Extra Motivation for ME Field Hockey in Tourney


There will always be good deal of importance afforded to postseason games and tournaments.  For the Manchester Essex field hockey team, there’s a level of importance beyond even that during their current postseason run.

“I keep reminding the girls that in playoffs, it’s one and done,” explains ME field hockey coach Courtney Brown.  “If we don’t capitalize on opportunities to earn the lead and eventually the win, our season is over.  With so many seniors on our team, it’s more special than last season.  I’ve seen more heart from this team in the last few weeks because they understand what’s at stake.”

That level of passion was on display in the Hornets’ 5-0 victory over Northbridge on November 5 at Hyland Field in Manchester.  While Manchester Essex led for most of the game, the Hornets tend to take things to another level after halftime.

“We tend to ‘turn it on’ in the third and fourth since we’re a very fit and disciplined team,” says Brown.  “We were able to work around the gaps that developed in their spacing.”

The Hornets played the first couple of quarters with more of a defensive mindset, but became the aggressors after halftime, led by the efforts of Helaina Davis, Caelie Patrick and Torrin Lee Kirk

“I have to highlight left back Helaina Davis,” says Brown.  “She is consistently strong for us and such a fierce player that contributes to our offensive momentum.  We also had over 25 shots on goal so our forwards and mids were peppering Northbridge’s goalie and ‘D.”  Our leading shooters are Caelie and Torrin.”

Those three weren’t the only ones who contributed, however.  The Hornets have relied all season on not only their conditioning but their enviable depth to help them achieve victory.

“Nearly every player on our team saw the field in this game,” explains Brown.  “Our sideline has also stepped up big time, to give those on the field an extra boost.  When she’s not in goal, sophomore Brigid Carovillano tends to be the loudest on the sidelines.”

As far as Blackstone Valley RVT, their next opponent (scheduled for November 9 at 5 p.m. at Hyland Field), Brown has very little information to go on other than this is a team with a strong goalie from Central Massachusetts that plays on grass instead of turf.  That lack of knowledge beforehand is no accident.

“I think our players play better not knowing all the details of their season thus far,” It forces us to set the tone of the game instead of potentially playing down to an opponent.  I do know that they beat Northbridge, 3-0.”

They also know they will have homefield advantage for a second game in a row.

“We had an impressive crowd in the stands Saturday,” says Brown. “After playing for each other, the girls play for them. A new tradition we started this year is to as a team, jog over and give a wave to our fans before coming together to give our closing cheer and high fives to the opponent.”

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