LHS Field Hockey Squad Gets To Division I Title Match But Falls

Londonderry High School’s first-year varsity field hockey coach Nichole Treadway got her 2017 squad within a single win of the first LHS title in that sport since 2008. And the goal for next year for coach Treadway and her Lady Lancers will be to go one step further.

The fifth-seeded Lady Lancers defeated fourth-ranked Bishop Guertin of Nashua in the Division I quarterfinals and then the top-seeded Pinkerton Academy Lady Astros in the semifinals. They then bounded into the D-I finals looking for a third straight defeat of a higher-seeded opponent when they took on the third-ranked – and defending Division I champion – Timberlane Regional Lady Owls from Plaistow at Bedford High School this past Sunday, Oct. 29.

But coach Treadway’s troop couldn’t quite manage to bag the third of those victories with a state crown on the line.

Timberlane’s outgoing, longtime head field hockey coach Mim Rogers had her career come to a close on the highest of notes with a second consecutive state title thanks to her Lady Owls’ 4-2 defeat of Londonderry in the title battle.

The Owls had the ball on the Lady Lancers’ side of the field through much of the contest, but the now two-time defending state champs had to overcome a 1-0 deficit in winning the big match.

Maeve McPhail – who would go on to net both of the Londonderry goals – gave her team the 1-0 advantage with an assist from Vanessa Magoon with 11:09 remaining in the first half.

However, Timberlane knotted the score at 1-1 with 1:52 remaining in that stanza, and 1-1 was where the score stood at halftime. The Lady Owls enjoyed an 8-2 advantage in shots on net during those opening 30 minutes.

The defending state champs then assured themselves of a title repeat by scoring three consecutive goals during the first 26:01 of the second half to make it a 4-1 match.

The Lady Lancers kept battling in earnest the rest of the way and ended up receiving their second tally from McPhail on a penalty stroke with just 42.5 seconds left on the game clock. And 4-2 was where the final score landed.

LHS goalie Morgan Brutus ended up making 12 saves in a losing effort.

However, not that many folks would have bet that the Lady Lancers would have even made it to the championship match after they lined up with the white-hot, top-ranked Pinkerton Lady Astros in the semifinals.

The arch-rivals met up at Exeter High School on the evening of Wednesday, Oct. 25, and Londonderry dashed the title hopes of a Pinkerton squad which came into that battle having outscored its opponents by a truly stunning 45-3 margin.

The final season numbers would still look great for the academy team, but its campaign ended with a 45-4 goals for/against margin as Lady Lancer Magoon netted the semifinal battle’s only goal just 2:23 into the second half.

LHS keeper Brutus would contribute nine saves to the 1-0 upset victory, and she and her teammates were on to the 2017 title match.

“Our focus this season has been on the importance of being a team, and our success is because of that,” said Treadway following that emotional victory. “The girls came out as a team and played their hearts out. Defensively, we made one minor change of shifting our weak-side back sooner, we came out with some big saves, and Morgan Brutus was great in the net.”

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