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A Season to Remember: A Closer Look at NFH

Hannah Feakes, Editor

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Their season may be over, but the legacy of Nashoba Field Hockey lives on…

Nashoba Field Hockey will go down in history for their 2014 fall season. The girls commenced the regular season against Hudson High School taking home a 4 – nothing win. North Middlesex Regional was next, resulting in a 2 – nothing win, Groton-Dunstable, and Shrewsbury were both wins for NFH. Continuing the winning streak were Shepard Hill, Wachusett and Westford Academy. This was an impressive start.

Leominster, Narragansett, Hopkinton and Oakmont were next in succession, resulting in 4-1, 1-0, 2-0 and 3-1 . Algonquin resulted in the team’s only loss of the regular season, with a close score of 3-2 . The girls crushed their last opponent, Ashland, with a win of 5-0, which wrapped up their almost undefeated regular season with a record of 16-1-1.

With that record, the motivated players went into the playoffs with confidence. The Division Central Quarterfinals were November 3rd against Algonquin Regional. Junior Olivia Magliozzi shares, “we were nervous but excited going into the first playoff game. We were prepared and knew what to expect.” The girls pulled through with a win of 4-1, moving them into the Semi-Finals.

There was immense pressure to win the District Championship game. Nashoba hadn’t won that game since 1976. The offensive line was on fire, and the defense was strong. For the first time in 38 years, Nashoba Field Hockey took home a 3-2 win against Quabbin. They had made Nashoba history.

NFH carried their positive attitude over to the second  MIAA District Tournament and brought their intensity to the field against Quabbin Regional resulting in a 3-2 win.

Captains Sarah Gaffney, Emma Caviness, Olivia Hurd and Meghan Thorogood kept both the Varsity and Junior Varsity pumped up and kept up the intensity. The team played a tight game against Longmeadow in the  MIAA State Tournament.

Caviness scored the first goal to put Nashoba in the lead, followed by Hurd. They came home with a 3-2 win for Nashoba. Seconds after time ran out and the Chieftains had won, Nashoba AD retweeted Gregg Newton who says, “Congrats to coach Mariani and Nashoba Field Hockey!”

Next, NFH took on Acton-Boxborough in the MIAA State Championship. It was a tight game from beginning to finish, but unfortunately, skills were not up to par and the game resulted in a 1-0 loss for Nashoba. English teacher, Kimberly Rocha summed up their season in one tweet, “Wins and losses don’t define you, they reveal you. NFH exemplifies every reason I teach at #Nashoba!” Nashoba Athletics tweeted, “Congrats on a great season NFH! State Finalists. Keep your heads up.”

Coach Mariani and Hurd commented on the loss as well. Hurd says, “I don’t think for a second anyone out there thought we couldn’t come back and win that game.” Mariani adds, “There’s so many good things these kids are going to remember about our season, it’s not this loss.”

This season has not only consisted of much more than games and practices for these girls. They have  not only proven their dedication on the field, but to their teammates as well. The girls dedicated every game to their sick teammate, Michelle Farnsworth. Throughout the season they created “pump up” videos for her, and the slogan “you fight, we fight” started trending. The entire Nashoba community got involved and supported Farnsworth in her fight against cancer.

Caviness pulled all of the video clips and created a three minute video highlighting Farnsworth and her connection to the field hockey team. It was submitted to the MIAA Sportsmanship in Media Contest  and the team won the runner up award. She says, “Being honored as runner up and being able to attend the sportsmanship summit was an honor, but really, the greatest honor has been keeping in touch with Michelle this past season.”

NFH was featured on Channel 5’s High-5 with Mike Lynch with a focus on teamwork and sportsmanship. The story was broadcasted on live television and showed footage of practice and the pump up videos for Farnsworth. The tagline was, “…. but their most lasting accomplishment will be the care and compassion for a teammate they refused to leave behind.”

Nashoba Athletics posted on Facebook at the conclusion of the season. “You are league champions, state finalists, won the MIAA State Sportsmanship award, earned second place in the MIAA multi-media contest, were honored as Channel 5’s High 5… and top of all that each and every day you represented NASHOBA with class, sportsmanship, and pride.”

With a final record of 20-1-2, the Nashoba Field Hockey team will live on in legacy.

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A Season to Remember: A Closer Look at NFH