Bourne head field hockey coach Mike Massmann is hoping his third year at the helm of the program will be the one where his Canalmen team makes the playoffs.
And if the offense lives up to the early-season hype, lead by junior captain Julia Elicier, they just might make their way to the Division 3 South sectionals this year.
“We’re going to be strong up front,” Massmann said. “That’s our strongest unit without a doubt. When Julia gets into the open field she’ll be a lot of fun to watch this year.
Elicier, despite missing two weeks early last year due to injury, was a South Coast Conference all-star while Hannah Greene, another forward, earned a conference honorable mention.
Joining the duo on the offensive end will be junior Emily Strojny, who made the jump from the JV roster and Massmann considers her to be a big contributor ahead of this year.
With a roster of 25 girls, with a few more expected to join the team from the 8th grade ranks, Bourne is a little short on numbers, but the head coach expects to be more well-rounded than in years past. Leading the team as captains are three seniors and Elicier. Sophie Stowe, Phoebe Medeiros and Taylor McCarthy are the senior captains in 2019 while Mary Schmitt and Sam Rathburn will also provide senior leadership without the title.
Patrolling the midfield will be Stowe, Schmitt and JJ Rodrigues as starters wile Paige Sexton is a player to watch in the front end as she made the jump from JV this year.
Sophomore Elizabeth Black will replace the hole at goalie with Karlee Darcy graduating last year. Darcy has moved on to Roger Williams where she’ll continue playing field hockey at the collegiate level.
“Elizabeth got some experience last year, and we’ll be looking for big things from her this year,” Massmann said.
Protecting her on the defensive end will be Serena Tura, Holly Miller, Aaysham Tahir and Rathburn.
In preparation of the season Bourne took part in a tri-scrimmage on Monday, August 26, against Falmouth and Mashpee. Massmann came away pleased with how his team played, holding its own against the Division 2 Clippers and splitting two sets with Mashpee, both 1-0 finals.
“That was our first time on the field for a bunch of the kids. We were playing some in different positions, so I was happy with how we played,” Massmann said.
They additionally got some preseason work against Middleboro at home before opening the season against Sturgis East at home on Wednesday, September 4, before taking to the road to meet Apponequet next Friday. That should prove to be a softer landing to open the season than last year, when the Canalmen opened against Division 1 South runner-up Somerset-Berkley before losing two key players on back-to-back games for two-week stretches.
“I’m expecting to get off to a better start,” Massmann said. “Last year we were a little slow out of the gates.”
He went on to add that he suspects Seekonk and Fairhaven will push Bourne in the South Coast Conference-Small Division this year.