Field hockey: Early goal lifts Merrimack Valley to 1-0 homecoming victory over Pembroke

By DAN ATTORRI

Monitor staff

Published: 10-01-2023 1:00 PM

PENACOOK – It had been a rough week for the Merrimack Valley field hockey team. While the Pride had played well defensively, the scoreboard showed goose eggs for MV all week. But the Pride weren’t going to be denied on homecoming.

Senior Grace Thompson scored off a corner with 36.9 seconds left in the first quarter and that one goal proved to be the game-winner as MV (4-4-2) defeated Pembroke Academy, 1-0, on Saturday.

The Spartans (4-7-0)  played well on the counter-attack, with senior Merideth Kiander making runs with the ball deep into Pride territory, but MV’s junior goalie Taylor Gionet made three saves and the Pride had a 13-0 advantage in penalty corners.

Gionet made all of her saves in the first half and didn’t face any shots on goal in the second thanks to the play of Zetta St. Onge and Caroline Wheeler on defense, and Lauren Bailey and Kaiya Mercier in the midfield.

On the other end of the field, Pembroke junior netminder Annika Jawidzik was much busier, stopping five shots on goal. Anne Phillips played well in the midfield and Tessa Love played well in her first varsity start at back for Pembroke.

“I thought the girls played hard and created a lot of opportunities for themselves,” MV head coach Jen Colgan said. “Kudos to Pembroke, they played aggressive the whole game. Our defense did a great job shutting down any momentum for them.”

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“It was another great effort by our entire team,” Spartan head coach Steve Langevin said. “This was the third straight 1-0 game for us, so they have been very intense games.”

The win snapped a three-game losing streak for the Pride, a stretch that included 1-0 losses to Bow and John Stark, and a 2-0 defeat to Oyster River, all in the previous eight days.

MV hopes to continue to improve its offensive production during the final two weeks of the regular season. The regular season officially concludes on Oct. 15.

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