An inexperienced Shepaug Valley High field hockey team made its mark this season on the Berkshire League scene.

Coach Sara Lipinsky's Spartans roared back from a 2-6 start to qualify for the state tournament and generally prove a tough foe for everyone on its schedule.

"We were young this year," reflected coach Lipinsky, "and the team has improved significantly during the season."

The Region 12 stick crew finished its regular season 5-8-2 and closed the book on the 2010 campaign Tuesday with a 3-0 defeat at cross-state rival Stonington in the first round of the state class `S' tournament.

"Our biggest weakness was keeping possession on our offensive end which resulted in low scoring and very few offensive corners," said the Shepaug mentor, who teamed with former longtime head coach Jaye Stuart to guide the team.

"That being said, our defense has played very tough keeping other teams from scoring a lot of goals," coach Lipinsky praised, "which has created a lot of close games that we have not been able to come out on top of."

Tuesday's tournament match marked the final Spartan game for Shepaug seniors Lily Bogue, Aimee Cowan, Linnea Quist and Emily Zibell.

"I am impressed with the way the team has come together this season," said coach Lipinsky, "and the way that a few of our underclassmen have stepped into some very important leadership roles on the field."

"I am very proud of the girls for qualifying for the state tournament," she concluded. "They have had many shining moments this season."