Thomaston takes control of BL field hockey race
LITCHFIELD – John Long made one heck of a painful and delightful trip Thursday afternoon. A well worth it journey from the living room couch to sole possession of first place in the Berkshire league field hockey race.
The first-year Thomaston head coach made his first appearance in public and on the sidelines in almost two weeks after suffering a serious injury playing in an over-40 lacrosse league that caused a bleeding kidney.
Call it quite a return as he watched his Golden Bears protect a first half goal from sophomore Kristen Foell for a 1-0 victory over Litchfield in a battle of teams with spotless BL records at the Plumb Hill Complex.
The Bears (7-0 BL, 8-3 overall) who last won the BL and Class S title in 2015 are now in control of their own destiny with three league games left against Wamogo, Northwestern and a rematch with Litchfield on Nov. 6. The Cowgirls are 7-1 in the BL and 7-3-1 overall.
Long missed four games and will return to his eighth grade classes at Thomaston High School Friday.
“It’s still painful but the doctor told me I could coach than go right back home and get back on the couch,’ Long said. I’ve probably been the biggest pain in the butt and I’ve been going stir crazy. This is really satisfying for my first day back.”
Thomaston scored all the goals it would need midway through the first half when Foell picked up the ball in front of the net and shoveled it in the right side, finishing off a nice three-way sophomore passing scenario that started when Aurelia Barker passed to Emma Sanson who redirected to Foell.
“This is extremely important since we did not make the states last year and especially with coach Long this is a complete turnaround," said Foell. "It feels great to be a Golden Bear.”
“We came into this game knowing how much we wanted it,” added Sanson. “We want to prove ourselves after last year.”
The game was a feisty affair with five players forced to the sidelines for excessive pushing. The two teams traded chances evenly with Thomaston’s Gianna Misenti registering the shutout with four saves.
"We came out harder from the start of the game today," said Barker. "Coach said that this would be about whoever wanted it more."