On Saturday, August 24, it felt a lot like autumn in Barnstable, and not just because the temperature was nearing sweatshirt weather.

After just two days of preseason practice the Mashpee High School field hockey team took to the road to play their first scrimmage of the season at Shields Field at Barstable High School. Both teams played their entire benches liberally as they attempted to work out their points of emphasis from the first couple of days of practice.

“For us to get to play against a program like Barnstable this early on is great for us,” Mashpee head coach Kelly Horan said. “We don't play them in the regular season, but we've got some really good teams in our league and this is going to help us get ready for that.”

Horan said that she liked seeing the girls get thrown into the fire right away.

“It's good to get into that mode of remembering what the pressure's like and to get that fire in their belly to get going and want to score their goals and play harder,” she explained. “I think having higher competition helps them to rise to the occasion... it's a shock factor to some of the younger kids that haven't played at this intensity level.

Going forward, Horan said that her team has a good number of seniors (10), but that overall there is a lot of youth on the squad. She said that the preseason will help to iron out the wrinkles and figure out where the pieces fit.

One piece that needs to be figure out is the backup goalie situation. As of now the program has just a single netminder, Paige Lundberg. Finding another keeper, for JV games and emergency duties, is at the top of Horan's to-do list before the first game on ThursdaySeptember 5.

“We're going to be throwing some people in next week when we have more practice time. We'll be throwing people in there whether they like it or not.”

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