Wednesday, December 11, 2013
By Steve Craig firstname.lastname@example.org
FALMOUTH - Their quarterfinal opponent was in the grandstands watching.
The Falmouth High field hockey team certainly gave the young women from Leavitt something to think about. No. 6 Falmouth (9-4-2) rolled past No. 11 Poland (5-9-1) in Saturday's preliminary round of the Western Class B field hockey playoffs, earning a 5-0 victory.
Four Yachtsmen scored, with Mikey Richards notching a pair of tip-ins in the second half. Falmouth's offense generated 22 shots and earned 15 penalty corners. The defense allowed neither a shot nor a penalty corner.
Most importantly, Falmouth won a playoff game and will play at No. 3 Leavitt (11-3) in the quarterfinals at 3 p.m. Tuesday.
"The four years I've been here, we haven't made it past the first game," said senior captain Sarah Sparks, who scored the fourth goal. "I think all of us stepped it up. This year our team has great chemistry."
Coach Robin Haley said she knows Leavitt is strong. "We saw them in a round-robin in preseason. They're a very skilled team, very strong, and we'll be playing on grass."
Junior Jillian Rothweiler scored Falmouth's first goal with 8:35 left in the first half, after Richards had chased down a cross in the left corner.
Sophomore Ruth Smith, called up from the JV team, came in to spell Richards late in the half. Within 45 seconds of hitting the field, Smith converted off a goal-mouth scramble .
In the second half, Richards scored on an assist from Elle Fitzgerald to make it 3-0. Fitzgerald was a spark in the center of the forward line from the opening whistle.
"I played a little bit last year and we lost," said Fitzgerald, a sophomore. "Knowing how much the seniors want this just makes me want it even more."
Richards finished the scoring with 3:48 left.
Poland senior captain and goalie Melora Lavoie (17 saves) helped keep Falmouth at bay for stretches of the game, along with solid defense from captain Amanda Gibson and Richelle Pratt. Their defensive efforts gave Poland's strong and supportive fan contingent something to cheer about.
Just reaching the playoffs was reason for celebration, said Knights Coach Amy Hediger.
"This being our first playoff game in over seven years, everyone wanted to do well," Hediger said, adding, "Our seniors had never won a varsity game until this year. The future of field hockey in RSU 16 is very bright."