After arriving home at midnight from New Hampton the night before, Deerfield Hockey knew that they would face an especially tough challenge from a good Taft team at home on Friday evening. We got off to a fabulous start, as Meghan Halloran ’17 scored thirteen seconds into the game, taking a beautiful pass from Jenna Greenbaum ’17 and finding the back of the net. Mary Edmonds ’19 also earned an assist on the play. It went downhill quickly from there, however, as it immediately became clear that our tired legs were creating tons of mental mistakes. We struggled to do the little things well, turned the puck over all over the ice, and lost most of the 50-50 puck battles. Still, good teams find a way to win games even when they are struggling, and that’s exactly what happened against Taft. After the visitors scored two goals to take the lead, Edmonds tied the score by tipping in a Halloran shot (Livi Messina ’17 earned the second assist). We then took the lead halfway through the second period on the power play, when Ali Fujiyoshi ’19 found Aurora Devereaux ’20 down low, who quickly spun and fired a rocket short side. We headed into the third period up 3-2, with goalie Liv Mikesell ’20 getting most of the credit for this lead, as she made save after save to keep her team in the game. The third period was a different story, thankfully, as we finally settled in and played smart, composed, and simple hockey. Ali Dougal ’18 made it a two goal lead with a blast from the point (assist to Devereaux), and we didn’t allow Taft to mount much offensive pressure down the stretch. This was not a pretty win, but the team showed tremendous character, grit, and resilience in going 2-0-1 in three tough games this week. We will look to keep the momentum going against Pomfret at home on Wednesday. Many thanks to the students, alums, and parents for the tremendous support, and to the Dougals for the mac and cheese, pasta, fruit, drinks, and famous chocolate covered strawberries after the game.