2017 Fall Sports Round-Up: Marauders Make Postseason Runs In All Sports
The 2017 fall sports season proved to be an eventful one for the Marauders. Every varsity team that Hanover fielded made a postseason run, with the golf team emerging with a championship title and the field hockey team finishing as the Division II runner-up. Read more for each sport below!
Cross Country Running (Girls and Boys):
The girls and boys cross country teams battled through injuries and illness to finish the season with high places in New Hampshire’s Division II. Both teams also qualified for the interdivisional Meet of Champions in Nashua, to which Division II may only send its top six teams.
The girls team enjoyed several high placements early in the season, including first place at their season opener in Gilford and third place at the Manchester Invitational. Junior Leila Trummel and senior Elsa Nordstrom, who ran with season best times of 18:44 and 19:47.8 respectively (both at the Meet of Champions), frequently led the seven-member varsity squad.
However, some difficulties accumulated is the season progressed. “I think the team was a little bit different because a lot of girls had injuries and illnesses,” said Nordstrom, who is also a captain. Still, the team pulled through to finish with sixth place out of nineteen in Division II at the state meet in Manchester on October 28th and 13th place out of 18 at the Meet of Champions the week after. Trummel even went on to compete the New England Championships in Belfast, ME, as in individual; she won 47th place in a field of 258 runners. “I think we all a good performance in the end,” said Nordstrom.
The boys team came to defy expectations this season. In the words of XC head coach Eric Picconi, “The boys were certainly a surprise; to finish in the top ten in the state without any consideration was a .” The team consistently placed in the top half of participating teams at meets, including at the Manchester Invitational (where they placed fifth out of 38) and at the Maine Meet of Champions (where they placed 6th of 68). The season culminated with a the team winning third place out of 21 in Division II at the state meet and 8th of 18 place at the Meet of Champions. This was an improvement from last season, during which the boys placed 8th in their division and failed to make the Meet of Champions. “We were much better than last year,” said captain Charlie Goodrich, adding that “having four seniors on varsity helped.” Fellow captain David Wilson also stated that the team’s underclassmen entered the season with more experience and were able to contribute more.
Top runners from both squads relied on their teammates to take their place if they became ill. “A team is composed of interchangeable parts,” said Picconi, who explained that some of the younger varsity runners had to step up their game when their older teammates could not race. The junior varsity also provided support. “There was no shortage of eagerness,” Picconi stated. “A number of JV runners were ready to assume their posts.”
The 2017 season also saw new developments on the coaching side. Grace Rodriguez, a 2009 graduate of Hanover High and former runner on the team (including when the girls team went to the 2007 Nike Team Nationals), joined as an assistant coach. Picconi told the Broadside that she served as both a “role model” and “somebody who could step in to help.” The team also bade farewell to another coach. At the end of the season, assistant Coach Scott Stone announced that he would be leaving the team after five years of coaching. He will be remembered for teaching key exercises like dynamic stretching and strength exercises (particularly core), and will be missed.
The Hanover field hockey season finished with a state championship one call away. After finishing the season 10-2-2, the Marauders entered the playoffs with a number 4 seed. After a first-round bye, they defeated 5th seeded Kingswood 3-0, and then went on to beat the 1st seeded team Souhegan, 2-0. Then came the final against Windham. The weather did not hold out on the Sunday the championship was held, and at 5:00 the game started in the pouring rain. Despite the cold and wet conditions, Hanover still played a great game. Windham scored early on their first corner. Hanover players disputed this goal, and a later reviewing of game footage showed them to be correct. The referee did not agree, and kept the goal. Hanover then kept it close and spent most of the first half near the Windham goal. The second half was more even, with each team not allowing the other a goal. At one point, Diana Schwarz, on a breakaway, went around the goalie and shot, but a Windham defender slid in for a save. Finally, with zero seconds on the clock, Hanover had a corner to send the game into overtime. Hanover scored, in a seemingly spectacular end of game, but an official waived the goal, saying it was too high. Hanover may have lost the finals, but they still had an amazing season and we have high hopes for a championship win next year.
Nine straight wins, including an undefeated (8-0) regular season. Despite a finishing the season with a disappointing loss to Bow in the NHIAA Division II semifinal, the Hanover High varsity football team had a strong performance in 2017.
The Marauders (9-1 after their semifinal loss, the only one the season) were a dominant team in their division, winning many of their games by large margins; in five of their eight regular season games, they scored 40 points or more, with the widest point spread coming in a 48-6 victory against Gilford-Belmont. The closest game the Marauders played was a 21-14 win against Kennett. Other season highlights might be 41-6 victory against rival Lebanon or the 22-12 win where, in the words of quarterback and defensive back Alex Mosenthal, the Marauders “finally got over that hump that is John Stark,” the team that spoiled Hanover’s hopes of a perfect regular season record last year.
Sadly, Hanover was unable to ride its wave to the D-II finals. Although the 4th seeded Marauders won a convincing quarterfinal against 5th seeded Hollis-Brookline, they were unable to take down the 8th seeded Bow Falcons in the semifinal, which Hanover lost 19-7. Bow went on to fall in the final to 2nd seeded Plymouth the week after in a 27-8 game.
Still, there were reasons for the Marauders to celebrate this year’s fall season. “We definitely performed better,” said Mosenthal. He pointed the football team’s success from 2016 (which finished with a 8-2 record and also fell to Bow in the semifinal) as something that gave the team confidence. “We expected to win… and we had playoff experience from last year,” he said. Mosenthal also recognized the role of Hanover’s powerful defense, adding that Coach Ivanoski is a really good defensive coordinator.”
Lineman and fellow captain Michael Staiger largely agreed, but also emphasized that the team had a larger number of players than previous year, especially compared to his freshman year. He credited this rise with changes in the football team’s reputation. “There’s been a shift in how the team acts,” Staiger said. “Only a couple years ago, there was a sense of negativity around the football team. I think [the current seniors on the team] have done a lot more to create a more inclusive environment, while [head coach Sam Cavallaro] has talked to parents and younger kids and gotten them more excited about football.”
Golf (Boys and Girls):
Hanover High’s golf program was the powerhouse team of New Hampshire’s Division II in 2017. The boys team not only won the Division II championship (the twentieth championship title won by the golf program) after placing first of ten at the D-II state tournament in Rochester, NH, on October 12th, but also went undefeated, finishing the season with a 36-0 record. Additionally, six Marauders qualified to play in the boys individual championship.
Senior Phin Choukas, who placed second in the individual championship, made it clear that the team’s successes did not come without discipline. “We practice everyday, which other teams don’t do,” he said. “I think everyone was a lot more serious about it this year,” Choukas added. “There were people playing during the summer too.” Senior David Lehmann echoed this sentiment, saying that coach John Donnelly “put in two hours a day to make sure we were playing.” Donnelly’s emphasis on good sportsmanship (for which the Marauders won an award) likely helped to instill professionalism too.
Other factors played a role as well. “We definitely had good team chemistry,” said Choukas. The presence of 15 players helped too, especially when the match schedule became tight in late September. “We were able to sub out easily and still be really successful,” stated Lehmann.
The girls golf team also enjoyed major victories this season. Freshman Natalie Morhun distinguished herself by winning first place at the NHIAA Girls Golf Championship, followed by junior Marta Sanchez (who tied for fourth place), and sophomore Meredith Morhun (Natalie’s sister, who earned 14th place).
With all that said, expect so tough competition for Hanover High next year; the Marauders will be moving up to Division I.
Another great season of boy’s varsity soccer has come to an end. This season, the average player was younger than usual. The team had a rough start in the season, starting with a 2-4 win-loss record. But they pulled it together and won 10 games in a row. Their final record for the season was 13 wins, 4 losses, and 1 tie. Compared to recent years, this record is around conventional performance.
In the first game of the playoffs, the team beat Nashua North 5-1. In the second game against Pinkerton, a 0-0 tie occurred. Though at the last moment, the referee discounted a potential game-winning goal scored by Senior Captain Sam Pych. The two teams went into overtime, and Hanover was still tied with Pinkerton. So they went into penalty kick shootouts, which Hanover lost in the end. Although the result of their last game in the playoffs was unfortunate, the team responded in a calm and composed manner. This headline of the playoff game exhibits the team’s great maturity and sportsmanship, making them great contenders for the 2017 Division 1 sportsmanship award.
Many promising aspects this year reflect themselves towards the future. The team covered a greater progress from start to finish than usual because of there were less seniors helping the team. For next year, Coach Grabill projects that their team will be stronger and better because many experienced players will not graduate in 2018.
Despite losing to Bow during semifinals, Hanover girls’ soccer has had an incredible season, with a record of 16-3-2 overall (that’s wins-losses-ties, for anyone who didn’t know.) The team’s incredible chemistry and hard work made the defeat even more crushing. Ellie Stannard says that, as a freshman, her experience on the team was “really great.” The team really connected, which, says Stannard, “made the loss even more disappointing because we wanted to win for each other.” The team lost the semifinals on penalty kicks, and the game was incredibly close, which was frustrating for the team, especially the six girls for whom this season was their last playing HHS soccer. Although the team is losing some great players, we can still look forward to next season, and to the team that will come back, stronger than ever.
They may not have gotten far in the playoffs, but the girls varsity soccer team certainly saw development in the 2017 season.
The team finished the regular season with six wins and 10 losses before being eliminated from the NHIIAA Division II playoffs (where they were the 12th seed) in an 0-3 loss to fifth seeded Portsmouth High School during the first round. The improvement is evident when this year’s performance when compared to the previous year, in which the Marauders went 4-12 and missed the playoffs. “Our record was significantly better,” commented captain Sophia Wheelan. It was a good way for head coach Megan Dudek to start her coaching career in Hanover.
What is more, the volleyball team overcame many obstacles. The 2017 season presented challenges, such adjusting to the changes brought about the arrival of a new coach. Adding to the difficulties were player injuries, particularly those to the ankle, which affected key players like Claire Yegian and Shannon Walsh. Yet, despite these circumstances, the Marauders “pulled through and came together as a team” in the words of captain Bella Collins, who added that the “great bond between the JV and varsity teams” helped the team very much.
Wheelan, an outgoing captain, added that she is optimistic about the volleyball team’s future prospects. “I have a lot of hope for the program in the future, she said. “We finally have enough funding to get three teams, so we’ll have small teams.” She also mentioned potential plans to allow students from Lebanon High School, which does not have its own volleyball team, to join Hanover High’s team. “A long time in the future, a long term goal is to get Lebanon kids to join our team; there’s potential for more talent.”