BEDFORD — The third time was a charm for the Hanover High School field hockey team on Sunday.
After losing in the Division II championship game in each of the past two years, the second-seeded Marauders finally broke through in a big way, defeating No. 4 Souhegan 3-0 to win their first title since capturing the 2009 Class I crown.
“It was nice to be on (the winning) side as opposed to (the losing) side for a change,” Hanover coach Jean Essex said. “My girls just got pumped. After they put the first (goal), they got the second one and just kept on going.”
Katherine Blaisdell, who moved to Hanover this summer and was on the Windham High School team that beat the Marauders in the 2017 final, scored the first goal of the game with 8:45 left in the first half.
Lined up at the top of the circle, Blaisdell sent a rocket through the scoring zone that went untouched and into the back of the cage.
“It feels amazing,” Blaisdell said. “This is my first year with Hanover and I just really wanted them to succeed because I had seen what they had gone through. I was just so happy that we were able to pull through for (the seniors).”
Senior Macy Curtis really took the wind out of Souhegan’s sails on a penalty stroke with 25:20 remaining in the second half, and Olivia Trummel put the game out of reach with a goal at 11:04.
“We definitely felt like we needed to keep pushing,” Blaisdell said of her team’s mindset after the first goal. “It was a good start, but we knew there was still another half of the game and that we had to control it.”
As further evidence of Hanover’s control of play, the Marauders had nine corners to Souhegan’s five, and three of the Sabers’ came within the last two minutes of the game.
The Marauders (14-1-1) always seemed to be on the attack and it showed.
“Hanover executed their plan really well,” Souhegan coach Kelli Braley said. “We came out flat and stayed flat. I think the first 15 minutes we controlled but then our legs gave out.”
Souhegan (14-3-1) entered the game coming off a double-overtime victory over top-seeded Derryfield on Friday.
Essex wasn’t surprised to see the Sabers in the final, but felt if her team was able to put a couple goals on the board Souhegan might lose focus.
She was right. Hanover has a title because of it.