The Branford field hockey team saw another fine campaign come to its conclusion on Nov. 12 as the Hornets dropped a 1-0 decision at Farmington in the quarterfinals of the Class M State Tournament. Cathy McGuirk's squad, which was seeded 6th, finished the season with a record of 11-4-3-2.
No. 3 seed Farmington (16-2-0-1) scored the game's lone goal with 1:29 to play in the first half and, although Branford had more scoring opportunities in the second half, the Indians held on for the victory.
Farmington had 11 shots on goal to the Hornets' four. Branford junior goalkeeper Jessie Severino made six saves. The Indians had 10 corners and Branford gained six. Farmington was eliminated in its next game with a double-overtime loss to Guilford.
"Farmington is a very skilled team that moved the ball fast and changed direction well," said Coach McGuirk.
Despite the defeat, McGuirk is proud that her program put together another solid season win in which the Hornets reached at least the state quarterfinals for the 32nd time in her 36-year tenure. The coach noted the performances of every athlete who played against Farmington in senior captains Aliza Danker, Kaity Robbins, Lillie Brown, Hunter Carden, and Jenna Walsh; along with fellow seniors Kelly Loftis, Gabby Melgar, Ashley Murphy, and Bryanna Willaby; in addition to juniors Severino, Maxine Hernandez, Natalie Grimm, Rachel Ingraham, Jenny Royka, Michael Hobbs, and Emily Johnson; plus sophomores Caroline Murphy and Megan Shea. The coach also thanked senior Amber Markovitz and senior manager Tatiana Alvarado for their contributions to the program, as well as everyone on the bench for cheering on their fellow Hornets in this game and pushing everyone on the team to get better through their relentless effort in practice during the season.
"All season long, we received great support from our kids on bench. Whether or not they were playing, they brought spirit to our team and that's what high school sports should be about," said McGuirk. "Our team had consistency all season. We played with determination and aggressiveness and did the best we could as a team. We won 11 games and it was a great season."