WATERTOWN – For many reasons, the Tewksbury Memorial High School Field Hockey team was unfairly matched up against Watertown in the opening round of the Division 2 North Sectional Tournament.
The Red Raiders, who won nine straight state championship titles before not reaching that status last year, should be competing in Division 1 due to a gross mistake by the MIAA, but that being said, the No. 16 seed Redmen traveled to face the No. 1 seed Watertown, and like almost every other team over the past decade, they were defeated, this time by a score of 6-0.
The loss ends Tewksbury's season at 7-12-0, as the Redmen had qualified for the post-season due to finishing in a tie for second place in the MVC Division 2 Conference along with D1 foe Lowell.
Watertown moved on to defeat Wayland (a team that has several boys), 2-1 in overtime and faced Lynnfield on Wednesday night, a win there puts them in the North Sectional Final for the 12th straight year.
“I thought our girls put forth a good effort,” said Redmen head coach Jordan Russell, now in her second season. “All team members worked hard and played their positions well, but Watertown could not be stopped.
“Our starting mid fielder, Julia Garland, had to be removed from the game due to injury, and everyone on the field worked to fill her spot. Alexis (Raymond) got a couple shots on the goal, but it wasn't enough. Watertown's lead scorer had a rocket of a drive. Not a happy end to the season, but I am very proud of how hard our team fought.”
Throughout the 19 games, Tewksbury did pretty much what was expected — against teams of their caliber, Tewksbury for the most part came away with wins and against superior teams, they did not.
The Redmen posted seven victories on the season over Lawrence, Haverhill and Dracut twice each and then they split with Lowell.
"I feel we had a good season for how good the teams were performing on our league," said Russell. "I was so excited to work with the group we had this year; it was fun working with so many new players as well as continuing to work with some of my most talented players.
“Ending with our season with seven wins and some pretty close losses gave the team a nice feeling of accomplishment. I would say some of our best played games were in the loss category; I have never seen the team come together the way they did in Andover this year."
Tewksbury will lose four players from this year's team including two-time all-conference player Ryan Quinn, as well as Tori Schille, Julia Garland and Morgan Woodman.
“Our senior class was small, but they were a force to be reckoned with,” said Russell. “All four girls started in every game, and I wouldn't have had it any other way. Shifting from an extremely defensive team last season to the more offense centered team this year was challenging, but everyone was flexible and willing to take on the roles they needed to. Mackenzie Dawson and Brooke Woodman, who are both juniors, were very comfortable with stepping up to fill in some of our defense. Tori and Julia were both very flexible when asked to change their previous rolls to new, less familiar ones.
“We were lucky to have one of our top scorers returning this year. Ryan Quinn did not disappoint this season. She ended the season with 18 goals and 11 assists. Junior Alexis Raymond was an awesome addition to our team this season. Alexis had never played field hockey before, but she quickly became a stand out. She ended the season with 11 goals and 10 assists.”
Besides the offense, the team's goalie Brianna Gagnon also had a strong season.
“Of course we were excited to have Brianna, who is a sophomore, return for her second season as our varsity goal keeper. She had several shut outs again this season, and ended the year with 192 saves.”
The MVC announced its all-league and all-star players and Ryan Quinn was named to the All-Conference team for the second straight year, while, Michelle Hinkle, Alexis Raymond and Victoria Schille were named to the second team.