They say, in hockey, you are only as good as your goalie, and that is something Newburyport field hockey coach Lauren Hefferan can agree with. After matriculating four-year goalie Kendra Dow in the spring, Heffernan knew she had her work cut out for her.
“The goalie is a big part of it,” said Hefferan. “Because once they get by your defense, you have to have a goalie that is going to be able to be impressive and get on the ball and know what they’re doing.”
Amidst a season in which the Clippers (4-3-1) only have three seniors on the squad after losing nine from last year, Hefferan has decided to use a pair of juniors, Lauren Singer and Meg Des Autel, to switch off standing in the Clippers’ net.
“It’s working well,” Hefferan said of her dueling goalies. “They’ve had some good games, and then they have had some mistakes. But they are learning. I’ve seen (Des Autel) come a long way and Lauren as well. They are coming along. They are clearing the ball better. They are keeping their legs together better, and they are communicating to the defense, which is a big difference.”
It was Des Autel who was in net against Manchester Essex (7-0-1) at the Amesbury Sports Park yesterday. Des Autel was able to hold the Hornets to a 2-0 lead before the half and would only allow one more in the last five minutes of play in the 3-0 loss.
“I feel like I played okay,” Des Autel said of yesterday’s tilt. “I could have been better, especially not having Lauren here and going in for the whole game. That’s not something I have done in a while.”
“Some of it was defensive problems,” Hefferan said of Des Autel’s game. “We let a girl dribble in and take a shot on goal. Nobody picked her up. The old field’s dynamics are changing.”