Sabers fall to Jaguars in OT

AMHERST – Like any

first game of a season, the

Souhegan High School

girls field hockey team

will look back at Tuesday

and find things it will

need to improve.

But perhaps what

stands out the most from

an opening 2-1 overtime

loss to Windham was the

penalty corners.

The Sabers had 15 corners

and didn’t score on a

single one. In fact, in most

instances, they didn’t

even get a shot off.

"We weren’t hungry

enough in the circle,"

Souhegan coach Kelli

Braley said. "There’s no

reason when you have

that many corners in a

row and you’re running a

team down like that that

you shouldn’t be able to

score.

"That’s definitely a

point to work on, but these

girls are amazing at taking

criticism into something

awesome, so I won’t

be worried for future

games."

Aside from that – and

the first few minutes of

the game – Braley liked

what she saw against a

team that finished as the

runner-up in Division II

a year ago. Last season,

Souhegan started the season

with a 5-0 loss to the

Jaguars.

"It’s a much more positive

start to the season,

which is big," Braley said.

"With any team you have,

you’re always comparing

yourself to the next closest

thing, which right now

is still last season. For

them to come out and play

that well and keep it this

tight, I think that was a big positive to build off."

Kaylyn Forest scored the lone goal for the Sa­bers (0-1) off an assist from Timber Devine with 16:21 left in the first half. That tied it 1-1, after Windham (1-0) got a goal from Bri Langlois off a penalty cor­ner just 1:11 into the game.

"One thing we preach, any team can win any game," Windham coach Katie Bourque said. "We knew Souhegan was going to come out and give us a test and we were fortu­nate and lucky to put one in early. Souhegan made it a game and tied it up."

But after that goal, the Sabers dominated play and got nothing else to show for it. Defensively, Maddie Boyea helped keep the Jaguars from get­ting any breakaway oppor­tunities and Gwen Hale was big transitioning play in the other direction.

"The start was really slow and it ended up be­ing Windham’s first goal that really killed us," Braley said. "After that, we controlled the vast majority of that game. I’m proud of the way they play, I’m proud of the way they rebounded after that first goal, because that can be deflating, espe­cially against a team like Windham."

With about nine min­utes remaining in regula­tion, the Sabers had the first of seven straight cor­ners, but only got a shot on goal on one of them.

"Our three fliers are phenomenal," Bourque said. "Be fearless and go out there and give your all. You want to alter their shot and create a differ­ent play than the one they have."

That helped get the game to overtime, and with 12:23 left in sudden-death, Emma Lindquist deflected a pass that found the back of the net before Souhegan’s Mad­die Maurais (four saves) could get to the other side of the goal.

Souhegan returns to action on Friday, when it hosts Hollis Brookline at 4 p.m.