Putting It Home

Haley McLaughlin fires the ball between the Dennis-Yarmouth goalie’s legs to score the first goal of the game in the Knights’ semifinal victory over the Dolphins on Wednesday. SHS advanced to the finals with their 2-0 win.

School was closed for the holiday on Wednesday morning  November 11, but class was still in session at DeConto Stadium. Putting on a clinic against league rivals Dennis-Yarmouth, the Sandwich High field hockey team advanced to the Cape and Islands League championship game with a lopsided 2-0 victory.

The Knights put on a clinic, as the team that is currently the league’s measuring stick dominated the one that used to be. Junior Paige Hawkins continued the tear she’s been on all season long. Hawkins had been averaging two points per game for the Knights during the regular season, after potting 14 goals and doling out six assists. She stayed on schedule by scoring the first goal for SHS and assisting on the second as the Knights took a first-quarter lead and never looked back.

Late in the first quarter Hawkins set up Haley McLaughlin to put the team ahead for good. The tough forward took the ball wide into the left-wing corner and used a pretty move to put the ball over the defender’s stick, allowing her to get a step to drive the baseline before putting a pass to the front of the net. McLaughlin did the rest, potting the pass past the D-Y goalie with 1:49 left in the opening period for a 1-0 Sandwich lead.

Hawkins scored her 15th of the year early in the second quarter to double the Sandwich advantage. The goal came on a 2020 penalty corner, which is an indirect hit from the 25-yard line. Sophomore Abby Roy put the ball into play, pushing it from the middle of the field to Hawkins on the right wing. The senior whacked away as the ball entered her shooting radius and smashed it by the keeper to double up the Sandwich lead.

“It was a playoff game, so I guess it meant a little bit more,” Hawkins said. “We knew that their defense was stronger, so we’d have to get around them more, but we knew that their goalie was more like a weakness, so were (trying) to shoot the ball when we got a chance.”

SHS had numerous chances following that goal, but D-Y was able to hang tough and keep it close. The Knights, however, never allowed the Dolphins to put any real pressure on goalie Sarah Currey, who had to make just one save—albeit a difficult one in the third quarter—all game long. Macy White, McLaughlin, Roy, Molly Dwyer and Maura McIver were all key to the defensive dominance.

White, a University of New Hampshire field hockey commit, said that her team feels like it could have had a real shot to win a state championship this year, had the MIAA been having postseason tournaments. Without that possibility, they said that winning their last high school contest is of paramount importance.

“I definitely feel like we have to play as hard as we can,” she said. “For me, and the other two seniors, it’s our last game, and I think that we all want to do as best as we can, and, since it’s our last game, get the best that we can because we can’t go to states, and we could have won it maybe. It’s just sad, so we need to play as best as we can.”

Hawkins agreed.

“Since we’re already (regular season) league champions, we want to win this game,” she said. “End our season on a good note.”

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