By Mike Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
It’s been nearly two years since Dover-Sherborn varsity field hockey captured the 2019 Division II state championship. Last season, the MIAA condensed its season down to a limited number of conference-only games and the format was changed from 11-on-11 to seven-on-seven’s. No postseason was played.
The uncertainty of each day, with positive COVID tests and contact tracing having the potential to derail all plans, made it difficult for many fall athletic teams in 2020 to get into a consistent rhythm. While field hockey players were still able to play their beloved sport, it was far from a full and enjoyable experience.
In 2021, DS field hockey players will finally get their shot at defending their title in the proper manner.
Abby Wayne was a freshman on the field hockey team in 2019 when the Raiders won the state championship. Now a junior, Wayne will look to help the Raiders back to the state tournament to defend their crown.
"It’s definitely weird for all of us not after having not played in the tournament last year," said Wayne. "Winning states as a freshman set such high expectations for me. I haven’t experienced a state tournament with this team without winning, and I think it drives me to push myself and teammates to win."
Leading DS in 2021 will be two senior co-captains: center midfielder Nicole Mayer and goalie Loren Root. Both were sophomores on the 2019 title-winning team.
"We have been trying to keep the energy of the championship since we won," said Wayne. "Even though we couldn’t play a tournament last season, we still looked at the season very competitively. We are excited to get back into 11-on-11s this year and are excited to get the ideal groove down again. I think playoffs this year will be absolutely electric. The captains have been prepping for the season all summer and I think they can lead the team to greatness and an awesome fall."
For funny and incisive sports analysis as well as video highlights of games, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter and Instagram handles @flano0.