North field hockey wins another state crown
It took two overtimes for the North Kingstown High School field hockey team to win and retain the Division I state championship on Sunday. North defeated Bay View, 1-0, in the title game of the Rhode Island Interscholastic League field hockey tournament held at Cranston Stadium.
With only 17 seconds remaining in the second overtime period, the lone goal was scored by Cassie-Raye Stuart with an assist from islander Megan Greene. With no score going into the second "sudden victory" 10-minute overtime period, Greene said they were just trying to keep their cool. "We knew if we got too riled up it wasn't going to do us any good so we just tried to keep everything together, play together, and work hard to get it done," Greene said.
Stuart and Greene led the Skippers in scoring all season, so it was no surprise they came up with the goal under pressure. "They play together nicely and they look for each other nicely, which is the piece of unselfishness that you always want. I had Alexis (Ward) in there with Megan (Greene) and they were passing. But, Alexis started getting tired so Cassie went out in that overtime with really fresh legs and she has great endurance so I knew that and was hoping that we would get a little breakaway," Coach Julie Maguire said.
"I knew Cassie was with me so we would get it done hopefully. Initially I was thinking I need to shoot the ball," Greene said about her breakaway.
Maguire went into the season anticipating that her team would do well and was confident they would make the semifinals, but was not so sure they would get the chance to defend their state crown. "I think what actually happened within the team itself is they started to play more like a team and less as individuals as the season went on and that is what really put them over the top."
As the defending state champions, North (12-1-3) shared the regular season title with Lincoln High School and North's only loss of the season was to Lincoln. The Skippers beat East Greenwich, 3-0, in its semifinal game on Oct. 29 where goals were scored by Stuart, Greene and Tory Dolce of Jamestown. Bay View is in its first season in Division I and North beat them twice in the regular season.
Junior Hannah Farrelly of Jamestown said, "Since we beat Bay View twice we knew we kind of had a little advantage over them, but they have been getting better and they switched goalies so we were still kind of nervous."
"I thought we played very well in the first half, but we had a lot of lulls in the second half and we lost a lot of our scoring opportunities," Maguire said. She credits the Bay View goalie. "We had some nice scoring opportunities ,but their goalie did an outstanding job," Maguire said.
North's defense was relentless with outstanding performances by goalie Melissa Barry and islander Meghan Farrelly, a senior. "Defensively, I thought they communicated well, but I think Hannah (Farrelly) really stepped up. All those Katie Colucci (Bay View) big hits that were going down the field, Hannah would not only come up with it but carry it 10 or 15 yards and then distribute it to her teammates. So I thought Hannah played the game of her life," Maguire said.
"We are pretty used to overtimes. We have played them against East Greenwich and Barrington so we are used to playing seven on seven. We knew we could do it and wanted to do it so bad," Hannah Farrelly said.
Greene, Stuart and Stacey Scott were named to the All- Tournament Team and first year varsity player Hannah Farrelly was named North Kingstown's tourney MVP.
Other islanders on the state champion team include Cate Brennan, Rory Kirby, and Danielle Perez.