Boston High School: Maureen Noone

D1 Field Hockey: Andover 1, Longmeadow 0

November, 19, 2011
HS LaxBrendan Hall/ESPNBoston.comAndover's Anne Farnham, a UMass lacrosse commit, was one of several Warriors turning in sound defense in their second straight state championship win.
WORCESTER, Mass. –- With 14:58 left in regulation, and after 17 shots on the Longmeadow goal defended by Elizabeth Suschana, Andover sophomore forward Julia LeBlanc blazed the 18th ball past Suschana for the only score on the day. That drive the Golden Warriors to their second consecutive Div. 1 state field hockey championship past Longmeadow, 1-0.

“I was really in the moment,” LeBlanc asserted, donning her championship medal after the victory. “Because our defense is so strong, I was able to get it in. I was there at the right time and I just dove in and tipped it in…If we didn’t have our defense, I wouldn’t have been able to get up there.”

“It (the ball) came from Kate [Farnham]and she sent it across the circle to me and I just hit it over as far as I could to the net and Julia just happened to be there,” said junior left forward Meagan Keefe, who owns the game’s sole assist. “She just tipped it in which was amazing.”

The Golden Warriors (21-0-2) had 21 corners during the game but were not able to get a score on one of them. With about 20 minutes to go in the second half, Andover called a timeout and coach Maureen Noone and her staff advised the girls to change the game.

“Stop putting the ball maybe to one side or continuing to do what we’ve gotten away with in the other games that have worked for us,” said Noone recalling the timeout. “I think they were stuffing an extra defender in there and it was getting difficult so we tried to swing the ball as much as possible and just take chances; start swinging, start stepping up to the ball and playing a little bit harder.”

We Do This: Although Andover had sent a number of balls towards the goal and had not scored, they were not discouraged, they just became more determined.

“We’re used to this, this is how it is,” said LeBlanc. “We have low scoring games and we’re just trained to keep going at it and keep shooting and keep working hard. There’s always a way. It’s 0-0, even if we score 1-0, it doesn’t matter, we’re going back and our defense is just as ferocious. We don’t give up because they can score and tie it up.”

“After we knocked that one in I felt pretty confident,” added goalie Shannon Tully, giving a different perspective but with the same knuckle down message.”We brought the sweeper back so we could play more of a defensive game.”

Bring It Back: “Uhhhh! It's Amazing!” exclaimed the 2010 lacrosse All-American Anne Farnham, with much enthusiasm and a mile-wide smile.

“Literally, we never imagined this could happen,” added Farnham, a senior right forward, theoretically forgetting that she was already sporting the official “Andover 2011 State Champs Back to Back” grey t-shirt with navy blue print just moments after the game, directly refuting her claim.

Coach Noone added something that may give a clue as to why the Golden Warriors printed the shirts prior to the start of start of the match.

“This year, we knew what to expect and we had a little bit more confidence coming into the game,” added coach Noone. “Even though we only have five seniors, they’re all quality kids and they understand their leadership role. I think they did an outstanding job of taking the younger kids and telling them step-by-step what they needed to do, and they did it.”

Going Hard in the Cage: Even though she only had three saves on the day, those are three opportunities that were thwarted by senior goalie Shannon Tully. If she doesn’t, the Golden Warriors are singing a different tune.

“We have the most confidence in her,” said LeBlanc. “She’s such an athletic goalie and we really rely on her. She’s made a lot of great saves through the season and we’re happy to have her.”

Team Love: “We don’t look at who scores, it was a team effort,” said Kate Farnham, who along with her twin sister Anne are committed to playing lacrosse for UMass Amherst next year. Despite getting plenty of touches during the game, she said neither she nor her teammates thought about an individual getting a goal.

“The scores don’t matter because we just play as a team so I don’t think they were looking for me to score personally."

I Don’t Want To Go Home: Junior Meagan Keefe, despite winning the state championship, was not ready for the sun to set on the Golden Warriors’ 21-0-2 season after the game.

“I am just as psyched, it’s a great feeling, I just want to keep going," Keefe said. "It’s sad that it’s over.”

Field hockey: Andover 2, Duxbury 0

November, 15, 2011

WESTWOOD, Mass. -- Andover field hockey senior forward Anne Farnham recorded a goal and an assist against Duxbury on Tuesday evening, as the Golden Warriors defeated the Dragons, 2-0, in a Division 1 state semifinal at Westwood High School.

“I think we just played as a team,” Andover head coach Maureen Noone said. “I just thought we controlled play, and we tried to slow the play down a little bit because their fast breaks were outstanding.”

The victory propeled Andover (21-0-2), the defending Division 1 state champions, to their second straight finals appearance.

“We just really worked well as a team, and we just focused on playing together, not getting down on each other, and when it got tough, we [knew we had] each others backs, and I’m really proud of the way our team played together,” Farnham said.

As for Duxbury (22-2-0), the loss marked the end of their historic journey, which saw the Dragons win their first Division 1 South championship since 1976.

“It’s disappointing, but I know this Duxbury team is a history-making team [and] that we got further than any Duxbury field hockey team has and that I think it’s a history making team because of the intensity, and the desire of the team,” Duxbury head coach Pam Manley said.

Andover won the opening face-off, and then registered their first goal at roughly the nine-minute mark, as sophomore Louisa Gross connected with Farnham on a free hit, who batted the ball past Duxbury’s senior goaltender Sophie Fitzpatrick.

The Golden Warriors later extended their lead during the middle of the second half, as Farnham fired a shot, which was redirected by junior Meaghan Keefe and landed in the back of the net.

“[Our second goal] kind of settled everybody a little bit,” said Noone. “It was just an outstanding team effort.”

“Scoring the second goal it was really just a relief to score that, and it kind of just proved that we wanted this game more,” Farnham added.

The Golden Warriors will look to add another trophy to their shelf on Saturday afternoon when they travel to Worcester State to face Longmeadow for the Division 1 state championship.

Andover controls ball, Division 1 championship

November, 20, 2010

WORCESTER, Mass. -- Speed runs deep in the Andover field hockey program, and in this morning's Division 1 state championship game, Algonquin Regional found itself in store of a huge dosage.

The Golden Warriors dominated possession throughout the morning at Worcester State's Coughlin Field, leading to 18 penalty corners while yielding none to the Tomahawks, as they cruised to a 3-1 victory to capture their first field hockey state title in school history.

"They just wanted it," head coach Maureen Noone said. "They were just going crazy. I think at first, they needed to settle a little bit, and needed to make things happen instead of playing their (Algonquin's) game."

Said junior forward Anne Farnham, who tallied the final two goals of the afternoon, "I'm just amazed right now, just coming here and winning. It's just a sweet victory."

Led by an aggressive midfield in Taylor Farris, Jill Manning (three assists) and Northeastern-bound senior Laura Dimitruk, the Golden Warriors (24-0-0) took it to the defense of the Tomahawks (15-3-4) early and often. Ten minutes in, they notched their first goal of the day on a penalty corner from the right. Manning cradled ball at the top of the circle and slid it across to Dimitruk, who fired from five yards out and hit the middle of the cage.

Liz Holmes came through with an equalizer with 11 minutes to go in the half, crashing to the far post and putting back a Nikki Wrin shot from the right side near the top of the circle. But from therein, the Warriors kicked it into another gear and dominated ball control.

At the eight-minute mark of the half, Farnham made it 2-1 with a one-timer at the far post, off of a penalty corner after Manning rolled the ball across the crease. And in the second half, the speedy Andover forward line forced the Tomahawks to crowd their own half-circle, and only managed to come across into the Andover zone twice. Farnham closed out the scoring with 58 seconds left, tipping in a pass from Manning to make it 3-1.

"We just tried to talk a lot as a team," Manning said. "We tried to communicate with each other, and tell each other what was open, where to go. Basically, we just tell each other alot to communicate."

Not to be overlooked in the defeat, however, was Algonquin's goalie Channing Moreland. The junior plays with an unorthodox sliding style, staying low to the turf, often diving to the turf and laying out across the crease. The style isn't one seen too often by the Warriors, which forced them to take more deliberate shots off the ground.

Moreland was credited with 16 saves in the loss, while Dina Hagigeorges needed just four saves to pick up the win for Andover.

"It was more, we were looking to lift the ball and get it in," Farnham said. "Yeah, she did slide a lot, lie down. But eventually, we got there."

Andover, Watertown punch tickets to finals

November, 17, 2010
NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. -- Through the grueling pace of a tense 60-minute game and more than halfway through the second overtime period, legs were growing weary during Tuesday’s Division I state field hockey semifinal between South sectional champion Walpole and North champion Andover, played at North Andover High.

Enter sophomore Meagan Keefe.

She’d only played a couple of minutes, spelling the starters and providing a boost of energy to the front line of the Golden Warriors’ attack. Then, eight minutes and 47 seconds into the second overtime period, Keefe tipped home Laura Dimitruk’s blast from the top of the penalty area, giving Andover a 2-1 victory and a chance to play for the state title.

“You’re always trying to be ready, staying in the game,” Keefe said. “Then, when coach tells you to go in, you’d better be ready.”

Keefe took full advantage of her opportunity after both teams had seen stellar opportunities go by the wayside in the first overtime.

Walpole (22-1-0) out shot Andover, 4-3, in the first overtime, but Golden Warriors goaltender Dina Hagigeorges was up to task. No save was finer than the senior’s effort to stack the pads on a breakaway attempt by vaunted Porkers striker Caroline Malone.

“At the break we had just had previously, one of my coaches told me that if anyone comes on a breakaway, you have to be aggressive,” Hagigeorges said. “I was thinking back on that and what I’d been taught before. When you approach breakaways, you can’t wait for the ball to come to you, so that’s what I did.”

Stopping Malone and the talented Walpole offense had been a priority for Andover (23-0-0) heading into the game.

“I think what we tried after watching [Malone] last week and going over some of the films was just to take the pass away from her and try to avoid them getting the ball to her,” Golden Warriors head coach Maureen Noone said. “If she does get the ball down low and you make a nice block tackle, then most of the time it works. I think the kids played supportive. If it got by one, then somebody else was there to pick up.”

Andover got off to a quick start as Jaclyn Torres buried and nice set up from Anne Farnham a little more than five minutes into the contest.

The Porkers answered midway through the first half on Hannah Feeley’s goal, assisted by Meghan Murphy off of a penalty corner, but were unable to find the back of the net again.

Walpole has now bowed out in the state semifinal round in each of the last four seasons, after winning the Division I crown in 2006.

Andover will play Central champion Algonquin -- which beat South Hadley, 2-1, on Tuesday -- for the state title at Worcester State College, Saturday at 10 a.m.


Bitten twice shy, Canton had experienced the same fate just a year before.

For the second straight season the Bulldogs fell, 1-0, to Watertown in the Division II state semifinal, the early game on the slate at North Andover on Tuesday. In 2009, the Red Raiders slipped past Canton by the same score en route to their 10th state field hockey championship.

“I think to start the girls were maybe a little nervous, they were a little too excited,” Bulldogs head coach Fior Griggin said. “Once we settled in, we had a lot of breaks. We had more shots than they did. We had more corners than they did. I thought we had more possession time than they did.”

Canton (20-1-1) carried play early, but Red Raiders goaltender Kayla Costa kicked out chance after chance to keep her team in it during the first half.

“I thought our team should have been more intense, matching them,” Watertown head coach Eileen Donahue said. “I thought we were lucky to hold against them.”

The Red Raiders emerged from the break a different team and immediately went on the offensive. Erika Kelly found Lauren Giardano for the game’s lone marker 1:12 into the second half.

Kelly likened her chemistry with Giradano to the attraction of magnets — they simply know how to find each other.

“I saw her running down the right side, so I just smashed it across field and that was it.”

Watertown had an excellent chance to strike again when Kelly squared off with Bulldogs goaltender Sarah Healey on a penalty stroke midway through the second stanza. Healy robbed Kelly with a blocker save on the shot that was ticketed for the nearside post.

“That was sick,” Griggin said of Healey’s save.

Canton rode the momentum their keeper provided them, pushing the Red Raiders to the end. The Bulldogs had seven penalty corner chances in the final 12 minutes of play, but were unable to connect.

Watertown will face Central champion Auburn (who beat Mohawk Trail, 2-1 in overtime) at Worcester State College, Saturday at noon with the chance at state title No. 11 on the line.