NHIAA Field Hockey: Derryfield earns Div. III finals
By HARRY KOSLOWSKI Special to The Union Leader
Gilford's Kelsey Buckley, looses track of the ball along with Berlin's Sadie Glover, at Exeter High School, on Wednesday. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)
EXETER — Derryfield School will enter the NHIAA Division III field hockey final a perfect 17-0 after defeating Hopkinton, 1-0, Wednesday in a semifinal at Bill Ball Stadium.
The undefeated, top-seeded Cougars, who have yet to concede a goal this season,controlled the play for most of the first half. But it was Hopkinton that had the biggest scoring chances in the first half.
If not for Derryfield goal eeper Kate Johnson, the Hawks could have scored as many as three goals.
With just one minute left in the opening half, Berklee Vaillancourt took a centering pass on a penalty corner and blasted a shot into the net to make it 1-0 Derryfield.
In the second half, Hopkinton prevented the Cougars from scoring again but could not generate any offensive chances until the final two minutes.
That’s when Hopkinton appeared to score the tying goal but it was waved off by an official who called a kicked ball on the play.
Derryfield will face third seed Berlin on the final Sunday at noon at Bedford High School stadium.
BERLIN 3, GILFORD 2: Berlin’s Erika Gendron tipped home a pass from Chelsey Caron three minutes into overtime to give the No. 2 Mountaineers a 2-1 win over No. 2 Gilford 2-1 in the NHIAA Division III girls’ field hockey semifinal Wednesday at Bill Ball Stadium.
The Mountaineers advance to the finals to be played Sunday at noon at Bedford High School.
Gilford scored first on a shot by Alyssa Hamberger that was deflected by a defender in front of goalie Julie Downs.
Eight minutes later, Berlin’s Jensyn Dandeneau was able to dribble her way through the Golden Eagle defense and score to tie the game at 1-1.
Both teams exchanged scoring chances but the half ended tied.
The second half remained scoreless though Gilford had its hands full with Dandeneau’s skilled ball handling that created opportunities.
The constant pressure in the Golden Eagle zone resulted in many penalty corners but Berlin was unable to capitalize on them.
The teams went to overtime tied 1-1 as Berlin’s Chelsey Caron put a shot on net as time expired that grazed the Gilford goal post.
Just three minutes into the overtime a penalty corner was awarded to Berlin.
Gendron centered the ball to Caron who shot. Gendron went to the net and extended her stick to tip in the winner.
“We definitely believed we could win” said Gendron. “We’re all happy and proud right now.”
Berlin coach Nicole Arguin said that corner play was something they work on. “It was a set play. It was the first time we executed it,” Arguin said.
Gilford coach David Rogacki put his team’s accomplishments in perspective. “When these kids were sophomores they were 2-12. To get to the final four, they did a great job.
“They wanted to leave a legacy and they did just that,” added Rogacki.