Middleboro field hockey coach hopeful despite tough start
MIDDLEBORO — Middleboro’s field hockey squad is off to a rocky start. The high school team suffered two shutout losses to Cohasset High School and Dartmouth High School, but coach Lisa Perry is still confident about the team’s chances moving forward.
“It’s two tough teams to start the season with, hopefully we can swing it around this week when we get back around to league play,” Perry said. “We’ve always been slow starters and we gradually get stronger as the season goes on.”
Middleboro started off the season on awkward footing, with a new goalie stepping into the position just a week before the first game after the previous goalie left the sport.
The new goalie, Yulianna Owens, was a field player and third goalie for junior varsity last year, Perry said.
“[Owens] is only a sophomore, but she’s done a fantastic job,” Perry said. “The general framing and general knowledge is up there, it’s just getting the game experience now.”
With a short preseason before the Sept. 7 opening game, Middleboro needs time to develop both its goalkeeping and its players’ conditioning. The Cohasset game, for instance, was much closer in the first half than the second, when players became more and more tired, Perry said.
“You can only do so much with a week and a half,” Perry said. “They’re gonna get faster and stronger and be more competitive for the whole 60 minutes.”
One key player for Middleboro will be center midfielder Casey Regan.
“If [Regan] is on, she makes things happen, she kinda controls the whole field, probably from the 25 up,” Perry said.
Middleboro finished third in the South Shore league last year, ending with a positive record of six wins, five losses and three ties. They were only beaten by Cohasset High School and Norwell High School.
Perry said the team should be more competitive against its League teams, including Norwell, Mashpee High School and Carver High School. Sandwich High School, on the other hand, will be a significant challenge as a non-league team.
In order to stay competitive, Middleboro will need to “gel” on offense better, and learn to move the ball down the field as a group, while staying in control, Perry said.
But at the same time, the team needs to remember why they’re playing in the first place.
“We probably need to have a little bit more fun too, me included,” Perry said. “Sometimes the more intense you get, the more you expect — we just need to be super supportive of each other as we get more and more into the season.”
Middleboro next plays an away game at Norwell High School Sept. 12, followed by a home game Sept. 14 against Mashpee High School.