It had been quite some time since the Kearsarge field hockey team last hosted a playoff game, so we headed down to North Sutton Wednesday to see how the 8th-seeded Cougars would fare against 9th-ranked Newfound.
And while it was Kearsarge who headed into the game as slight favorites by virtue of its 8-6 record, it was the Bears who had the added confidence of having just beaten the Cougars some two weeks earlier. And much to the disappointment of the home crowd, visiting Newfound struck first with the game’s first goal late in a back-and-forth first half, and managed to hold on for a 1-0 victory.
But the Cougars certainly didn’t make life easy on their opponent over the game’s final 30 minutes, firing off eight more shots on goal with help from six penalty corners. Still, no matter how close Kearsarge got to knotting things up, Newfound’s keeper was there to make the saves she needed to, to eliminate the Cougars from postseason play.
Senior Breyna Care played well in goal for Kearsarge, turning aside five of the six shots she faced – while senior captain Ellie Chadwick did everything in her power during the game’s waining moments to extend her team’s season. Newfound will now have a tough task ahead of itself in the quarterfinals as they travel to face top-ranked and unbeaten Berlin.
Still, congratulations are in order on a great season that earned the team a home playoff game to begin with.