Cohasset High field hockey advanced to Div. 4 Final Four
The South Shore League Field Hockey Champions advanced to the Final 4
Jay N Miller | correspondent
Cohasset High Field Hockey head coach Laura Giuliano thinks long-term; High faculty sports activities will all the time thrive when probably the most skilled gamers graduate, however there’s all the time an keen group of younger gamers to take their place. Losing 10 gamers to the 2021 group’s commencement made it look like a rebuilding undertaking, however from Giuliano’s perspective, that is simply a part of the job. Replacing 10 regulars in your lineup could be a bit of greater than normal, however it definitely is not an insurmountable hurdle, particularly with the high-quality feeder packages in Cohasset.
It did not take lengthy for the Skippers’ new lineup to be in place, and the proof was quickly seen of their regular-season tally. Cohasset went undefeated (10-0-0) en route to the South Shore League championship, profitable 12-5-1 total and incomes third place in Division Four. For the gamers, this primarily meant three dwelling video games initially of the event.
Of course, “home game” was a technical time period this fall, since Cohasset High was renovating its taking part in field and working observe, and a lot of the skipper’s internet hosting duties befell at Scituate High. Ultimately, it was simply one other element and never an obstacle to their success.
Once in event play, the Skippers defeated the Hampshire Regional, held a 5-2 verdict on a vaunted Sutton group, after which fielded a Case High squad that got here on 19-1 in a 2-0 thriller. That earned Coasset a spot within the D4 Final Four.
But of their state semi-final towards second-placed Manchester-Essex, the Skippers ran out of luck as they noticed a 1-0 lead snatched away as their opponents scored eight seconds from play. After two overtimes the competitors went right into a shootout and it was there that Manchester-Essex lastly prevailed.
“I don’t think any of us are good at losing,” Giuliano stated, “but we’ve had a great season. It’s hard to appreciate immediately afterwards, but we had a great run in the tournament. It was great “We performed three dwelling video games in our event, even when they weren’t actually on our dwelling pitch. We had an amazing season and we noticed proper from the primary day of apply that we had one thing particular this yr. And they actually did All cylinders slammed as we hit event time – they peaked at completely the fitting time. We have been just one sport down because it turned out, and as our athletic director reminded us, many different groups in our state have been already finished for.”
“After we have been typically equal and after two overtimes, we had to go to penalties,” added Giuliano. “You have combined emotions as a result of there’s a lack of management. It’s everybody’s sport then. During the sport your protection can assist your goalkeeper, however in a penalty shoot-out it is solely your goalkeeper, so it is harder and also you.” We just have to try to stop them all. So they beat us there and it was disappointing but it’s part of the game. A few years ago we did the same thing in a tournament game against Foxborough so it goes both ways.”
The Skippers are anticipated to graduate one other 10 gamers this spring, with simply 5 gamers of their junior class, however a whopping 14 freshmen provide loads of potential going ahead. And the best way this yr’s version happened so rapidly and effectively definitely supplies a template for future success.
“The varsity veterans we had back this season were excellent players,” stated Giuliano. “At least three of them are in school, however a few of them have additionally performed affiliation field hockey within the offseason, in order that they got here ready. My philosophy normally is that not solely can we play within the postseason to make the event yearly, however on the identical time to develop newcomers which can be prepared for years to come. Our seniors do a superb job all season lengthy doing lots of field and talent work with these youthful youngsters.
“And with 14 newcomers this season, I’m actually excited to see what we’ve got in retailer. We saved three of our newcomers into the postseason and whereas they did not play a lot, they have been in a position to take in all that event expertise.”
Cohasset’s top-flight field hockey program often had as many as 60 players on its teams, but since the pandemic, this year’s overall program has been closer to the high 30s.
“We tried to create a extremely household environment about this system,” said Giuliano. “We have not had any issues buying gamers for a very long time. My classmate Beth constructed a center faculty program that’s invaluable and has continued since her dying. This signifies that our varsity gamers will spend a number of afternoons within the fall working with these youthful youngsters, instructing them the sport and bettering their abilities. It helps our varsity gamers perceive the sport higher and likewise provides us an exquisite feeder program. You’ll discover that that is very hardly ever attainable for freshmen to stroll onto the varsity field and be prepared to play, however at the least the freshmen that we see are nicely versed within the fundamentals of field hockey and the way we would like to play. It’s an enormous profit to us yearly and we’re very grateful to the individuals who preserve this center faculty program working so nicely.”
Key players on the Cohasset High team that year included senior forwards Ainsley Allen and Alexis Donovan, seniors Alexis Steinmetz, Bailey Thomas, Kira Fulton, Logan Finn, Caroline Santacroce, goaltender Lucy Farrington, and midfield twin sisters Catherine and Frances Brisbane.
Juniors who played in critical positions included Sarah Chenette and Eveline Ronzone, with big contributions from sophomore Caroline Struzziero, Reese Hansen and Libby Schiffman.
“Frances Brisbane has signed on to play at Connecticut College,” Giuliano reported. “Her sister Catherine is still deciding where she will go, but we are pretty sure she will play field hockey anywhere. Ainsley Allen goes to Tufts to play so we’re very proud of those three and we’ve seen more of our players end up playing at the next level. We’ve had South Shore League All Stars in Ainsley Allen, Kira Fulton, Frances Brisbane, Alexis Donovan and Bailey Thomas, and to nominate five All-Stars from your team is always exciting. In central defence, Kira’s consistent play in that crucial position was one of the main reasons we made it to the Final Four. At right-back, Bailey is another outstanding player who has helped us in every game.”
“In this last tournament game, some of our younger players (Hansen, Struzziero and Schiffman) showed great performances,” stated Giuliano. “Caroline and Libby are forwards and Reese gave them great support from midfield, but seeing them play in the biggest game gives us a lot of confidence for the future.”
As is all the time the case in highschool sports activities, a coach can not bask too lengthy within the glory of an extended event run earlier than having to begin planning for subsequent yr’s restart.
“We’ll be completing nine starters, but we’re very happy with the skills of the five juniors and six sophomores we’re bringing back,” Giuliano stated. “It’ll probably be one of our smallest senior classes ever, with just those five players, but I think we have enough younger kids who are willing to step up and take over. We’re always remodeling and if you don’t plan ahead there can be problems with turnovers like that, but sometimes it works out very well, like this season.
“We always try to develop the younger children and prepare them for the future, even if we try to do as well as we can in the present. And above all, we try to ensure that they have fun doing it, because that’s what university sports should be about. We’ve had a great season this year, some of our players have really developed their skills to a very high level and I think we’ve all had a lot of fun too.”