High schools


Unbeaten start not entirely satisfying for Walpole field hockey

Walpole High coach Jen Quinn addressed her team during Monday’s 1-1 Bay State Conference tie at Wellesley.

The scene was telling.

Wellesley High players celebrated Tuesday’s 1-1 tie against visiting Walpole — their second draw against their Bay State Conference rival this season — with a team photo.

On the other side, one Walpole player approached family members in tearful exasperation. Another sat at a picnic table with her father dissecting the game and venting her frustration.


Both the Raiders (9-0-2) and Porkers (7-0-2), the defending Division 1 state champion, left the field unbeaten.

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But not with the same feel-good experience.

“Actually, I feel like we just gave [the game] to them,” said Jen Quinn, in her first season as head coach at Walpole. “The first half, we played OK, we were just struggling to execute and get going.

“The second half we were just God awful, they couldn’t pull it together.”

Wellesley outplayed Walpole most of the afternoon.


However, in the closing minutes, the Porkers nearly stole a win but were denied on a pair of acrobatic saves by Wellesley senior goalie Natalie Boyle.

“That was probably the only shining moment of the whole second half,” she said. “Other than that it really wasn’t a good game for us.”

Senior captain Celia Walsh added, “I don’t know why but we couldn’t get past their defense. We kept forcing it up the same side.”

Wellesley held a 7-3 advantage in penalty corners, an example of the inability of the Porkers to open up scoring chances.

Walpole mustered just 12 shots.


“I’ve said before they have to play like a team, and they just really did not,” Quinn said. “They were out there as 11 individual players trying to do their own thing.”

Walsh said the Porkers need to be a first- and second-half team.

“We need to be a first and second half team, good all around,” Walsh said. She also agreed with her coach’s assessment, pointing out that in a signature 7-0 win against a then unbeaten Needham team, the team was much more encouraging in its on-field communication.

“We play so good when we empower each other,” said Walsh, pointing to a 7-0 win over previously-unbeaten Needham in which the on-field communication was flowing.

“I think just like anybody else would, you get a little frustrated at times.”

The Porkers, she said, need to be more aggressive.

“If we can continue to just power through and get the ball up and work with it, I think we’ll be good going forward,” she said.

Walpole will face another huge challenge on Monday against fellow unbeaten Andover.

Stick Chatter

 After an 15-0-3 regular-season run last fall, Somerset-Berkley has been, shall we say, overpowering in a 10-0 start, outscoring opponents, 81-1..

Yes, 81-1.

A switch from the Eastern Athletic League to the South Coast Large, according to 22-year coach Jen Crook , has accounted for a few lopsided scores.

“Well so far, this is awful for me to say, but we haven’t really been challenged,” said Crook.

The Blue Devils’ closest margin victory? A 4-0 win over Old Rochester nearly a month ago.

Somerset-Berkley secured a postseason berth with Monday’s 11-0 win over Fairhaven.

“My team is fun to watch,” Crook said. “They’re young — I only have two seniors in the starting lineup, but we’re fast, and we’re smart.”

The S-B roster includes two boys, including Crook’s son, Lucas, a sophomore who had tallied 18 goals and 21 assists through 10 games.

“[The boys] have played since seventh grade,” she said. “My son has been playing with me for a longer time, we’d always play in the driveway when he was growing up, he grew to love the sport.”

Since 2013, the number of boys playing field hockey in the Bay State has increased incrementally every year, from 21 in ‘13 to 49 last fall.

“I know that in some people’s mind that takes away from the girls, but I have girls who are more talented than [the boys],” added the coach.

Junior Megan Salsinha is certainly a standout, with 23 goals and 16 assists in 10 games.

“She’s pretty to watch,” Crook said.

The coach’s daughter, Cameron , a freshman, is also an impact player on the attack.

“She is my starting center-mid, she plays like a veteran, nothing fazes her,” Crook said. “She’s not afraid.”

As for trying to coach both her son and daughter, Crook says it’s been smooth sailing so far.

“So far, things have been fine, on the field,” she said with a laugh. “When we get in the car and home, those things change.”

Patriot League leader Scituate (8-1 overall, 6-0) is trying to build off last year’s 12-2-3 finish.

“As a whole we have worked well together,” coach Andrew Barlow said. “It is very noticeable how much work and effort the girls put in during the offseason.”

The Sailors graduated nine starters but welcomed back the reigning MVP in the Fisher Division, senior captain Hannah Sullivan. Senior Hanna Lydon has a team-leading 10 points.

“She is constantly on the post looking for the deflection or rebound and does a real nice job keeping her stick down,” Barlow said.

In net, senior captain Christine MacCune is a four-year starter.

“When you are only allowing one goal per game it gives us a great chance at winning,” Barlow said.

The other captains are seniors Corey Kelleher and Caroline Quinn.

“These girls have provided leadership and relationships throughout the program, not only this year so far, but since they began playing together as freshman,” Barlow said.

Advancing deep in the tourney is a goal. But more importantly, developing character and life skills is a higher priority.

“Sure, winning is fun, and that is a bonus,” Barlow said. “But, the relationships you make and the communication between peers and adults is what will really help everyone be successful in the future.”

 At 6-3, defending Division 2 South champion Foxborough has lost more games than all of last season (17-2-1).

“We’ve had some holes to fill, but I feel like with the returning players that we have, we’ve done a really good job of stepping up and making sure that we have a solid team again,” coach Melissa Bordieri said.

Coming off such a successful season, Bordieri notes her players aren’t taking anything for granted.

“One of the things we try to focus on is taking each game as it comes and try not to look too far ahead,” She said. “We have our goals set, but we take it day by day and game by game.”

One of her senior captain, Catherine Luciano , did not start playing the sport until last season.

“She’s just one of those athletes that can really do well in anything. She’s very strong physical, very fast, and has been a huge part of our offense.

Players of the Week

Delia Lee, Braintree – The sophomore registreed four goals in a 8-0 Bay State Conference win over Brookline.

Megan Salsinha, Somerset Berkley – In an 11-0 win over Durfee, the high-scoring junior (19 goals, 11 assists this season) netted a hat trick for the 9-0 Blue Raiders.

Eileen Manning, Needham – A junior, she tallied two goals and an assist as the Bay State Carey-leading Rockets (8-1) toppled Framingham, 4-1.

Clare Molony-Kolenberg, Winchester – The junior connected for a pair of goals as the Sachems (8-0-1) defeated Middlesex League rival Wilmington, 4-1.

Alex Rodia, Walpole– She netted three goals as the Rebels (7-0-2) defeated Norwood 6-1.

Games to Watch

 Thursday, Belmont at Watertown (3:30 p.m.) — The seventh-ranked Raiders (7-1) have been rolling since their streak-ending setback at Winchester a month ago. Will the visiting Marauders (5-0-1) be able to halt their momentum?

 Thursday, Plymouth North at Scituate (3:30 p.m.) — Kristen DiGravio’s Eagles were dealt their first defeat, 3-0, at Hanover on Tuesday. They’ll seek to bounce back against elite goalie Christine MacCune and the Sailors (7-1).

 Friday, Falmouth at Dennis-Yarmouth (4 p.m.) — Each squad is coming off a deep tourney runs in the South tourney. They’ll square off for Atlantic Coast League supremacy.

 Friday, Lincoln-Sudbury at Concord-Carlisle (4 p.m.) — L-S is off to a 6-1 start. But the Patriots (4-2-4) will have home field advantage.

 Monday, Walpole at Andover (11 a.m.) — The second-ranked Golden Warriors (11-0) and third-ranked Porkers (7-0-2) test their unbeaten streaks in a Columbus Day matinee.

Correspondent Ryan Stolz also contributed to this story. He can be reached at ryanssox@yahoo.com. Ryan Hathaway can be reached atryan.hathaway@globe.com.