Tigers bow in first round

The Newtonite

by Kristian Lundberg
Entering the season, the question hovering over field hockey was whether the Tigers could return to the postseason and improve off of last year’s success—despite undergoing a rebuilding season.
Surprisingly, coach Celeste Myers’ young squad did both.
“We proved that we belonged,” Myers said. “I had one of my best coaching experiences with this team.”
The Tigers finished the regular season at 7-6-2, enough to gain the 13th seed in the Division I North Section of the State Tournament. In the first round, they fell to 4th-seeded Chelmsford Friday, Nov. 4 on the road.
From the beginning of the game, the Lions’ superior skill was quite evident, but the Tigers hung around, pulling within two goals twice in the second half before Chelmsford finally closed out its 5-2 victory.
Yet, according to Myers, the positives from the team’s season outweighed any regrets.
“We had a roster filled with freshmen, seniors and one or two juniors in the beginning of the season,” Myers said. “It wasn’t the team you’d say is going to make it, but we won our division and made the playoffs for the second time in a row.”
In the match against Chelmsford, junior Bridget Gillis registered a multiple-goal game, netting both of the Tigers’ tallies.
However, the other half of the Tigers’ prolific tandem on offense, senior Bobby Grimshaw, could not find an opening in the stingy Lions’ defense, and Chelmsford somehow prevented him from completing his deadly runs from the midfield.
“We knew we had our hands full with Bobby, so we made sure that we always knew where he was and we kept our sticks down,” Chelmsford coach Maura Devaney said. “He’s a great player, so we focused on limiting his chances with the ball.”
In the future, Myers said the Tigers will look to develop their young talent.
“The younger players will grow, and the seniors have done a great job in mentoring them,” she said. “I’m looking forward to the next few years.”
Once the Tigers were eliminated, the squad went through the handshake line without spilling too many tears. After a final pep talk from Myers, in which she “debriefed the game and talked about the season overall,” the team boarded the bus for the long trek home.
Although the bus was quiet for the first few minutes, the same chatter that had filled the bus on the drive to the game returned after a little while.
“No tears, no sadness, no regrets,” Myers said. “I’m really proud of their attitude.”