Hopkinton High School field hockey team loses to Berlin in Division III semifinals
Hopkinton's Maria Booth, center, attempts to get possession of the ball for a shot on goal against Berlin's goalie, Morgan Ouellet, during the Division III semi-final field hockey game on Tuesday, October 23, 2012. Berlin defeated Hopkinton 4-0 to advance to the finals.
(John Tully/Monitor Staff)
Hopkinton's MaryJo O'Neil, right, attempts to stop a run by Berlin's Jenna Arguin during the Division III semi-final field hockey game on Tuesday, October 23, 2012.
(John Tully/Monitor Staff)
EXETER – This was the big stage for the Hopkinton field hockey team, playing beneath the lights at Bill Ball Stadium in the Division III semifinals. But the lights had barely come on when the Hawks found themselves in a hole.
“I think we were all nervous because no one on the team has been to the final four before, it was an all new experience” said Hopkinton junior Brittany Marshall. “I don’t think we had a chance to settle in or a chance to get the butterflies out.”
Berlin never gave the Hawks that chance. The second-seeded Mountaineers (15-2) scored three goals in the first 12:29 and went on to claim a 4-0 win. The victory puts Berlin in Sunday’s final and ended the season for No. 6 Hopkinton at 12-5.
“Just a slow, poor start, that was it. They came out and put it to us,” said Hawks Coach Patty Connolly. “We were set, we were ready. We had practiced on turf, we had put in the time, but it just didn’t work out in that first half.”
Berlin freshman Jensyn Dandeneau opened the scoring when she stuffed a rebound inside the post a mere 3:59 into the game. In a contest where one goal can mean all the difference, seeing such an early score was deflating.
“Because it was soon it did knock us back a bit,” Connolly said. “But we’ve come back a lot and I thought we were going to be able to come back, but they just kept putting it to us.”
Indeed, Dandeneau’s goal spurred the Mountaineers forward and that pressure yielded another score a little more than two minutes later. Hopkinton goalie Madison Bergethon (nine saves) made three consecutive saves to start the sequence, but the outstanding junior couldn’t stop the fourth bid as Erika Gendron gave Berlin a 2-0 lead with 23:44 left in the first half.
“We were trying to gain our mojo back and do something to recover,” Marshall said, “but it’s hard to recover when they’re so excited and we’re down and you know you have to push extra hard to even catch up to them.”
Berlin made catching up an even more daunting task later in the half. The Mountaineers kept pressing, kept connecting on passes on the artificial turf and kept making aggressive and dangerous straight-line runs with the ball. Soon that work turned into a 3-0 lead when a hard cross from Dandeneau on the fast break was tipped in by Jenna Arguin with 17:31 to go before halftime.
The Hopkinton defense finally settled in after that behind senior Caroline Levy and sophomore Callie Chase. That allowed the Hawks to get out of their end and put on some offensive pressure of their own, led by Marshall and Maddie Sorrel. Hopkinton didn’t score, but the effort did yield three late penalty corners and at least some positive energy heading into the break.
“At halftime I just knew we had to give it our all and just keep pushing ourselves,” Marshall said. “We just tried to get together and see what we could improve.”
While Berlin was content to sit back and defend it’s three-goal lead, there’s no doubt the Hawks were improved in the second half. They had the clear territorial edge for the first 20 minutes of the half and Berlin’s most dangerous counter went unrewarded after senior Emily Bogart stopped a would-be goal with Bergethon out of the cage.
Still, none of Hopkinton’s attacking chances ended up behind Berlin goalie Morgan Ouellet (five saves) and it was the Mountaineers who wound up with the only goal of the second half when Arguin scored her scored of the game on another redirect with 3:50 left on the clock.
“We didn’t play our best game today,” Connolly said. “We had a great season, but we didn’t play our best today.”