BY EMMA DEANS
Thornton Academy’s varsity field hockey team enjoyed its most successful season in school history in 2015, earning the program’s first regional title with a 4-1 win over Cheverus under the direction of head coach Lori Smith ’88. Lori has a Master’s degree in Technology in Education from Lesley University and teaches Web Design, Digital Layout and Design, and Computer Applications for Thornton’s Technology & New Media Department.
About this past year’s field hockey season Lori said, “The way the community rallied around us and the excitement surrounding it was something I’m sure the players will remember forever. This team was so much fun to coach…they displayed so many qualities we seek in young people on a daily basis, so it was very rewarding to see them earn a trip to the state championship.” Lori played four years of field hockey and ran four years of indoor and outdoor track & field when she attended Thornton. She began as the JV field hockey coach in 1995, serving as an assistant to Jodi (Ladakakos) Field ’89. Lori then took the reins as the varsity coach for four years, before taking time off to be with her twin boys (Dylan ’15 and Andrew ’15). She returned as the freshman team coach in 2001 and by 2002 assumed the head varsity coach position again.
The program went from being in the bottom half of the conference most seasons to the top half and consistently earning at least a playoff preliminary game since 2008. “I think TA Field Hockey is looked upon as one of the premiere programs in the state now. You can see it in the numbers of players we’ve had recognized at the All-State banquet (two players for the past three years and two players this year for the NFHCA All-Region team). There is also a well-established youth program through the dedication of Angela Bolduc, Erika Lowe Dube ’97, Sue Mondor Spath ’67, and several other volunteers,” she said.
Lori is proud of the strong alumnae support for the field hockey program. Casey Adams Morin ’99, Lori’s former assistant coach, attended every game this year with her toddler son. Then there’s Helen ‘Pookie’ McAuliffe Corriveau ’81, who Lori calls a ‘Super Fan.’ “She is always so positive and giving of her time. After the season ended, she surprised me at school with a huge box of treats and notes from other alumnae congratulating us on our season!” Lori loves seeing the passion for field hockey passed down through generations and she enjoys teaching students who are children of her former classmates. “It reminds me how many years of my life have been spent inside the brick walls of TA and reinforces the old adage of ‘it takes a village to raise a child.’ I think parents appreciate seeing a familiar face working with their kids.”
Fast Facts: Lori Smith ’88
- Named SMAA Coach of the Year in 2009 and 2014
- Notched 100th win in 2014
- Began teaching at Thornton Academy in 1997
- Earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maine (where she was a standout in cross country and track & field) and a master’s in Technology in Education from Lesley University
- Welcomed alumni support in coaching from: Sheila Waycott Dube ’88, Sandy Brochu Bilodeau ’89, Haley Carter ’08, Julia Townsend ’09, and Lexie Carter ’10.
- Celebrated Grace Pickering ’16 as Miss Maine Field Hockey for the 2015 season, the sport’s highest statewide individual award.
You can watch the Class A South Regional Championship (Thornton vs. Cheverus) below: