Sabers field hockey chases title

Souhegan's Ella Barrett (3) and John Stark's Adie Bolduc could see each other again in the Divsion II finals. (Telegraph photo by TOM KING)

Souhegan is seeded No. 2 in the Division II field hockey tournament and the Sabers (13-0-1) will wait until Saturday to take on the winner of No. 7 Merrimack Valley (9-5) and No. 10 Oyster River (7-6-1) in the quarterfinals. They’re looking for their first title since 2007 when they beat Portsmouth 1-0, and were last in the finals two years ago, losing at Kennett 2-0.

The semis are next Thursday at 5 and 7 p.m. at Exeter’s Bill Ball Stadium, with the finals on Sunday, Oct. 30 at Bedford High School’s Bulldog Stadium.

The hope was when they faced each other two weeks ago that the 1-1 tie between No. 1 John Stark and No. 2 Souhegan would be a finals preview.

It certainly may be; here are the obstacles:

For Souhegan, it would be, if looking ahead, defending champ Portsmouth. The Clippers lost three straight when they faced the other three contenders in a row – Stark and Souhegan (both 2-1) and No. 4 Kennett (3-1). With only a one-goal difference, if the Clipps get past potential quarterfinal opponent No. 6 Derryfield (whom they manhandled 6-1 early on), it would be a battle.

The Sabers, though, led by the grit and experience of senior Ella Barrett, have been tough. They opened the season with a 5-1 win over potential quarterfinal opponent Oyster River.

For Stark, Kennett likely would be the tough opponent, although the regular season was a 2-0 Generals win. Of course, it could be the Cavaliers, who under new coach Greg Cochrane went 9-1-1 after starting the season 1-2. Cochrane’s Cavs have been paced by the Hill sisters, Alyssa and Sabrina, and can’t be counted out.

The semis are next Wednesday, Oct. 26 at 5 and 7 p.m. in Exeter, with the finals on Sunday, Oct.30 at 11 a.m.at Bedford.

THE PICK: Souhegan over Stark. They came oh, so close in the regular season game.