LITCHFIELD — Oak Hill field hockey coach Betsy Gilbert saw her players losing in edge midway through the second half of their Class C South semifinal game against Traip Academy in a scoreless game.

She quickly called time, gathered them into a huddle and gave an impassioned speech.

Her team heard her loud and clear. They pushed hard on offense out of the break and fired the ball past Traip goalie Taylor Kashmer for a 1-0 victory.

“It was (fiery), we just needed to get that fire back,” Oak Hill coach Betsy Gilbert said. “We were just playing in a defensive mode and we weren’t there yet. We had to get that fire back into us to get them to rally around, to get that ball moving to that cage.”

“She really connects with us and she said all the right things to get us going,” forward Erika Hannigan said. “She’s just a good coach.”

The No. 3 Raiders (11-5) move on to play MVC rival Lisbon at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland in the Class C South Championship on Tuesday. The Greyhounds defeated NYA 2-1 Saturday afternoon in the other semifinal.


Oak Hill had a big advantage in penalty corners, and on its 14th and final corner of the contest, the Raiders converted. Hannigan fired the ball into the net with Kylee Veilleux picking up the assist with 8:04 remaining.

“We struggled with (penalty corners),” Gilbert said. “We weren’t making the connections, the injections coming out, bad hop or whatever, we did struggle with them. They finally did, they came through with that. I am very proud of these girls, these girls have worked very hard all season. We have had our ups and downs. We have been making changes every single day to get better.”

At first, Hannigan thought the ball was going to miss the net.

“I thought it was going to go wide,” Hannigan said. “I just dove after it and I ended up tapping it in.”

Prior to the corner that set up the winning goal, Traip coach Kellee Cribby tried to call a timeout when her team had a possession, but the officials who were both at the other end of the field, didn’t see her.

“That definitely could have been a game-changer, but that’s a part of athletics and sports, things don’t always go your way,” Cribby said. “We had lots of opportunities, we can’t single out that one thing. Yeah, do I think it would have made difference? Sure, but I can’t do anything about that.”


Kashmer kept the Rangers (9-7) in the game early, making two stops in a row to end the first half and another two stops to begin the second.

“She definitely did,” Cribby said. “Our defense and our goaltender have kept us in a lot of the close games. We are definitely very thankful to have them back there.”

Gilbert was impressed with Kashmer.

“She’s a fabulous goaltender, my hat’s off to her,” Gilbert said. “They are a great team, great contenders to play against. I don’t know how many saves she had, but she had quite a few because in the first half we were really pounding them in there. No matter what we did, high, low, to the side, she was there saving them all.”

Kashmer made eight saves. Traip had one shot and Oak Hill goalie Abby Fuller didn’t have to make a save in the victory.

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