

“I have dreamed about this since freshman year,” said defender Hayleigh LeTourneau, one of Newfound’s four senior captains. “I have dreamed about this moment and it’s amazing to do it with this team. It’s been a goal for us forever and I’m just so proud of us.”

The Bears put together a perfect season because they refused to settle for anything less. Their motto was, ‘You’ve got what it takes, but it’s going to take everything you’ve got.’ That demanding desire began with their coach, Karri Peterson, who would point out areas of weakness and ask for more even when her team was piling up blowout wins. The coach was at it again on Sunday, getting into her team at halftime even though they had a 2-0 lead over the Royals.

“I actually said to them at halftime, ‘Girls, go out there and have fun for the last 30 minutes of this season. Why do you guys seem like you’re so tense and no enthusiasm? This is the state title game,’” Peterson said. “I don’t know if it was just coming off the high of beating Gilford (5-1 in the semifinals) and having to get up for the second game in a row, I don’t know, but I was trying to motivate them still at halftime.”

Even after her team showed that extra energy and dominated the first part of the second half, Peterson called a timeout with 12:55 left in the game to drive the message home again. The coach asks a lot, but her players don’t mind answering.

“She expects a lot out of us,” said Newfound senior captain Kylee MacDonald, who had a goal and an assist on Sunday, “and she’s the best. I couldn’t ask for a better coach. She’s my role model.”

There’s another big reason why the Bears were so good – family.

“Family is the main thing,” LeTourneau said. “We got a band at the beginning of the season that says family and it kind of stuck with us and we all wore the band. That’s been what keeps us going and keeps us so close.”

“Ms. Peterson preached teamwork. She preached communicating and team bonding, and I think because we’re such a family it really helped us,” MacDonald said. “I don’t think a team that doesn’t act like a family could do this.”

MacDonald gave her team an early lead on Sunday with a goal that deserves a place of honor in the family scrapbook. The goal came off a penalty corner that started with Julianne Marchand pushing a pass out to Jasmine Peterson at the top of the circle. Peterson fired a low shot that was deflected high into the air above the Bedford High turf. The ball was still a foot over her head when MacDonald swung at it and banged it into the right corner of the cage for a 1-0 lead with 21:28 left in the first half.

“The ball was in the air and I kind of just kept my eye on it,” MacDonald said. “Luckily I play softball, so I was like, ‘Okay, just wait, just wait,’ and then I just knocked it in. We already had a goal like that this season, and I was like, ‘All right, it’s my turn.’ So it was an exciting goal. It wasn’t an average goal by any means.”

The above-average goal sparked the Bears, and they buzzed around the Mascoma circle hunting for another in the following minutes. But the Royals, who didn’t seem intimidated by Newfound or the situation, withstood the pressure and responded with a few counter attacks of their own. While the Mascoma crowd got excited at the start of those counters, their cheers faded before any real chances were found as Newfound’s defense – LeTourneau, Mackenzie Ryan, Kaylan Santamaria, Hannah Eastman and goalie Montana Bassett – refused to buckle.

“Defensively we really just focused on communicating, talking, making sure everyone knew where they were going and who had the ball,” LeTourneau said.

Newfound doubled its lead with 2:45 left in the first half on beautiful transition goal. Caroline Marchand started the play at midfield, where she was surrounded by three defenders, but still found a passing lane to MacDonald. The senior beat a defender by pushing the ball through her legs and then hit Julianne Marchand with a pass about seven yards from goal. The elder Marchand, Newfound’s leading scorer, hammered the ball past Mascoma goalie Abby Duhaime to make it 2-0.

“I’m not the best ball handler. I’m just not,” MacDonald said. “But I’m looking at it and I see one girl in front of me and I have Jules right there. Jules sees me, I see her and I just know I have to get it to her, and she made a beautiful shot.”

The Bears took that lead into halftime, but then had to listen to their coach tell them they weren’t playing hard enough. Peterson clearly knows her team, and they clearly listen to her, because Newfound suffocated the Royals in the second half.

Midfielders Jasmine Peterson and Savanna Bony were everywhere, the Marchand sisters and MacDonald seemed constantly on the edge of adding to the lead, and the Newfound defense was air tight. Even when the Royals earned a penalty corner (they had three in the second half and six for the game while Newfound had 10), the Bears snuffed the play before it could truly unfold.

“I thought the second half was much better,” Coach Peterson said.

The hard-to-please role model of a coach also admitted to being, “very happy,” with the season after all was said and done. Her players, naturally, followed that lead.

“This is probably one of the best days of my life. It’s a great feeling,” MacDonald said. “I really couldn’t ask for anything better.”

(Tim O’Sullivan can be reached at 369-3341 or tosullivan@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @timosullivan20)

DIVISION I GIRLS’ SOCCER

No. 5 Concord 2, No. 4 Winnacunnet 1

Key players: Concord – Allison Silverstein (goal), Ashley Plante (goal), Grace Devanny (defense), Autumn Nudd (goalie)

Highlights/key moments: The Tide scored the first goal just 10 minutes into the match and held a 1-0 halftime lead. Concord scored an insurance goal 20 minutes into the second half, but the Warriors kept pushing and found the back of the net with just five minutes left in the match. The victory sets up a semifinal match against top-seeded Manchester Central on Thursday at 6 p.m. at Stellos Stadium in Nashua.

Coach’s quote: “It was a huge defensive effort tonight from the girls. We played so well from start to finish. I could mention every girl for how they played. From back to front it was a great way to head to the semifinals.” – Concord’s Phil Tuttle

Records: Concord 13-4-1; Winnacunnet 13-3-1

D-II GIRLS’ SOCCER

No. 1 Bow 2, No. 8 John Stark 0

Key players: Bow – Amanda Marshall (goal, assist), Lauren Goyette (goal), Bridgette Ehrenberg (shutout)

Highlights/key moments: Marshall tracked down a loose ball in the penalty area and fired a shot into the back of the net 3:46 into the match to give the Falcons an early lead. The Generals had an opportunity to tie the game, but Ehrenberg tipped a strike off a direct free kick over the crossbar. Marshall sent a through ball to Goyette, who calmly beat two Stark defenders before scoring an insurance tally with 4:36 left in the match. The Generals made runs down thefield, but the Falcons’ defense shut them down, securing Bow’s trip to the semifinals. The Falcons will play No. 4 Hanover at Bill Ball Stadium in Exeter on Thursday at 6 p.m.

Coaches quotes: “The girls executed what we wanted to do beautifully today. They played with heart, desire, passion and remain composed throughout the game. They played as one. Everyone who stepped onto the field did their job.” – Bow’s Jay Vogt

“The score doesn’t reflect the heart and soul of the team and how close the game was. Good luck to Bow.” – John Stark’s Chris Pike

Records: Bow 17-1-0; John Stark 11-5-2

No. 2 Souhegan 2, No. 10 Kearsarge 1, PK

Highlights/key moments: The Cougars came as close as they could get to their second upset of the tournament, but were bested in penalty kicks in the quarterfinals.

Records: Souhegan 15-1-2; Kearsarge 11-7-0

D-III BOYS’ SOCCER

No. 2 Hopkinton 3, No. 10 Prospect Mountain 1

Key players: Hopkinton – Paul Molnar (2 goals), Gerry Donahue (goal), Sam Crawford (save), Max Rossignol (offensive midfield), Benny Madden (defensive midfield)

Highlights/key moments: The Hawks managed to move the ball well on a sloppy field and overcame the Timberwolves’ size advantage to earn a berth in the semifinals. Donahue scored in the fourth minute, manuevering around three defenders and blasting a shot from 25 yards out. Donahue hit the post in the 32nd minute, but Molnar buried the rebound to give the Hawks a 2-0 halftime lead. Molnar netted his second goal off a shot from distance in the 53rd minute. Prospect Mountain scored off a corner in the 78th minute. Hopkinton plays No. 3 Gilford on Wednesday at Laconia High School at 4 p.m.

Coach’s quote: “From the first whistle we played nice balls to teammates feet which minimized Prospect’s size advantage. We also stayed very organized defensively throughout, which is key to a victory in sloppy conditions. Benny Madden played very well for us today at defensive midfield, as he didn’t let Prospect run with the ball at all in the middle of the field. Max Rossignol also played a nice game today at offensive midfield, as he distributed smoothly forward.” – Hopkinton’s Scott Zipke

Records: Hopkinton 16-2-0; Prospect Mtn. 10-7-1

No. 3 Gilford 1, No. 6 Stevens 0

Highlights/key moments: The Golden Eagles secured a spot in the semifinals with a victory over the Cardinals. The Eagles will play No. 2 Hopkinton in Wednesday’s first D-III semifinal.

Records: Gilford 15-3; Stevens 12-5

No. 1 Derryfield 3, No. 8 Belmont 0

Highlights/key moments: A solid season for the Raiders came to an end against the top-ranked Cougars, who topped the Raiders for the second time this season. The Cougars played No. 4 Raymond in Wednesday’s second semifinal.

Records: Derryfield 16-0-0; Belmont 11-6-1