Tewksbury High’s Hannah Knoops scored a hat trick

Tewksbury High’s Hannah Knoops scored a hat trick, despite the pouring rain, during Friday’s home win over Haverhill.    

     (photo by JoeBrownphotos.com).

TEWKSBURY – After not making it to the state tournament last year, the Tewksbury Memorial High School Field Hockey team's mission this 2017 season is to get back to tournament play.

That goal came closer already in the young season. On Monday, the Redmen defeated Dracut, 3-2, bringing their overall record to 2-2-2 and more importantly the team is now 2-0-2 against Division 2 teams, meaning three more points against Dracut, Bedford, Wakefield or Rockport will put the team back into the tournament due to the Sullivan Rule.

Tewksbury previously tied Bedford 3-3.

In the win against Dracut, Tewksbury looked like it would be on cruise control after jumping out to a 2-0 lead five minutes in, only to get dominated by Dracut for the final stretch of the first half and most of the second half.

“We started off great with those two early goals and the first half was good, but the second half we struggled,” said head coach Pat Ryser. “We just start off great and we do really good, but part of it could be because they get tired. We just have to hopefully pull through like we did today.”

Tewksbury jumped out of the shoot fast with goals by Susana Aguilar and the red-hot Hannah Knoops with Julia Garland assisting on the first tally. Dracut's Julia Otoski scored to cut the deficit in half and the 2-1 score stood through the halftime break.

Tewksbury then went up 3-1 as senior captain Allie Couillard blasted a hard shot the far inside right post, and celebrated for that tally. After that Dracut pressed and pressed with Otoski scoring another goal, while Tewksbury netminder Riley Cote was strong down the stretch making two big kick out saves with just under two minutes left in the game.

While the defense had to cling on tight to preserve the win, the team's offense has started to come alive.

“Once we get to going, we can make things happen,” said Ryser. “Our passing has been much better. We have nice combinations going with Ally and Hannah on one side and then Tori (Schille) and Ryan (Quinn) on the other side and those combinations have really been working well.”

In front of Cote, who made ten saves in the win, junior Lauren McIntrye had another strong game.

“Lauren McIntrye who has been on the back line has really been playing well,” said Ryser. “She's been doing a phenomenal job.”

Tewksbury has been battling the injury bug as well as both Jocelyn Stavros (broken finger) and Quinn (broken nose) are still not 100 percent after going down in the team's first regular season game.

Last Friday, Tewksbury beat Haverhill 6-0 as Knoops scored three goals while Aguilar, Schille and freshman Shelly Hinkle – her first varsity goal – added single tallies.

Tewksbury was slated to face Central Catholic –arguably the best team in the conference – in a night game Wednesday night (weather permitting) with the results not known as of presstime. After that will be a home game with Lawrence on Monday, before playing the Big Three with Andover, Chelmsford and North Andover over an eight day stretch.

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