With New Bedford playing the role of spoiler down the final stretch of the season, Durfee captured the Southeast Conference Championship in a race that went down to the last game in league play. The title is not only the first for the Hilltopper field hockey program, it marks the first outright title for any Durfee team since the inception of the current SEC.
“We are so proud,” said Durfee coach Nicole Henrique. “This team has grown so much over the years. We could not be happier and we are truly proud. It is such an accomplishment for us. As a team and staff, we are honestly over the moon.”
Durfee started the season on fire, going 7-0-1 out of the gate, including a 5-0 mark in league play. That run included a 3-2 victory over Dartmouth. Things got interesting when three weeks later, Dartmouth returned the favor with a 2-0 win over the Hilltoppers. That put the Indians temporarily in first place with a 5-1-1 mark but Durfee still controlled its own destiny. Win their final two games and the Toppers were champs.
Enter New Bedford. The Whalers, who fell to Durfee 3-0 earlier in the year, secured a 2-2 tie with the Hilltoppers, leaving Durfee and Dartmouth tied atop the conference standings. When Durfee then blanked Bridgewater-Raynham, 6-0 in its final league game, it secured itself at least a tie for the league title.
The final game on the league docket matched Dartmouth with New Bedford. In the first meeting, the two teams had played to a 1-1 tie. A win for Dartmouth and it would share the league title. New Bedford did it again though, playing the Indians to another 1-1 draw, thus securing the landmark league title for Durfee.
Final League Standings: