Falmouth Field Hockey Future Lies With JV Program
By: Rich Maclone
Each and every year the Falmouth High School field hockey program is one of the strongest in the Atlantic Coast League at the varsity level. The junior varsity program, under the leadership of Courtney Lima, also had a strong season and promises to keep the varsity’s run of success going in the future.
Despite a season that saw very short numbers for the team as a whole, with just a dozen strong in terms of players, the Clippers were able to post a winning record and played well against some of their strongest opponents. FHS, which typically had just a single substitute for each game, went 8-7-3 and was 6-3-3 against teams from the Atlantic Coast League.
“I’d have to say that this was one of my best coaching years, in terms of making progress as a team,” said Lima, who also is the head coach of the FHS girls’ lacrosse program. “Our overall progress was remarkable. The girls worked hard, played hard and they went all out.”
It wasn’t easy. Falmouth’s defense basically never left the field. They started, and they finished, each and every game.
The core three defensive players were sophomores Molly Walker and Meghan Burke, and freshman Emma Underdah. “They never left a game, they played every single minute of every single game,” Lima said. “If it wasn’t for them, our record wouldn’t have been as good as it was.”
Walker and Burke were both captains of the team. Walker scored one of the year’s prettiest goals on a penalty corner play against Martha’s Vineyard.
Falmouth’s goaltending situation was an extension of the varsity team. With two capable keepers in the system, if Ashley Lima started for the varsity, Mary Negri played the JV game. When Negri got the nod for the varsity, Lima played in the JV game. Both did very well for the junior varsity team, Lima said. “It’s a tough situation because they’re both varsity keepers, and obviously both would prefer to play in the varsity game, but there’s only one goal,” Coach Lima said. “When they were with the JV team, they played it like it was a varsity game.”
Olivia Beaton and Taylor Dimond, both sophomores, were both swing players that saw time with the varsity and junior varsity during the year. They each had standout seasons for the JV, scoring the bulk of the team’s goals. “They were great for us,” Lima said. “They’re going to be good players for the varsity, and this way they were able to get in more playing time.”
Freshman Alexia Meissner played forward as well was another of the team’s go-to goal scorers. “She’s ready for the jump to the next level. She’s very talented and a coachable kid,” Lima said.
Playing up front, at the inner spots, were freshmen Kate Kelleher and Mary Alice Bevacqua. Both played well for the Clippers, with Kelleher show a lot of progress over the course of the season.
Andrea Dell’anno, a sophomore captain, started at right wing. She did a lot of the dirty work for the offense, setting up many scoring plays with hard work and crisp passing. “She did all of the little things,” Lima said.
Midfielders Madeline Smith, Anna Ragonese, Emerson Dimond and Jordan Willis all saw lots of time on the field. Lima said that Smith and Ragonese were the most improved players for FHS. “They grew a lot as players and were strong defensively.”
Dimond showed a knack for scoring. “She’s quick, explosive and scrappy,” her coach said.
Willis missed the first half of the year with an injury. When she was medically cleared to play she made her presence felt during the second half of the season.
Jasmine Yousef, a freshman, came out for the team late, but saw some playing time and became a valuable member of the squad. She scored two goals. “She has talent, and she’s an all-around great kid. She was a pleasure to have on the team,” Lima said.
The FHS JV field hockey team posted some nice wins during the course of the season. They picked up a big 1-0 win over their rivals from Sandwich and also scored an impressive tie, on the road, against a game team from Dennis-Yarmouth.
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