Heading into Sunday's South Sectional quartefinal match-up against Oliver Ames, the 17-2 Sandwich field hockey team had a reputation for being unstoppable at home. In fact, the Blue Knights hadn't lost a home game all year.
Unfortunately for OA, Sandwich lived up to it's reputation.
Oliver Ames fell to the No. 3 seed, 2-0, and ended its season with a 16-4-2 overall record.
"I thought we did pretty good getting out to a fast start but we couldn’t get the ball into the net be consistent," OA coach Janice Sundell said. "Sandwich kind of wore us down a bit and took over and we were on our heals for the rest of the game."
Sandwich drew first blood with a Erin Gendreau goal less than 10 minutes into the game. With 11 minutes left in the first half, Maggie Layo scored again for the Blue Knights to give them a 2-0 lead.
The two Sandwich goals were part of a dominant first half that saw 11 Sandwich corners and only three Oliver Ames corners.
Still, led by a solid group of 13 seniors, the Tigers stayed strong until the end and held Sandwich scoreless in the second half.
Sundell said seniors Maureen Meyer, Amanda Bragel, Taylor Robohm, Mia Brugnoli-Ensin, Brooke Simoneau, Jackie Healy, Katie Stallings, Katie Eldemery, Brooke Imbornone, Alecia Alleyne, Lauren Jackson, Imani Parks, and Olivia Meade have been integral to the program in the last few years.
"They’ve been terrific," she said. "I’ve relied on them all year long and they’ve been great mentors to our 9th 10th graders who make up the bulk of our team and who will be our team next year. They’ve been terrific as leaders. We are going to miss them terribly."
The Tigers will move forward with a roster that will consist of mostly juniors and sophomores next year.
"It’s been a great season for OA," Sundell said. "There’s nothing to be ashamed of with 16 wins so we’re looking to improve upon that and bring our program up even more next year."