Blue Devils ready to face Lancers – Sentinel and Enterprise

It won’t be easier for the Blue Devils.

Leominster High field hockey coach Kate Phillips acknowledged this on Wednesday night after her team overtook No. 12 Bishop Fenwick to reach the Division 2 quarter-finals. A day later, her Blues The fifth-seeded Devils learned just how tough things would be in their immediate future.

The Blue Devils will face No. 4 Longmeadow on Saturday afternoon at Holyoke High School in a clash between two of the eight teams remaining in the group. The Lancers outscored No. 13 Hopkinton, 3-0, Thursday night to advance and have been a juggernaut so far in the tournament, outscoring a pair of opponents 8-0.

It’s no guarantee of victory, but if the Blue Devils play like they did Wednesday night at Doyle Field, they’ll definitely be in the game.

Second-year goaltender Kailyn Cuddahy was lively throughout, backed up by a strong defensive group in front of her. And the midfield and attack did a great job of generating breakouts

Senior Gray Dallaire is a force at both ends of the field and classmates Maddie Parker and Gabby Santucci have been effective in passing the ball downfield. Junior Emma Miller Ayala created several exceptional goalscoring chances against Bishop Fenwick, driving the ball with authority, while Nina Marchetti was constantly in the line for the Blue Devils.

Leominster celebrates after scoring in Wednesday’s win over Bishop Fenwick. (Sentinel & Company / Gary Fournier)

Miller Ayala and Marchetti teamed up to create the only goal of Wednesday’s game, converting a corner kick. Marchetti took Miller Ayala’s opening pass and sent the ball home, where sophomore Abby Kelly deftly redirected it home.

Now it’s on to the next one. The Lancers wait.

Wolves seek to carry on

Second-seeded Nashoba Regional hosts No. 7 Falmouth on Saturday in the Division 2 quarterfinals. (Courtesy Nashoba Regional Field Hockey)
Second-seeded Nashoba Regional hosts No. 7 Falmouth on Saturday in the Division 2 quarterfinals. (Courtesy Nashoba Regional Field Hockey)

The second-seeded Nashoba Regional also plays in the Division 2 tournament on Saturday, hosting No. 7 Falmouth at 4 p.m. in the quarter-finals.

Wolves made short work of No. 31 Holliston (4-0) and No. 15 Milton (3-0) to reach the knockout stages.

The blue knights advance

Seventh-seeded Lunenburg High kept their dreams of a Division 4 field hockey title alive on Thursday night, beating No. 10 Ipswich, 2-1, at home to reach the state quarterfinals.

Ava Wilson scored twice for the Blue Knights, with the second goal breaking a 1-all tie with around five minutes remaining. As she has been all season, Malia Ruggiero was strong in goal, stopping eight shots for Lunenburg (16-4).

The Blue Knights take on No.2 Manchester-Essex, who host Sunday’s game at 11am.

The race is over

The Leominster boys’ football team’s fantastic run in the Division One tournament ended Thursday night, falling to 10th Franklin, 2-0, in the round of 16. The 26th-seeded Blue Devils finish the season with an 11-9-2 record.

The Blue Devils reached Thursday’s contest in the most dramatic fashion, delivering the biggest highlight of the football tournament so far, with Leo Giglio converting a free kick from almost 70 yards in the dying moments of a game round of 16 against No.7 Framingham to level the game at 1. Leominster then won a penalty shootout to advance.