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By Mike Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
Coming off of a 10-7-1 regular season and a preliminary round victory against Plymouth South in the Division II South playoffs, Dover-Sherborn Regional High field hockey returns a significant core of talent and appears poised to take the next step with a deep playoff run in 2019.
In their search of success, head coach Dara Johnson says she and her team hope to utilize the skill they possess and will look to improve upon their speed while implementing some tight defensive schemes.
“Dover-Sherborn field hockey has always been pretty well-skilled on the field,” said DS head coach Dara Johnson. “What we need to elevate is our intensity and our hustle. Some teams don’t have the skills but they can outrun us, so we are definitely looking to offset that with good defense.”
Headlining the Raiders this season will be three senior captains: last season's point leader Payton Ahola, Abby Gramer and Sarah Lamson. All of the captains received praise from their head coach when asked about their leadership skills.
“These three captains, from the time they were nominated, have been such strong leaders,” said Johnson. “They put together a summer league program over in Franklin and are unifying this team. They are delightful student-athletes.”
Other notable additions to Dover-Sherborn field hockey this season include two of its assistant coaches and former DS stars, with Abby Shannon and Molly McGill hopping on board.
“It’s great to get Molly [McGill] back, because she was a strong defender for our team and played at Holy Cross,” said Johnson. “I’m looking to her to manage a lot of the defensive drills, because I think more attack-minded. And Abby Shannon was the goalie here on our first Tri-Valley League championship team, so to have her back coaching goalies takes a lot off me, because I forget about goalies sometimes. So, those two coaches coming in the program are a big help.”
DS will begin the 2019 season on September 4 at home against Medway before traveling to rival Medfield on September 6.
For funny and insightful sports analysis, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter @fLAno0.