Field hockey in Mashpee is certainly a sport on the rise. The varsity team has been quite competitive over the past few seasons, and it will only get better down the road thanks in large part to the influx of talent coming up the pipeline from Mashpee Middle School.
The MMS Falcons had themselves quite a season this past fall. Under Head Coach Bob Wray, the team had its most successful campaign ever. Over their 14-game slate, the Falcons posted an 11-2-1 record. With no JV team at the high school level, the seventh and eighth graders were called upon to play up at that level on several occasions as well, and they more than held their own against the older girls.
“There are a lot of kids that can play on this team,” Wray said. “At one point we played seven games in eight days, and they never slowed down.”
Statistically the Falcons were pretty impressive. Starting with the defense, the club shut down just about everyone it played. In middle school games, they allowed goals to Falmouth and Nauset. No one else scored against them as the team posted a total of nine shutouts. There were seven games that the defense did not allow a single shot to get through to the goalie. That goaltender, Mackenzie Dutra, had a standout season, allowing 0.8 goals per game. “She did really well in there,” Wray said. Emma Wise also played in the goal for MMS.
The team, which featured 10 eighth grade starters, scored goals like crazy. Chyla Hendricks led the way, scoring at a pace of close to a hat trick per game. She finished with 33 goals. “Our front line always had pressure on the defense,” Wray said.
Forwards Kelcie Ferguson and Parris Greenland, who both played on the left side of the forward line, each had about eight goals as well for the season. “We were really good. We could have played the second string and still won nine games,” he said.
Ferguson and Greenland were joined by several other forwards. Gianna DiPaolo and Hailey Perry both played left outer forward while Aneya Drake was the other left inner forward. On the right side, Klaire Barrows and Meg Howard were inner forwards with Rachel and Kammy Barrows both outside forwards on the right side. Autumn Jackson also played forward up front for the team.
Hendricks was the star central midfielder for this year's team. Aya Miller started on the left side and Aiva Lehmann was the starter right side midfielder. “Aya and Aiva were both really good at getting the ball back and moving it up to the front line,” Wray said. “They just played and played and played.”
Backup midfielders included: Sophie Snider, Elise Carroll, Grace Whipper, Cache Foster and Krista Signs.
On defense, Emma Wise started at left halfback and Kaya Turner started at right halfback. Courtney Story and Cassie Baker were the key backups at those positions. Abigail Brousseau was the squad's go-to fullback.
“The defense, our record speaks for itself,” Wray said.
The coach beamed with pride when talking about his team for this year. “These kids played their hearts out, and they were good,” he said. “Fundamentally, they were very sound and they're easy to teach.”