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On Saturday, November 3, Harwood Union High School’s varsity field hockey team defeated U-32 in a close 1-0 game to become this fall’s Division II state champions.
This is the third year in a row that the Highlanders have won the state championship title and coach Heidi Hill couldn’t be prouder. “Harwood and U-32 is a big rivalry,” Hill said. “We played them twice during the regular season and came up short in both games,” she explained, even though the team played perhaps better than they’d been playing all season.
In leading up to the championship game, Hill spent time switching around her team’s lineup, so on Saturday the U-32 girls saw “a team they hadn’t really seen before,” Hill said.
“It was a very even game and could have gone either way,” Hill said, but in the end, the new lineup prevailed when Guusje Damsteeg (an exchange student from Holland) scored off of a corner in the last 10 minutes of the game, and Highlander goalie Meg Meany—who had three saves overall—stopped U-32 from scoring in the game’s final moments.
Other key players in Saturday’s game included forwards Haley Spittle, Emily Reagan, Katie Martin and Sarah Wry, who all contributed greatly to the Highlanders’ offensive runs and scoring opportunities. Defenders Ahn Jacobson, Guusje Damsteeg, Ashley Nelson, Rebecca Hamel, Chase Fortier and Jocelyn Noyes also demonstrated tremendous skill, making it difficult for any U-32 offense to break through their wall.
Hill is sad to be losing 11 seniors this year, but here’s hoping that the Highlanders’ field hockey state championship tradition can continue in the coming years!