With many families of players on campus for Family Weekend, it was a great occasion to hold our annual banquet in honor of the team’s graduating seniors. Many thanks to all the parents who helped host this wonderful event which was filled with great food, lots of laughs, and many tears as well. After Coach DiNardo’s eloquent and poetic remarks and emotional tributes from our juniors, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. Not surprising, given this remarkable group of seniors and the strong bonds that have developed on this team over the past four years. Though focused on the seniors, the event was also a celebration of the team as a whole and the positive role of sports in shaping and strengthening the lives of young athletes. We are all very fortunate to be part of this team!
The game against Pomfret was certainly a tale of two halves. After a closely-matched and low scoring first half, the Big Green was able to open the game up with a flurry of goals that sent the team to a 15-5 victory and a 10-2 record for the season. Pomfret came to play and had a number of strong athletes on their squad, and we realized rather quickly that this would be a very competitive match-up. Pomfret enjoyed much success on the draw and had a distinct advantage in ball possession throughout the first half. The Deerfield defense was up to the challenge, though, as it routinely shut down attacking players and inside feeds and eventually forced turnovers. Steady and strong play from each defender, as well as some key saves by goalie Maggie Tydings, held the Pomfret offense in check and a limited production of 3 goals.
Offensively, the Big Green played well and created consistent opportunities to score. However, we had difficulty converting on many of those openings in the Pomfret defense as we struggled with missed shots, shot placement, an aggressive Pomfret goalie and unforced turnovers along the way. That being said, we managed to pull ahead to a 5-3 halftime lead with some great individual efforts and well executed plays. While there was some frustration at the half, there was also much confidence in the huddle and an understanding that our offense was just getting started.
The fun, however, still had to wait. The first ten minutes of the second half felt very much like the first. Pomfret continued to win draws and control the ball well, and after converting some free positions they managed to tie the game up at 5-5. This proved to be a telling moment for the Big Green, as we could have either played tight and nervous lacrosse or flipped the switch into what we do best – play fast and have fun. Proving how much we have grown as a team this season, the DA girls chose the latter, and flip the switch they certainly did! Within the span of five minutes, Deerfield lit up the scoreboard with ten unanswered goals on set plays and transitions. Perhaps it was all the fitness training paying off, more wins on the draw, or slightly more accurate passes and shots, but more likely it was a combination of all three that opened the scoring floodgates and washed away any remaining challenge from Pomfret.
For her great play from start to finish, Mary Edmonds was named the Play Tough Player of the Game by captains Margaret Williams and Bailey Cheetham.
Next stop is at Berkshire on Wednesday.