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|Field Hockey hitting stride as tournament nears|
|Monday, 27 October 2008 00:00|
The strategy of Coach Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots has always been to peak at the end of the season, just in time for the play-offs.
Duxbury field hockey Coach Pam Manley seems to have taken the same approach, as her Lady Dragons lost just one game in their last 13 with post-season play starting this week.
While Duxbury finished with an impressive overall record of 10-4-4, and a Patriot League record of 9-1-2, Manley feels her team must step it up offensively if they plan on going deep into the tournament.
â€œWe had a good season, but it was heartbreaking getting those losses and ties,â€ said Manley. â€œAll four of our losses were by one goal. Itâ€™s hard to admit the ties and losses were good, but we played well. Our biggest problem was finishing.â€
That problem became magnified during last weekâ€™s busy schedule when Duxbury lost (1-0) to Marshfield on a last-minute goal, and followed that up with a 0-0 tie with Hingham in a game they dominated from start to finish.
Manley knows you have to score to win, so she changed her offensive strategy in Thursdayâ€™s stunning 5-1 win over Notre Dame of Hingham.
â€œOur defense has been strong, and our offense is fast and aggressive. But we just havenâ€™t been clicking on the offensive end, so I decided to play with an extra forward. It certainly made us far more effective around the net, and it looks like itâ€™s a perfect time for this to happen.â€
The change paid big benefits early, as Tracy Clough put Duxbury ahead 1-0 just two minutes into the game, only to see the hosts knot the score 10 minutes later leaving the game tied at halftime.
The second half was anything but an evenly matched affair, as the Lady Dragonsâ€™ newfound offense dominated from the opening face-off.
Junior Chandler Vieulimier scored what proved to be the winning goal three minutes after the second-half face-off, while Mimi Smith (2) and Lila Haffey added to the rout.
â€œMy point was to create a more offensive-minded line-up and put the ball in the net,â€ said Manley. â€œWe have a strong defense with some very athletic kids who are fast, so we have the talent to push the ball up and get back on defense when we have to.â€
â€œIf it ainâ€™t broke, donâ€™t fix itâ€, as Manley went with her same strategy on Friday in a 3-0 shutout win over Scituate.
A Haffey penalty stroke roughly ten minutes in and a Clough goal near the end of the first half staked Duxbury to a 2-0 halftime lead.
Haffey would find the back of the net once again, when she unloaded a blast from just inside the arc to complete the Lady Dragon scoring.
On Monday morning at the MIAA headquarters in Franklin, the seedings were announced for the start of this weekâ€™s tournament action. Duxbury was named the #12 seed in the South Sectionals and will play Sandwich on Friday at 2:30 pm in Sandwich.