Sabers field hockey chases title
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.