The Londonderry High field hockey team enjoyed an excellent 2017 campaign which found it landing in the Division I championship match.
The Lady Lancers, who went an extremely strong 11-6 overall and fell just a single win short of the Division I championship, had three of the stalwarts who helped make that level of success possible receive some impressive honors from the New Hampshire Field Hockey Coaches Association late last week.
Seniors scoring star Maeve McPhail (a midfielder) and Chase Vanini (a defender) were named First-Team All-Staters and their fellow 12th grader Allie Marsh notched Second-Team All-State honors.
Additionally, the two first-teamers also tried out for and were successful in making the New Hampshire 2017-18 Twin-State Field Hockey Team which will play a squad jammed with Vermont senior stars in the 35th Annual Twin-State Classic next June. They will compete alongside two Pinkerton Academy senior stars for coaches Kelli Bradley of Souhegan and Jess Brown of Goffstown in that renowned annual summer match. The locals were among some 60 hopefuls vying for just 20 spots on the state team at tryouts on Sunday, Nov. 5, and both LHS and PA had two make it.
Regarding veteran standout McPhail, LHS field hockey coach Nichole Treadway said, “She was a New Hampshire Field Hockey.com Player of the Week the last week of the season with her game-winning (penalty) stroke against Bishop Guertin to put us into the semifinals. Maeve finished the season with five goals and five assists, but was consistent in generating our offense and solid on defense, especially on defensive corners.”
Speaking of defensive stalwart Vanini’s recognition as a First-Team All-Stater, the Lady Lancer coach said, “Her consistency on defense kept us in many of our close games.”
And regarding second-teamer Marsh, Treadway stated, “Allie had 10 goals and four assists. She earned New Hampshire Field Hockey.com Player of the Week (honors) as well as a National Field Hockey Coaches Association weekly award for her efforts during the last week of the season. Allie’s speed and tenacity in front of the net were two contributing factors to her success.”
After their 0-2 start to the 2017 regular season, the Lady Lancers enjoyed plenty of success. They won their next two matches, claimed a 4-4 record after eight contests, and then won five of their final six regular season matches to end up at 9-5 and bag the fifth seed in the D-I tournament.
Londonderry then went on to knock off the fourth-ranked Bishop Guertin Lady Cardinals of Nashua in the Gate City in the tourney quarterfinals on McPhail’s aforementioned dramatic penalty shot, after which they stifled the top-seeded Pinkerton Academy Lady Astros’ thriving title hopes by beating them 1-0 in the semifinals in Exeter.
The Lady Lancers then faced off with the third-ranked Timberlane Lady Owls in the state championship match on the turf field at Bedford High and fell by a 4-2 count. But the immense contributions of the three all-staters helped the Londonderry High contingent to a 2017 campaign which was truly a memorable one.