Tiffany Doan is one of four senior captains for the Newfound field hockey team. (Photo by Joshua Spaulding) (click for larger version)
September 16, 2020BRISTOL — The Newfound field hockey didn't graduate a lot of players from last year's team, but the Bears still have some pretty big holes to fill.
Those two seniors were the goalie and the leading scorer, so that leaves some big shoes behind. In addition, the Bears lost one of their key starters from last year to a private school, so coach Kammi Williams has her work cut out.
"We have very low numbers and its's important for us to stay healthy and continue to improve each day," the Bear coach said. "We lean towards focusing on the small things and trying to build our fundamentals and not focus on the outcome."
While there were some graduation losses, the Bears do return plenty of solid players, led by their four senior captains.
Haley Dukette was an All-State player a year ago as one of the top midfielders in Division III and she will be looked at to control the middle of the field.
"It will be necessary for her to control the middle of the field offensively and defensively," Williams said.
Tiffany Doan was also All-State a year and was one of the top right wings in the division. She was also the team's assist leader and will be counted on to pace the Bears on the offensive side of the ball.
"We will be looking for her to set up goal scoring opportunities, control the tempo and pitch in goals of her own," Williams stated.
Kenzie Bohlmann returns at center halfback and is a spark plug and the glue on the defensive side of the ball and will be asked to contribute on the offensive side of the ball this year.
"She has looked fierce during the preseason," Williams noted.
The final senior captain is Alyssa McDonough, who is taking over in goal this year. She was the JV goalie two years ago and due to low numbers, stepped up and moved out on the field. However, she's back in net this year.
"She is determined to refresh her goalie skills and through hard work is showing improvement on a daily basis," the Bear coach said.
Williams also praised the work that the four juniors have done, as they have shown great improvement from last year. Maggie Bednaz will be returning to left halfback and continues to deliver on ariels, Cassie Zick will be back at left midfield and has demonstrated improvement in ball carrying and shots on goal, Mackenzie Jenkins will be flying solo as the sweeper and continues to be a consistent force in the backfield and Lindsey Lacasse has been asked to move from sweep to right mid and her physical strength and conditioning has moved her into this vital role.
Sophomore Matti Douville also returns to right back and her strong drive and stick skills contribute to the team's ability to run the fast break offense.
Among newcomers, sophomore Sophie Wucher was injured in her freshman year but has shown continued improvement, freshman Isa LaPlume is up front and in midfield with the ability to be effective on the goal posts, classmate Savannah Bradley will be playing forward and brings solid speed to the table and classmate Electra Heath will be on defense with a strong drive and willingness to learn.
"The girls are so coachable and I'm so excited to see how much we can improve," Williams said.
The Bears will play a regionalized schedule, playing two games each with Winnisquam, Franklin and Laconia plus single games each with Plymouth, Littleton, Gilford and Mascoma.
The season kicks off with a home game against neighboring Plymouth on Friday, Sept. 18, at 4 p.m., where the Bears will honor the seniors. On Monday, Sept. 21, the Bears host Littleton at 4 p.m.
Sports Editor Joshua Spaulding can be reached at 279-4516, ext. 155 or firstname.lastname@example.org.