New Hampshire D2 Poll
|4||St. Thomas Aquinas||4||12||8||0|
If you’ve been around sports in any capacity for any length of time, you’ve surely heard the phrase: “It’s hard to beat the same opponent three times in a season.” Trite? Sure – but also more than occasionally accurate.
In claiming the program’s second State championship, No. 1 Bow (18-2-1) clearly went to school on the lessons learned from its 3-0 and 5-3 regular-season losses to Keene in knocking off the undefeated Blackbirds when it mattered most, 4-2, in the title game. While seven graduate, a talented and experienced core will return for coach Tim Walsh.
It is never easy to have your first loss end your season. When it occurs with a State Championship on the line, it is infinitely more frustrating. No. 2 Keene (18-1-0) now knows that, denied both perfection and the program’s first State crown by Bow. Nine Blackbirds graduate, including most of the top forwards.
All things considered, No. 3 Windham (13-6-1) – the 2016 champion – had a pretty solid debut campaign under first-year coach Shawn Dunn, reaching the semifinals in its title defense. Only a handful of seniors graduate, so expect the Jaguars to be in the mix once again next winter.
Frustrated earlier in the season by a string of strong performances by opposing goalies, No. 4 St. Thomas Aquinas (12-8-0) won 8-of-9 to reach the semifinals, where it bowed out against Keene. Eight Saints graduate, including six forwards, so coach Peter Harwood and his staff face a bit of a revamp next winter.
It was a season of streaks under first-year coach Mike Young for No. 5 Dover (10-8-1), which won seven in a row in the middle of the season. With a large contingent of underclassmen returning, the Green Wave seems well-stocked to make a big push a year from now.