Tiverton field hockey falls 3-1 in championship shootout

Repeat title try dashed

Story by Kristen Ray, photos by Rich Dionne
Posted 11/8/19

The game was going to be a battle, they knew, the final score close. But unfortunately for the Tiverton Tigers varsity field hockey team, they were unable to reclaim their Division III state …

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Tiverton field hockey falls 3-1 in championship shootout

Repeat title try dashed

Posted

The game was going to be a battle, they knew, the final score close. But unfortunately for the Tiverton Tigers varsity field hockey team, they were unable to reclaim their Division III state championship title after falling 3-1 to the Pilgrim Patriots this past Sunday, November 3. 

Stepping onto the field that night, head coach Lauren Tavares knew that her girls had one advantage over the Patriots. Many were part of last year’s championship roster when Tiverton defeated Toll Gate in a 3-2 overtime win. 

“We have the one up because we’ve been on that stage, and Pilgrim hadn’t,” she said. 

The Patriots, however, had a potent weapon of their own; their defense – “the toughest in the league,” Ms. Tavares said – they had shut the Tigers out throughout the regular season, and Sunday was no different. Tiverton’s offense forced only four corner opportunities, with minimal shots on net. 

“That was probably the biggest barrier we had to get over,” Ms. Tavares said. “We just couldn’t do it.”

The Tigers defense – led by senior fullbacks Cherilyn DeFreitas and Asha Taber – however, kept them in the game, with senior goalie Emily Caraveo stopping all five shots she faced. The teams remained scoreless through regulation and two overtimes, forcing a shootout – a first for the Tigers, and the moment, Ms. Tavares said, that she became truly worried about her girls’ ability to pull off a win.  

“You can’t recreate that in practice,” she said. 

As if that weren’t stressful enough, Tiverton faced controversy in their inaugural shootout event; their first shooter, Elise Flanagan, was directed to the wrong starting line, and only after Pilgrim had scored three times and had already begun celebrating, was she allowed another attempt. Missing the first time, Flanagan cashed in on her second go-around, but their next shooter, Emma Franklin, was unable to get the ball past Pilgrim’s Sara Langevin. 

“At the end of the day, Pilgrim was that stronger team,” Ms. Tavares said. “They outplayed us.” 

Despite the loss, Ms. Tavares is proud of her girls for once again making it this far. Though she is graduating nine seniors, Ms. Tavares already has confidence in next year’s starting roster. Freshman forward Cassie Taber emerged late in the season, earning five clutch goals for the Tigers. She also has “full faith” in Casey Michaels, who will be taking over for Caraveo in net. Coupled with strong returning defenders Angelin Santerre and Grace Peckham, Ms. Tavares said they have a solid starting off point, and will assess the challenges from there. 

“Whatever our areas of weakness seem to be, those will be what we work on first next season.”

Graduating seniors include Taber, DeFreitas, Caraveo, Franklin, Margo Souza, Jill DaSilva, Abbi Poland, Lauren Bowdren and Ava Erickson.

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.