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Field Hockey Championship for MHS

Montpelier High School senior Maaika Samson, right, a four year starter and field hockey team leader, takes the ball through Windsor’s midfield on the way to a 2–0 win in the Division III championship game, Saturday, Nov. 4. Photo by Richard Swenson / J&R Photography.
It had been decades since Montpelier High School’s field hockey team won a state championship, let alone two in a row. 

With the successful defense of their Division III title in a 2–0 win over Windsor on UVM’s turf field on Nov. 3, the Solons finished the season with a 15–2 overall record. The Solons only losses came at the sticks of two strong Division II teams from neighboring high schools, U-32 (12–3–1) and Spaulding (11–3). Both of those teams had excellent seasons, making it through the playdowns to the semifinal bracket.

The district rankings reflect the strength of the field hockey programs in the capital region where U-32, Spaulding, and Montpelier hold the top three places.

Morgan Griffith, who co-coaches the Solons with Krista Grasso and Sarah Wells, said those losses to their talented neighbors were a positive factor in the Solon’s success in the Division III finals. In fact, a pre-playoffs scrimmage with U-32 was instrumental in the Solon’s defensive preparation for the intense competition to come.

“Our mantra this year has been “Protect Our House!” Griffith said, explaining a highly successful emphasis on defensive strategy. The utility of that approach was evident from the beginning of the season. In all, the Solons shut-out their opponents in 11 of the 15 games they won, including their shutout victories in both the semifinal and the final games.

Griffith credits the players’ commitment to the sport, including attendance at a summer field hockey camp by many on the team, for establishing the skills and persistence that provided a winning season. Senior Maaika Samson, a four-year starter on the team, “led by example and by setting goals for the whole team,” Griffith said. “Finley Torren-Martin is another senior who understood that purposeful practice would bring it together in our games.”

Montpelier High School field hockey team. First row: Bee Shrout (goalie); second row, from left: Somerset Pierce, Lily Meyer, Grace Donahue, Emery Richardson, Regan Walke, Hannah Sincyr, Lia Walsh, Finley Torrens-Martin, Olivia Scharnberg, Alyce Jerome, Opal Ritchie, and Indy Roberts; third row, from left: Coach Krista Grasso, Amelia Currier, Fayina Martin, Maaika Samson, Emily Tringe, Sonya Mancauskas, Ella Averbeck, Maggie Kords, Gigi Ford, Coach Sarah Wells, and Coach Morgan Griffith. Photo by Richard Swenson / J&R Photography.

What’s Next?

During the seven years between 1989 and 1995, the Solons field hockey team won six state championships before a long drought until the 2022 win.

Of the seven seniors who will graduate this year, five were starters, Griffith said, including standout goalie Bee Shrout. Griffith again pointed to the importance of solid defense. She added that rumor has it that while several freshmen have played this year, the team may not have many, if any, new players coming up from middle school. “On the other hand, our current success may inspire some interest,” Griffith added.

But the Solons will have a number of talented returning players who love the game and are committed to improving their skills. Included in that group are sophomores. Emily Tringe, Regan Walke, and Fayina Martin were all key players in creating scoring opportunities during the playoff games.