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Mercury-Area 2016-2017 Girls Lacrosse Preview

BOYERTOWN

Boyertown’s Hannah Wentzel runs in transition as Perkiomen Valley’s Maggie Sell chases. (Thomas Nash – Digital First Media)

Head coach: Pam Wernersbach, 13th season.

Last year’s record: 8-5 PAC, 10-8 overall; Lost to CB South in district opener.

Players to watch: Seniors: Ally Bardman, Defense; Tiffany Diachynsky, Defense/Midfield; Haydn Hallman, Midfield; Hailey Heimbach, Attack/Midfield; Kate Kada, Midfield; Grace McFadyen, Attack; Maddie Siejk, Attack; Hannah Wentzel, Midfield/Attack. Juniors: Sydney Fox, Midfield; Kaleigh Gallagher, Defense; Kylie Webb, Midfield.

Outlook: The Bears were on the outside looking in last season but this team will always be a force in the PAC, and 2017 is no different. The team boasts six seniors who have committed to play at the collegiate level, two at the Division 1 level including Heimbach (Coastal Carolina) and Wentzel (Delaware) and return two players that earned All-PAC first-team honors from last season in Diachynsky and Fox. Sophomores Amanda Diachynsky, goalie Kasey Fox and Sarah Didget look to make the most of their valuable minutes on the field. “We are focused on getting better as individuals and a team,” Wernersbach said. “The girls are working to be able to compete with everyone that we play, both in league as well as out of league.”

DANIEL BOONE

Head coach: Jen Armstrong, third season.

Last year’s record: 0-10 Berks, 3-15 overall.

Players to watch: Seniors: Julia Bookwalter, Defense; Ashley Bonetz, Midfield; Mackenzie Witzell, Attack; Rachel Shucker, Attack; Madi Weiss, Attack; Casey Buchert, Attack. Sophomore: Cameron Nicoline, Goalie.

Outlook: Daniel Boone looks to take a big step forward and earn its first conference wins this season. “We have an experienced group of six senior leaders that started the high school program as ninth graders, and we expect to have a few upsets this season in both in the Berks League as well as with the District 1 non-league opponents we have added to our schedule,” Armstrong said. Bookwalter returns after missing her junior season due to an ACL injury. Bonetz, who averaged seven forced turnovers a game in 2017, returns to the midfield. Witzell, Buchert, Shucker and Weiss lead the attack while Nicoline leads the defense in goal.

HILL SCHOOL

Head coach: Shannon Summers, fourth season.

Last year’s record: 3-2 MAPL, 7-8 overall.

Players to watch: Seniors: Eileen Carmichael, Annie Carroll, Janet Chen, Amanda Dupell, Kathryn Dunn, Makena Hanson, Erin Kelly, Ally Maner, MaryKate Stone.

Outlook: After only graduating two seniors last year, The Hill girls lacrosse program looks to pick up where they left off last season. The skill level is there and this season, the team will work on the mental side of the game to become the all-around team.

METHACTON

Owen J. Roberts’ Sydney Drumheller and goalie Claire Hampton defend against Methacton’s Jackie Cerchio in the PAC-10 girls lacrosse championship. (John Strickler – DFM)

Head coach: Laurie Markle, 11th season.

Last year’s record: 8-5 PAC, 12-9 overall. Advanced to PAC title game for second straight season (lost to OJR). Lost to Haverford in opening round of districts.

Players to watch: Seniors: Jackie Cerchio, Midfield; Daria Lucchesi, Attack; Addie Borkowski Attack, Alana Cardaci, Attack.

Outlook: The Warriors lost Sara Hughes (leading scorer with 200-plus career goals) Kate Markle, Julia Cook and Deb Peifer to graduation but will return a core group of midfielders and forwards along with some “surprising new talent” that will keep the Warriors in the thick of the PAC playoff race after two straight trips to the league final. Cerchio returns for her senior season after earning All-PAC first team honors last spring. Committed to Temple, she leads the team in assists and is the second leading scorer. She’ll be complemented by the scoring prowess of Lucchesi (James Madison commit), Borkowski (Lock Haven) and Cardaci (Ship U).

NORRISTOWN

Head coach: Rachel Shuster

Last year’s record: 0-9 Suburban One American; 1-16 overall.

Players to watch: Junior: Brihanna Rankine-McIntrye, Midfield.

Outlook: It’s been a tough going for Norristown after going winless in the Suburban One American Conference the past two seasons. Now, they’re hoping a trip to the PAC can do some good. Shuster has a new team on her hands that face problems most schools don’t as some of her players had to quit the team due to their financial need to work. “It is a very new team,” Shuster said. “They are just learning how to play together, (and learning about) their strengths and weaknesses.”

OWEN J. ROBERTS

Owen J. Roberts’ Frankie Carroll sets up the offense as Upper Perkiomen’s Courtney Drager defends. (Austin Hertzog – Digital First Media)

Head coach: Joe Tornetta, third season

Last year’s record: 12-1 PAC, 22-5 overall. PAC Champions for second straight season. Second place in district tournament after losing to Radnor 12-8 in title game. Advanced to PIAA second round.

Players to watch: Seniors: Francesca Carroll, Attack; Anna Dempsey, Midfield; Sydney Drumheller, Midfield/Defense; Anna Lavelle, Attack; Rachel Sharp, Midfield; Claire Hampton, Goalie; Mia Tornetta, Goalie. Juniors: Kylie Cahill, Defense; Kelsey Kilgallon, Attack; Danika Swech, Defense/Midfield; Sophomores: Eloise Gebert, Midfield/Attack; Sophia Murray, Defense/Midfield.

Outlook: The team lost leading goal scorers Kerry Huzzard and Maddie Gebert and Tornetta believes that the ability to find themselves on attack will open them up to success throughout the season. Luckily for Tornetta and OJR, the amount of experience that returns is vast. Carroll returns after scoring 28 goals last season while Dempsey (Bloomsburg commit as well as All-Area second teamer last season) returns after posting 49 goals. Those two, along with Lavelle (23 goals) and junior Kilgallon (28 goals) should help shape a dynamic forward presence early. Gebert returns after a promising freshman season (she’s already an early admissions commit to Navy), while Robert Morris commit and Great Valley transfer Mia Tornetta will man the net this season. “There is still some great experience on the attack side of the ball and we hope that leadership will pay off as the season gets underway,” Tornetta said. “On the defensive side there are some strong players returning and with the addition of perennial All-American nominee Mia Tornetta in goal they will hopefully keep the score close enough for them to find ways to be successful.”

PERKIOMEN SCHOOL

Head coach: Louisy Thompson

Last year’s record: 4-1 Tri-County League, 6-6 overall.

Players to watch: Seniors: Hannah Chiesa, Midfield/Attack; Mickayla Matthews, Midfield/Attack.

Outlook: The Panthers graduated Steph Falcone, a 100-goal scorer from last season, and will look to Chiesa and Matthews to lead the attack as the team looks to go for another Tri-County League title this season.

PERKIOMEN VALLEY

Perkiomen Valley’s Anna Koniencki races toward goal as O.J.R. Kelsey Kilgallon, Maddie Gebert and Eloise Gebert pursue. (John Strickler – DFM)

Head coach: Lisa Clark, first season.

Last year’s record: 8-5 PAC, 12-6 overall.

Players to watch: Seniors: Devon Fleischmann, Goalie; Abby Bergman, Midfield; Anna Koniencki, Attack. Sophomores: Kat Kelley, Midfield; Paige Tyson, Attack.

Outlook: Vikings return a bevy of players that doubled their win total from a year prior. Tyson returns as the leading scorer, scoring 48 goals with 25 assists in her freshman season and she’ll be complemented by Koniencki (VCU commit) at attack after she scored 44 goals last season. Fleischmann returns after earning All-PAC second team honors in net while Bergman (Bloomsburg) and Kelley (30g, 30a) return to solidify the midfield. ““We have a large group of returning players and are hoping to build on last season’s success,” Clark said, taking the place of Kathy Kelley. “Our players have worked hard in the offseason to make this year even more successful. We are excited about how far we have come as individuals and as a team.”

PHOENIXVILLE

Phoenixville’s Kylie Crovetti cradles the ball while Pottstown’s Kayla Walton (18) defends. (Thomas Nash – Digital First Media)

Head coach: Aamina Thornton, fifth season.

Last year’s record: 5-8 PAC, 7-11 overall.

Players to watch: Seniors: Kylie Crovetti, Natalie Rubino, Katie Sullivan, Abby Sims, Kendall Beatty. Juniors: Becca Lewis, Carly Michaud, Emma Visnov. Sophomores: Kyra Trafford, Gabby Herschell.

Outlook: The Phantoms return Crovetti, the team’s second leading scorer from last season while Sims returns from injury that kept her out last season. “ We are looking to gain experience as the season progresses, play hard each and every game and have fun,” Thornton said.

POPE JOHN PAUL II

Head coach: Maureen Burger, fifth season.

Last season’s record: 6-7 PAC, 9-9 overall. Advanced to PAC Final Four. Lost to Lower Merion in opening round of District 1-AA playoffs.

Players to watch: Senior: Kylie Cherneskie, Attack. Juniors: Monica Rapchinski, Attack, Charlotte Williamson, Goalie.

Outlok: The Golden Panthers made a run to the PAC Final Four last season and will look to do the same in 2017 with the return of Mercury All-Area first teamer in Rapchinski, who scored 101 goals last season. Williamson, a Bloomsburg commit, will man the net while Cherneskie and Lauren Bello will look to provide a serious impact.

POTTSGROVE

Head coach: Kristin Urie, sixth season.

Last year’s record: 1-12 PAC, 3-14 overall.

Players to watch: Seniors: Esperanza Perez, Defense; Taele Polamalu, Defense; Erin Carroll, Midfield. Junior: Brooke Saylor, Attack. Sophomore: Emily Williams, Midfield/Attack.

Outlook: The Falcons will be extremely young this season, with only four upperclassmen remaining after the graduation of a slew of talent including Alyssa O’Neill, Courtney Petrucelli, Madison Davis, Cheyenne Owens and Rachel Levengood — all who had started three of four years. “We have been working hard on the individual skills and team fundamentals to be competitive within the league this year,” Urie said. “With only four upperclassmen on the roster, we are looking to our underclassmen to step up and fill key positions on the field.”

POTTSTOWN

Head coach: Brandy Scherer, second season.

Last year’s record: 1-12 PAC, 4-14 overall.

Players to watch: Senior: Emily Iezzi, Attack. Juniors: Ebony Reddick, Midfield; Aniyah Jackson, Defense. Sophomores: Reilly Owens, Goalie; Da’zah Regusters, Midfield; Jayla Holloway, Defense.

Outlook: Growth will be the Trojans’ key focus this season with the return of first-team All-PAC member in Reddick. Trojans also return Owens in net after she earned All-PAC Honorable Mention honors. “Our goal for this year is to continue to grow each day focusing on our individual and team skills,” Scherer said. “ We are a very young team with only one senior and two juniors on our 17 person roster. We are looking to instill the same hard work and dedication that made this program successful in the past.”

SPRING-FORD

Pope John Paul II’s Abbie Togno, left, turns it upfield while Spring-Ford’s Jillian Quigley, center, and Camryn Jones look to defend. (Thomas Nash – Digital First Media)

Head coach: Amy Short, eighth season.

Last year’s record: 8-5 PAc, 13-6 overall. Lost to Merion Mercy in district opener.

Players to watch: Seniors: Lauren Mensch, Defense; Molly McMahon, Defense; Camryn Jones, Midfield; Alyssa Conway, Defense; Kamille Ward; Goalie. Sophomores: Cassie Marte, Midfield; Olivia Yeagle, Attack, Jill Quigley, Attack.

Outlook: The Rams will be in the hunt for the PAC playoffs and will return a mix of veterans and underclassmen that will look to lead the charge into the Final Four. Mensch returns on defense after earning All-Area honorable mentions the past two years and will be joined by McMahon, and Conway (All-PAC first team last season) with Ward in net. Jones returns after posting 78 goals and 28 assists last season and will be joined in the midfield by Marte (34 goals, 15 assists) while Yeagle (20 goals) and Quigly (44 goals, 10 assists) will look to shore up a potent attack. “Spring-Ford has a lot of returning starters and hopes to be very competitive in both the PAC and beyond,” Short said. “We are maintaining focus and working hard to reach our goals. Talent and hard work equals success.”

UPPER MERION

Head coach: Angie Yanocha, 12th season.

Last year’s record: 5-4 SOL American, 10-8 overall.

Players to watch: Seniors: Allison Shuster, Attack; Francesa Lindelow, Attack; Gabrielle Struckus, Defense. Juniors: Quinn O’Malley, Midfield; Karli Friend, Defense; Andrea Davis, Defense. Sophomores: Riley O’Malley, Attack; Molly Weygand, Midfield.

Outlook: The Vikings lost several key seniors from last year and will look to replace Marion Fortino and Lizzy Goernemann on defense. Shuster returns at attack along with Riley O’Malley and Lindelow while Quinn O’Malley and Weygand return to provide stability at midfield. “We have a lot of young talent and our returning juniors and seniors carry several years of varsity experience between them, so we’re hoping to still do well this year,” Yanocha said. “We are new to the PAC and we believe we’ll be competitive in the Frontier Division.”

UPPER PERKIOMEN

Upper Perkiomen’s Kenzie Gebhardt charges toward goal against Owen J. Roberts Kylie Cahill. (Austin Hertzog – Digital First Media)

Head coach: Susan Flack, fourth season.

Last year’s record: 8-5 PAC, 12-8 overall. Lost to Methacton in PAC Final Four semifinals. Lost to Owen J. Roberts in district opener.

Players to watch: Seniors: Elizabeth Pierson, Defense; Courtney Drager, Defense; Megan Wismer, Defense; Mackenzie Gebhardt, Senior; Lauren Weeks, Midfield. Juniors: Casey Smoll, Defense; Hope Flack, Midfield; Elizabeth Fox, Attack; Erika Boyer, Attack. Sophomore: Courtney Bauer, Attack/Midfield.

Outlook: The Indians return a bunch of their varsity players from last season and will look to be led by the offensive prowess of Gebhardt (Bloomsburg University commit for soccer, 48 goals last season) and Hope Flack (65 goals). The defense, led by Pierson (Miami commit for crew), Drager and Wismer will look to bring some stability for a team that hopes to reach the Final Four again. “We return many varsity players from last year and the team is working diligently to prepare for this season,” Flack said. “Time will tell if we can contend for the PAC Final Four.”

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