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Hawks field hockey snaps 29-year title drought with OT win over Bishop Brady

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  • Hopkinton forward Julia Baer collides with Bishop Brady’s Reese Pelletier during the second half of the D-III Field Hockey Championship at Bedford High School.

  • The Hopkinton field hockey team raises the 2021 championship plaque after beating Bishop Brady, 3-2 in the D-III final at Bedford High School on Monday night. GEOFF FORESTER photos / Monitor staff

  • Hopkinton forward Julia Baer keeps control of the ball while falling down right before she scored the winning goal in overtime of the D-III Field Hockey Championship against Bishop Brady at Bedford High School on Monday night, November 1, 2021. Hopkinton won in overtime, 3-2. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Hopkinton forward Julia Baer moves in right before she scored the winning goal as Bishop Brady Libbey Hicks comes to defend during overtime of the D-III Field Hockey Championship against Bishop Brady at Bedford High School on Monday night, November 1, 2021. Hopkinton won in overtime, 3-2. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Hopkinton forward Julia Baer keeps control of the ball while falling down right before she scored the winning goal in overtime of the D-III Field Hockey Championship against Bishop Brady at Bedford High School on Monday night. GEOFF FORESTER photos / Monitor staff

  • Hopkinton players begin to celebrate after forward Julia Baer scored the winning goal in overtime of the D-III Field Hockey Championship against Bishop Brady at Bedford High School on Monday night. Hopkinton won in overtime, 3-2. GEOFF FORESTER photos / Monitor staff

 Monitor staff
Published: 11/2/2021 4:21:54 PM

BEDFORD – Sometimes good things take awhile to happen.

A little patience is needed and trusting the process to get there is essential.

Julia Baer and her teammates had been in this position before. A tightly-contested state final game, and ultimately the result didn’t go their way back in 2018.

But after four years and plenty of field hockey later, Baer wasn’t going to walk off the field in second place.

In a match where a full four quarters of play wasn’t enough to decide a winner, Hopkinton defeated Bishop Brady 3-2 in overtime Monday night to win the Division III state championship.

Baer, a senior forward, was instrumental in the Hawks first championship win since 1992. After Brady freshman forward Kimble Rose scored the game-tying goal late in the fourth quarter, a new level of aggression shone under the lights for both teams.

The seven-on-seven overtime period saw both teams have plenty of chances, but it was the No. 1 Hawks who began to take control of the bonus period. Baer commanded the ball down the middle of the Giants’ defense and fired off shot after shot. A passing sequence from Kate Bouchard to Hannah Hoyt to Baer narrowly missed the goal as Hoyt put it just outside of Baer’s reach.

With a corner opportunity at 3:20 left in overtime, there were no near misses and nail-biting saves. There was, however, a crowd of Hopkinton and Brady players fighting for the ball in front of the goal, and Baer managed to poke it through for the game winner.

“Our midfielders did a good job of bringing the ball down and I think it hit off the goalie’s pad,” Baer said. “We were able to sweep it in.”

Baer’s overtime goal was her second of the night and also her second lead-changing goal. Her first came with only seconds left in the closing moments of the opening half. Much like her game-winner, her net-front presence and ability to connect her stick with the ball in the midst of a crowded net earned her the goal and a 2-0 lead going into halftime.

Hopkinton’s first goal was scored roughly 3:30 into the game when Hoyt took advantage of her penalty shot and sent the ball to the left of Brady goalie Julie Blais.

Perhaps even better than the offensive production was the defensive effort from the Hawks. Brady’s potent offense, lead by Division III offensive player of the year Libbey Hicks, had limited chances throughout the night and at times couldn’t advance the ball past midfield.

That’s not to say the Giants didn’t find their stride, however. Near the halfway mark of the third quarter, the Brady offense arrived. It was able to draw corner chances and register shots on goal with precise passing along with an ability to settle the ball.

Sophomore forward Mieke Rentsch finally got Brady on the scoreboard with her goal stemming from a corner opportunity off an initial pass by Hicks to make the game 2-1. The Giants converted on another corner later in the fourth quarter on the aforementioned goal from Rose with 3:15 left in regulation.

Brady (14-5), who appeared in its third consecutive final and seeking its third consecutive title, opened the overtime period aggressive on offense but were stymied by the Hawks defense.

Hopkinton (17-0), after a runner-up finish in 2018, has won its first state title in 29 years and enters the offseason at the top of the class. Coach Kate Hohenberger, while obviously thrilled with the result, quickly placed all the credit on her team and their performance throughout the season as the championship formula.

“It took pride and dedication from these ladies,” she said. “They have something you can’t coach. They have that drive, it took a little push forward and the opportunity to play.”

A perfect season put to rest. A four-year plan for Baer and other seniors completed. A nearly three decade long drought quenched.

Proof to the sentiment that, with patience and trust, good things do indeed happen.


Matt Parker bio photo

Matt Parker is a sports reporter at the Monitor and started in August 2021. He is an Ohio native and relishes being from the Buckeye state. A proud graduate of Ohio University located in Athens, Ohio, he served as the sports editor for the student-run newspaper, The Post, from 2019-20. When not at a game or chasing around a coach, you can catch him playing his guitars or looking for the next Peanuts memorabilia piece to add in his growing collection.



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