CHS field hockey enters D1 tourney on a high note

Junior Maggie Malloy finished the regular season as the Bulldogs' top goal scorer. (Mike Barucci photo)

Junior Maggie Malloy finished the regular season as the Bulldogs’ top goal scorer. (Mike Barucci photo)

With a hard-fought draw against Foxboro and a convincing home win over Stoughton on Senior Night, the Canton High varsity field hockey team sewed up its first division title since 2013 and will now look to move on to bigger and better things as the No. 4 overall seed in the MIAA Division 1 south sectional tournament.

With the win and the tie last week, the lady Bulldogs ended the regular season with a record of 14-3-1 and head into the postseason riding a seven-game unbeaten streak (6-0-1). The girls last lost a match back on October 6 at Norwood, and they might have a chance to exact some revenge with Canton due to face the winner of Dartmouth and Norwood at home this Saturday, November 4.

“I’m happy with where we’re at and where we’re located in the tournament bracket,” said head coach Chrissy O’Connor. “I gave the girls the day off [on Tuesday] and then we’ll get back to work and refocus ourselves. Everyone’s excited and we’re looking forward to just one game at a time.”

O’Connor said the team’s No. 4 seeding in the 25-team bracket was a pleasant surprise but she believes her squad can compete with anyone in the south region. She mentioned fellow Hockomock Leaguer and No. 2 seeded King Philip (15-2-1) as one of the clear favorites, although the lady Bulldogs already proved that they could hang with the Warriors in a close loss earlier this season.

As for last week’s action, Canton overcame a sluggish first half and rode its tough defense to a 1-1 draw with Foxboro in a battle for Davenport Division supremacy. The tie clinched at least a share of the division crown and the Bulldogs then secured the title outright with a dominant, 6-0 victory over Stoughton a few days later.

In the Foxboro game, Canton’s lone goal came in the second half off the stick of senior captain Andrea McNeil, with the assist going to Katelyn Goyetch. The Warriors would go on to tie it at 1-1 and had a number of opportunities to take the lead, but the visiting defense held firm while senior goalie Riley Brown made a couple of big saves.

“We had opportunities but a lot of missed opportunities in that game,” acknowledged O’Connor. “But defensively I think we played really well and our defense really kind of held us in the game.”

In Wednesday’s regular season finale against Stoughton, O’Connor started the seniors and they helped get the Bulldogs off to a strong start, opening a 4-0 first-half lead. All nine senior players plus two senior managers were honored prior to the game. They include McNeil and Brown as well as Emily Campbell, Molly Colburn, Colleen Kelleher, Maggie Wade, Kayla Berardi, Genna Floyd and Leah Fitzgerald and team managers Erin Phelan and Eileen McNeil.

Andrea McNeil had a hat trick in the game while Maggie Malloy finished with two scores and Molly Cummings added one. Malloy, a junior, finished as the regular season leader in goals scored for Canton and ended up third in the Hockomock League. Andrea McNeil was right behind her in fourth place while Campbell finished in the top 10.

The lady Bulldogs’ first tournament game is set for Saturday at 6 p.m. at Memorial Field. A win by Canton would propel the team into the quarterfinals and ensure at least one more home playoff game this season.

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avatar Posted by on Nov 4 2017. Filed under High School, Sports. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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