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Chelsea Field Hockey Finishes Season With Tough Loss

On the first night of the MHSAA field hockey playoffs, Chelsea pulled a tough draw in the first round, as they were matched up against one of the highest-ranked teams in the state, the Saline Hornets. Saline had soundly defeated Chelsea earlier in the season and have high aspirations of a state championship. But Chelsea was looking to play the spoiler role this year in the playoffs and was not about to let anyone walk all over them.

The game went back and forth in the beginning with each team playing great defense.  Chelsea goalkeeper  Payton Doan was outstanding in net stopping everything shot her way. Her teammates helped her out making good clears and Gabbie Wink made an excellent player save. With less than 5 minutes to play in the first period, Saline’s Kaleigh Riggs was able to score on a penalty corner with a great shot from the circle.

Chelsea would fight and grind right down to the wire but was unable to capitalize. Riggs  goal was the only one scored and would send Saline to the second round of the playoffs and ended Chelsea’s season. Doan faced 14 shots making 13 great saves.

Chelsea will graduate 6 very skilled seniors who contributed a lot to the team in their time there. Chelsea will look to reload for next season with a very good group of players coming up and the players on this year’s team will return with much experience under their belt.

 

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Chelsea Field Hockey Ends Regular Season, Honors Seniors

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Kyle Bragg tries to get past a Dexter defender

The Chelsea Field Hockey team finished off their regular season for 2016 with a couple close losses. On Wednesday they traveled to undefeated and top-ranked Dexter to face the Dreadnaughts on their senior night, and as soon as the game got underway, the Heavens exploded  with a cold, hard rain drenching both teams almost instantly. Both teams struggled on the soggy, slippery field as it was hard to find their grip. At one point in the game, it was so wet that Chelsea’s  Gabbie Noble’s stick slipped out of her hands and flew about 15 yards downfield to her left. Fortunately, no one was injured.

Dexter was able to take advantage of their home field advantage though and keep their unbeaten streak alive as they defeated the Bulldogs 5-0.

On Friday Chelsea played host to Ann Arbor Pioneer in their last regular season game. Chelsea honored their 6 seniors before the game. Madalyn Allen, Kathryn Beauchamp, Jackie Busch, Shaunna Caffrey, Taylor Freyre, and Gabbie Noble all were honored for their hard work, dedication, and commitment to the game and team before the game. Each girl was given a handcrafted blanket designed just for them individually.

The Senior-laden and experienced Pioneer team were able to capitalize in the first half with two goals scored and added another in the second half as the 1 loss team edged Chelsea 3-0.

As the season ends on Tuesday, the 18th, Chelsea will have to wait to see who their competition will be in the first round of the playoffs.

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Pinckney Field Hockey Edged In Downpour

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In a battle of two field hockey teams in their inaugural seasons, it was Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard  defeating Pinckney in a very tough 3-1 game. In Pinckney, it was a very beautiful, warm fall evening until with about 3 minutes left in the first half the sky exploded with torrential rains. Both teams played through it though until the very end.

The Pirates put a lot of pressure on the Irish netminder early through the first half, and they struck first in the game when Molly Miller took a deflection and passed it out to Nicole Burcon who buried the ball to the right in the Irish goal. It was the Pinckney Field Hockey teams only second goal of its young existence.

The Pirates had several penalty corners in their advantage in the first half and were able to get many shots on goal. First half Pirate goalie Sam Smith stopped everything the Irish threw at her.

After halftime though, it was all Irish. They struck fast scoring on the first shot of the second half. In spite of the drenching rainstorms, both teams battled on and the Pirates put much pressure on the Irish but couldn’t get another score. The Irish would score twice more to seal the victory for them. The Pirates are still looking for their first victory as a team but it’s a very young team and is coming along very fine.

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Pinckney Coming Along Strong In Inagural Season Of Field Hockey

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The Pinckney Pirates faced off against the Clarkston Wolves under the lights in a cold downpour

It had rained for much of the part of the day in Pinckney leaving the Pirate football field very  wet and slippery but it had stopped shortly before the Pirates would host the Clarkson Wolves in field hockey. Both teams are in their inaugural seasons and neither team has a victory let alone had scored a goal on the season.

“We are a very inexperienced team,” Coach Alison Wink stated.  “Only 6 of our 24 girls on the team have even played field hockey. But they are a great group of girls and are very excited to play and are learning and improving every game.”

Just as the game started the Heavens decided to pour down a heavy, cold rain. Undeterred, Pinckney took control right away and moved the ball very well keeping it in Clarkston’s zone for much of the first half. Midway through the first half,the Wolves scored to appear their first goal but it was waved off because of a violation. The Pirates had 5 penalty corners in the first half but failed to capitalize while the Wolves had  4. Both defenses were very strong as they took a 0-0 tie into halftime.

After the 5 minute intermission, it was the Wolves that took control early as they dribbled the ball upfield quickly and scored the team’s first-ever goal in team history just 30 seconds into the half. But Pinckney battled back and just a little over halfway in the period it was the Pirates making history as they scored their first goal ever for the team to tie the game up 1-1. The score was created by a deflection and a beautiful pass from Molly Miller to Madison Stevens who buried the ball in the back of the net. The crowd and the girls all went crazy in excitement, and justifiably so.

With the game tied and both teams playing tough the Wolves capitalized with less than 7 minutes to go as they took a turnover and created an odd-man advantage as they carried down the left side of the field to net the go-ahead goal. Pinckney never gave up though and tried hard to battle back and put much pressure on the Wolves goaltender but it wasn’t enough as the Wolves won the game 2-1.

It was a night of first for both teams as Clarkston scored it’s first ever goal and achieved it’s first victory. Pinckney scored it’s first ever goal also and the team is headed in the right direction with lots of talent on it.

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Chelsea Field Hockey Shuts Out AAFGR 5-0

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Chelsea’s Annaliese Donahue celebrates a goal

After two tough, close losses the Chelsea Field Hockey team really needed a big victory. And they earned that today with a big 5-0 shutout victory against the Ann Arbor Father Gabriel Richard Irish at home. Chelsea started strong and controlled the ball and their tight defense didn’t even allow the Irish to even cross midfield for the first 10 minutes of the game. Chelsea peppered the goal with shots and kept much pressure on the Irish goalkeeper Anna Nalukwagu. Then at the 20-minute mark, Chelsea found the back of the net as Senior Captain Madalyn Allen lifted the ball to the right of the goal and  put Chelsea up 1-0.

Chelsea kept the pressure up and the defense would not allow any Irish player near the Chelsea end. At the 26 minute mark, it was Annaliese Donahue getting the ball into the Irish net with a great shot from the right of the goal. 3 minutes late Molly Latimer put Chelsea up 3-0 with a shot from the left side of the goal sending Chelsea into the half with a comfortable lead.

In the second half the Irish put on a little pressure but it wasn’t enough as the Chelsea defense would not allow any Irish player or anything near Chelsea goalkeeper Payton Doan, who was like the Maytag repairman, all alone for the game, so it seemed.

At the 10:30 mark of the second half it was Gabby Noble scoring her first goal ever to put Chelsea up 4-0 with a hard hit ball off a penalty corner, driven right down the middle of the field! With less than 8 minutes left in the game, Madalyn Allen put the icing on the cake with a final goal and her second of the game, as she shot it from the top of the circle.

The Chelsea defense did an outstanding job as Doan didn’t face a single shot in the game and the offense put 14 shots on the Irish goalkeeper. Chelsea also played a very clean game committing no fouls to draw any penalty corners while the Irish gave up 20 penalty corners.

Chelsea is 2-2 on the season and plays next this Thursday, the 1st, at Cranbrook-Kingswood at 4:30.

 

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Chelsea Field Hockey’s Freshman Phenom Goalkeeper Payton Doan

Chelsea Field Hockey's Freshman Phenom Goalkeeper Payton Doan

All-State Freshman Goalkeeper Payton Doan smiles and poses for a picture before a game
By Al Wright
on February 05, 2016 6:54 AM

On a crisp, fall afternoon at the Jerry Niehaus Field in Chelsea, the Chelsea Field Hockey team is up against the state champions, Ann Arbor Pioneer. It’s a 0-0 game late in the first half and a Pioneer player has somehow got open and is on a one on one with the Chelsea goalie. The 14-year-old freshman Chelsea goalkeeper in her lime green jersey knows how big this game is. She knows Chelsea, formerly the Washtenaw Whippets, has never beaten Pioneer let alone even scored a goal on them. She has to react with split-second timing to keep her team in the game. Without hesitation, she instantly challenges and uses her pads to stop the shooter and then deflects the ball away to her defense who then turns it up field in the other direction. She confidently returns to her position and would stop 10 shots that day, allowing only one to get past her, as she backstopped her team to the historic 2-1 victory over Pioneer.

Although only in her third year in competitive field hockey, and 2 as goalkeeper, Payton Doan has made a name for herself. Payton, or Moosk as her family calls her, was one of the youngest players on the Chelsea team that won the Division 1 Regular Season Championship and went to the State Finals. She was only one of two freshman on the team, the other being Georgie Reynolds. Being so young and on such a great team with lots of experience could cause most people to crack under the pressure. But not Payton.

“I think my position added a lot of pressure, and I’m naturally hard on myself, so I felt stressed throughout the season, and the amount tripled around playoffs,” said Doan. “But my team, my coaches, and especially my amazing defense, all helped eliminate that feeling completely so we could focus on the main goal, which was having fun playing the game we love.”

Although only a freshman on a senior-laden team, she felt like she belonged right away. ” I sound like a typical freshman, but it was an amazing feeling having upperclassmen I didn’t even know telling me great job, or “hey you’re a pretty good goalie” in the hallways,” said Doan. “My goal for the past 2 years was to make it on varsity as a freshman, so it really was a dream come true.”

Chelsea went on a tear after that Pioneer game and went on to defeat their rivals Dexter on the Dreadnaughts home turf and giving them their first defeat of the season in a thrilling 1-0 game. “I think that beating Dexter was the start of our winning streak. During pre-season, we all knew we would be successful, but we never knew how good we were as a team until we beat Dexter,” stated Doan. “And beating Pioneer in the regular season was the icing on the cake. We made history so we were all happy with what we had achieved.”

Chelsea did their part taking care of foes but needed other schools to do there’s. To win the Division Title it would take a victory from rivals Dexter over Skyline. Some of the team went to the game to see if they would win the division but Payton just couldn’t do it.
“I remember Sarah Mesko went to the Skyline/Dexter game. I didn’t want to go, I was afraid I’d jinx it, but she kept us updated the entire game and I was completely glued to my phone and jumping at every notification,” Doan said. “When Sarah texted “Congrats we are number 1!!!” I broke down crying. I can’t express how proud I was of our team at that moment, and I still am. It totally was worth all of our long practices and 6 am lifting’s.”

Chelsea made it to the Division 1 State Championship game where they lost 1-0 in a hard fought battle against defending State Champions Ann Arbor Pioneer. In that game, Doan played hard making great stops and stepping up big to keep her team within chance of a victory. But a bad break, in what Doan calls her worst moment ever, put Chelsea behind and they couldn’t get the chance they needed to score that tying goal.
“I watched the 2 on 1 develop before me in the Championship game and then having the Pioneer player slip the ball past me, was just horrible,” said Doan reflecting on that moment. “I can still remember my heart dropping. Sarah Mesko came up to me, grabbed the cage of my helmet and screamed, “it’s not over”. I knew it wasn’t, but it was so heartbreaking hearing the panic in her voice and knowing that it was in all my teammates voices at that moment too. And I have been in many of those situations at practices and other games and stopped it before, but this was much different, I was really disappointed in myself for not stopping that shot when it counted.”

“To lose that championship game was utterly depressing. To know what was at stake, and to lose the biggest title in the state was such a terrible feeling,” Doan continued. “We all did realize however that we should be proud of all we had achieved because it’s a big amount of success. To be a part of the Regular Season Championship though, it was really an honor. I was proud of myself and of my team, and it was great being a major part of spreading the sport throughout Chelsea and Michigan. At times it was extremely nerve racking, I remember sitting in school before some of the big games like Pioneer or Skyline, playoffs or not, and just that’s all I would think about. It was a healthy nervousness but sometimes it was overwhelming. But it was all worth it.”

And indeed, it was well worth it as Chelsea had 4 players receive First Team All-State honors, more than any other team. Payton was one of those selected as she led the team and league with 15 wins, 11 shutouts, and a .60 goals against average.

” I remember when (Chelsea Head Coach) Leslie (Fry) called my name at the awards banquet, and walking up there and standing next to so many of my teammates that I look up to so much, it was an honor to be among them,” Doan reflects on being chosen First Team All-State. “Coach Leslie said  it’s rare for a Freshman and a goalkeeper to make that, and so I was really happy with what I had achieved. I remember first hearing about the First Team Award and just setting that as my goal for the rest of the season.”

Chelsea Field Hockey will graduate 11 seniors this year so it will be a new looking team next year. Many underclassmen gained valuable playing time and playoff experience, including Doan. But it will be a very young team. Doan feels it will be a year focused on advertising the sport, and overall just being as positive throughout the team as possible.

“I do feel that honestly though, it won’t be the same without all the seniors,” Doan states. “They all have extremely diverse personalities and I will miss all of them for different reasons. I have never been so excited going to practice than I have with this team because I always knew they’d make it fun and especially interesting. I’m proud of every one of them and excited to see them go far with their talents, I’ll just miss them immensely.”

Doan will be her same old self though, wearing her bright lime green jersey and shouting out directions to her teammates and not being afraid to get out there and challenge when she has to. And when she’s not on the field she’ll be reading, shopping, hanging out with friends, and thinking and talking about field hockey.
Payton is the daughter of Matt and Miki Doan. Her older brother Parker is a Sophomore at Chelsea High School and helps to manage the Boys Varsity Golf Team where he helped cheer the team on during their championship run this last season.

Payton Doan assesses the situation in a game(Al Wright)

Payton makes a big stop against Ann Arbor Pioneer(Al Wright)

Payton takes a minute pre-game to pose for a picture(Al Wright)

First Team All-State Goalkeeper Payton Doan makes a huge save in the State Championship game versus Pioneer(Al Wright)

Doan makes a huge save to help Chelsea defeat Pioneer(Al Wright)

Doan comes out to make a big stop under the lights in Chelsea(Al Wright)
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Awards Keep Coming For Chelsea Field Hockey’s Maggie Cole

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Chelsea’s Maggie Cole hurdles a Pioneer player in the State Championship Game

Chelsea Field Hockey Senior Maggie Cole first started playing field hockey in seventh grade and was a natural. It was like the athletic Cole was tailor made for the sport. She has excelled at it on all levels and has received much deserved recognition for it.

And this season was no different as she led her Chelsea team in goals and points scored helping lead her team to their first Division 1 regular season title and to the state championship game. And she didn’t do it alone as Chelsea had more players than any other school voted to the MHSFHA first team all state team, 4 players.

As well as being named Division 1 1st Team All-State, Cole was chosen for the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) All-Midwest Region team for an unprecedented third time! For a young 18 year old that is a rare and outstanding achievement.

“I am so proud of myself for achieving this award for a third time,” Cole said. “It took lot of hard work, and I couldn’t have done this without my coaches, teammates, and my family. This selection was a good reminder to me that I am ready for college play at MSU, but I need to work even harder to put my stamp on the program.”

Cole was also chosen as Division 1  State Runner-Up, as well as the MVP  of Chelsea Field Hockey. Cole will attend Michigan State University (MSU) in the Fall of 2016. On November 11th Cole signed her letter of intent. She will also be spending much of her spring and summer playing on travel field hockey teams.

Not only is Cole an overachiever on the field she is one off of it too as she has a 3.9 grade point average and is in National Honor Society (NHS). She also is the starting guard on the Chelsea basketball field. She spends what little free time she has at her job, doing homework, going to movies, and hanging out with her friends.

Cole is the daughter of Jennifer Tracht and Matt Cole, both of Chelsea. She has an older sister Mackenzie who attends MSU and also excelled at sports. She also has a twin sister, Meghan, who also excels at field hockey and will be playing in the Fall with her “older” sister at MSU.

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