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Alex Hall's NH College Notebook: Field hockey success is all in the family for the Deschaines

October 08. 2017 2:48AM
St. Michael's College senior back Jenna Deschaine, from Claremont, was an All Northeast-10 second team pick last season. (James Buck)

CONSIDERING the careers her mom and sister each had with the St. Michael's College field hockey team, Jenna Deschaine admits she feels a certain amount of pressure.

Her mom, Patty Porter Deschaine, a forward, graduated from St. Michael's in 1989 with 99 career points (43 goals, 13 assists) and was inducted into the school's athletic hall of fame in 1994.

Her older sister, Megan, a midfielder, graduated in 2016 with 48 career points (16 goals, 16 assists) and as a two-time All-Northeast-10 Conference selection.

Jenna and Megan played together at St. Michael's for two seasons and in high school at Stevens of Claremont under their mom.

"I've felt that kind of pressure for a long time," Jenna said. "My sister and I in high school would always be competing with each other the same kind of way we did in college. I definitely think there is pressure but I know no matter what my mom and sister are going to be proud of me.

"It's a good pressure, not really a negative pressure that affects me in a bad way."

Jenna, now a senior, is in her second season at St. Michael's without Megan on the team. The sisters still talk frequently about the game, though, and Megan comes to games occasionally.

While Jenna would like to still be playing alongside Megan, her sister's graduation has had far from a negative impact on her performance.

Jenna, a back, was named to the All-NE-10 second team, served as an assistant captain and logged six points (two goals, two assists) last season.

The Claremont product led the Purple Knights in points (11) and goals (five) entering their game against Stonehill on Saturday. She is one of the Purple Knights' three captains this season.

"I love playing with my sister. She's such a great player and we kind of have almost telepathy on the field," Jenna said. "Even though I'd love to have her on the field, I'm glad I get an opportunity to show that I can do similar things that she did, I guess."

Jenna credited her 11 points and five goals entering Saturday, both of which marked single-season career-highs, to putting away her looks from the far post on corner opportunities. While she struggled to score on corners last season, she has not had that problem this year.

"I'm in a similar position I was last year....but I wasn't able to tip a lot of balls home," Jenna said. "This year, I've gained a better sense of how to do that."

Jenna's scoring outburst has not been her only on-field contribution to the team. She also anchors a defensive unit that has a great deal of chemistry after spending the past few seasons playing together.

The Purple Knights, who entered Saturday 4-6 overall and 1-4 in NE-10 play, owned a 2.08 goals against average over their first 10 games.

St. Michael's has not qualified for the NE-10 tournament since 2008, something Jenna and fellow seniors Micaela Hajduk and Jackie Matthews are motivated to change this season. If the Purple Knights can make the conference playoffs, Deschaine feels they have as good a chance as anyone to capture the crown.

"We all want to make playoffs. I think we've wanted that for so long," Jenna said. "And even if we don't, it's matter of getting better. I think our tactical game has improved so much over the past four years and I think we can take a lot of pride in that."

Field hockey

Endicott College senior Emylee Wood was chosen as the Commonwealth Coast Conference defensive player of the week this past week. The defender from Kensington anchored a Gulls back line that surrendered just two goals over a 3-0 week.

Plymouth State University sophomore Kate McPherson was named both the Little East Conference defensive player of the week and to the Synapse Sports Division III weekly honor roll this past week. The defender from Conway helped the Panthers shut out both Southern Maine and Western Connecticut State and also scored a goal in each of her team's two victories last week.

Keene State College sophomore Jensyn Dandeneau was chosen as the LEC offensive player of the week this past week. The forward from Berlin logged 14 points (six goals, two assists) over a 2-0 week for the Owls. Dandeneau tallied two consecutive hat tricks and scored two game-winning goals over the two victories.

Simmons College senior Julie Saltamartini was named the Great Northeast Athletic Conference player of the week this past week. The forward from East Hampstead registered seven points (three goals, on assists) over a 1-1 week for the Sharks.


New England College freshman Kayleigh MacDougall was named the North Atlantic Conference rookie of the week this past week. The Farmington resident compiled 39 kills, 23 digs and a .239 hit percentage over a 3-1 week for the Pilgrims.

Suffolk University freshman Hannah Fabiano was chosen as the GNAC rookie of the week this past week. The Litchfield resident logged 30 kills, 26 digs, eight service aces and five blocks over a 3-0 week for the Rams.

Fitchburg State University freshman Jessica Peirce was selected to the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference weekly honor roll this past week. The defensive specialist from Brentwood averaged 6.71 digs and 1.14 service aces over an 0-2 week for the Falcons.

Men's soccer

Merrimack College freshman Zach Elliot scored his first collegiate goal in the Warriors' 3-0 triumph over Le Moyne on Sept. 30. The forward from Manchester scored on a header in the 39th minute.

Keene State senior William Salta was chosen as the LEC offensive player of the week this past week. The back from Laconia tallied two goals and an assist over a 1-0-1 week for the Owls.

Women's soccer

Bucknell University left back Jackie Ham was named the Patriot League defensive player of the week this past week. The senior from Stratham helped the Bison defense allow just eight shots on goal and also scored twice en route to two 3-0 victories last week.


Plymouth State junior Mitch Banuskevich was selected to the MASCAC weekly honor roll this past week. The running back from Milford rushed for 157 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries in the Panthers' 16-6 triumph at Worcester State University Sept. 30.

Women's cross-country

St. Michael's sophomore Abby French was named to the NE-10 weekly honor roll this past week. French, of Nashua, took fifth out of 67 runners at the Vermont Intercollegiate Championship at Middlebury College Sept. 30 with a personal-best time of 19 minutes, 32.3 seconds.

Women's tennis

St. Michael's sophomore Abby Ramsay was named to the NE-10 weekly honor roll this past week. The Bedford native went 3-1 last week.

Alex Hall compiles the college notebook for the New Hampshire Sunday News. He can be reached at or on Twitter @AlexKHall.

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