The Main Line high school field hockey scene this fall features a number of teams coming off excellent campaigns last year, including PIAA state runner-up Merion Mercy, PAISAA state champion Academy of Notre Dame, Central League champion Conestoga and PAISAA state tournament runner-up Episcopal Academy. Here’s a pre-season look at the Main Line high school field hockey teams:
Academy of Notre Dame
Head coach: Adele Williams, 15th year.
Last year’s record: 19-2-1 overall, 10-0 Inter-Ac (champions), PAISAA state champions.
Key returnees: senior midfielder/forward and co-captain Tina D’Anjolell (was first team All-InterAc last year), senior midfielder/forward and co-captain Ava Leonhardt, senior midfielder/defender and co-captain Sarah Jane Quigley (was second team All-Inter-Ac last year), senior goalie Katie Liebeskind (was first team All-Inter-Ac last year), sophomore forward Mia Leonhardt, junior midfielder Lauren Curran.
Others to watch: junior midfielder Jessica Schneider, sophomore defender Emily Graeff, sophomore defender Brianna Odgers, sophomore midfielder Meghan Mitchell.
Lost to graduation: Quinn Maguire (St. Joseph’s University), was first team All-Inter-Ac and Delco Player of the Year in 2016; Mary Kate Neff (Princeton) was first team All-Inter-Ac in 2016; Cami Osborne (Georgetown), was first team All-Inter-Ac in 2016; Colleen Kearney (was first team All-Inter-Ac in 2016); Sarah Boles (Fairfield).
Outlook: Williams said, “We have a team filled with great speed and athleticism. Our focus is to take one game at a time and compete for another league championship.”
Outlook: Elisio said, “Our biggest strength is that most of our girls besides the incoming freshman have all played together and they feel comfortable doing so. The girls are ready to step in to the roles where they are needed without hesitation. They have become consistent and stronger , smarter players. The girls work really well together as a unit. They read the field very well and can project where the ball will be next. Our biggest challenge is that we lost a lot of skilled and speedy starting players to graduation.”
Last year’s record: 2-19 overall, 0-14 Inter-Ac.
Key returnees: senior back Eliza Thaler; senior center forward Sophia Nicoletti; senior inner Annie Calabro; senior back Anna Bunting.
Others to watch: eighth-grader goal keeper Thea Rosenzweig; freshman midfield Grace Marsters; sophomore midfield Juliana Charles.
Lost to graduation: center back Courtney Loomis, center forward Caroline Schaeffer, midfielder Maya Bindra, back Gillian Chestnut, right wing Stephanie Blank.
Outlook: Lancaster said, “We have many fresh new faces that arrived with a fire in their eyes. The energy and enthusiasm is transferring through the entire squad and we are excited to see how this new team dynamic translates on the field.”
Head coach: Kerry de Vries, first year.
Last year’s record: 17-3 overall, 10-0 Central League.
Key returnees: senior midfielders Kiley Allen, Grace McEvoy, Kendall McGee; senior defender Dani Dittmann; senior forward Emma McGillis; junior midfielder Charlotte de Vries.
Others to watch: sophomore forward Sarah Rogalski, freshman midfielder Carly Hynd.
Lost to graduation: Meredith Ross (starting at Michigan State), Stephanie Hamilton (was All-Central League selection).
Outlook: Coach de Vries said, “We have one of the best one- two punches in the state with Charlotte de Vries and Kiley Allen. The are both scorers and playmakers with a great deal of international experience. Charlotte is a dangerous attacker and Kiley is a smooth intelligent playmaker who has great passing ability. Our biggest challenge is to play as a team and to get everyone bought into a new mentality of equal ownership in our teams success or failure. We are all important to the success of this team and the result of matches does not fall on the shoulders of a few players.”
Head coach: Gina Buggy, 32nd year.
Last year’s record: 15-6-2 overall, 7-2-1 Inter-Ac (second place), runner-up in PAISAA state tournament.
Key returnees: senior goalie and co-captain Bridget Boyle (committed to Drexel for lacrosse). junior goalie Caroline Kelly (committed to Boston University for field hockey), junior forward Maddie Rehak, senior midfielder MaryKate Chambers, senior midfielder and co-captain Molly Giles, junior defender Lauren Devletian, junior defender Lindsey Walling, junior midfielder Genevieve Becker, senior midfielder and co-captain Katie Crager (committed to Georgetown for lacrosse).
Others to watch: junior forward Gianna Pantaleo (committed to Boston University for field hockey), sophomore forward Kathleen Anderson.
Lost to graduation: Corinne Zanolli (U21 national team at Stanford), Jenna Lotsis, Lexie Fischer, Taylor Lucey (lacrosse at VCU),
Outlook: Buggy said, “This is a young team with potential at all positions. There is a great energy about this group of girls and they are embracing the hard work ahead of them. The multi-sport athletes and the two experienced goalkeepers will play an important role in the success of this team. Strong senior leadership should serve this young team very well. Team unity and team chemistry will also be keys to how successful this team will be this season.”
Lost to graduation: Chay Anderson, Lucy Shields.
Outlook: After graduating just two seniors last spring, the Phoenix are returning many players with varsity experience. Bloemker said, “We are confident that the team will only continue to build on their already evident leadership and skills throughout our season.”
Head coach: Christa Taylor, second year.
Last year’s record: 12-8 overall, 10-1 Central League.
Key returnees: junior forward/midfielder Sydney Corcoran, junior forward/midfielder Carly Gannon, junior forward/midfielder Julia Klein, junior forward/midfielder Kelsy Knapp, junior midfielder/defender Megan Philips.
Others to watch: senior forward Maggie Murphy, junior goalie Mary Grace DePlato, junior defender Amber Moscoe, junior forward/midfielder Jane Zarella, sophomore forward Caroline Boornazian, sophomore midfielder/defender Shannon Quaile, sophomore midfielder/defender Katie Redding, freshman midfielder MaryKate Ardizzi.
Lost to graduation: defender Lea VanLuvender (Longwood), midfielder Laura Winters (playing lacrosse at Gettysburg).
Outlook: After a very successful 2016 season, Haverford is looking to take the next step both in the Central League and in the postseason. Taylor said, “Many of our returning starters and new young varsity players are gifted with natural athletic ability, speed, and refined hockey skills. This year the girls are looking to display more leadership, play with more poise, and emphasize teamwork. We think very good players are going to become great, and as a team Haverford is going to ‘Win It Back.’”
Merion Mercy Academy
Head coach: Margaretha (Gretta) Ehret, second year.
Last year’s record: 19-5-2 overall, 10-1-1 AACA, PIAA District One champions, PIAA state championship runner-up.
Key returnees: junior midfielder Margo Carlin (was All-State/All-Catholic Academies League in 2016), senior defender Caitlin Farkas (committed to Sacred Heart University), senior attack Katie Murphy (committed to Catholic University), sophomore defender Alex Lavelle.
Others to watch: sophomore forward Emily Hauck, sophomore midfielder Tori Natale, senior defender Maureen McClatchy.
Lost to graduation: Jamie Natale (Boston College, All-State/All-Catholic League), Kolbe Keating (Harvard, All-Catholic League), Kelsey Farkas (Columbia, All-State/All-Catholic League), Cameron Toddy (Longwood, All-State)
Outlook: Ehret said, “We have a bunch of girls who will be new to the starting line-up, but have a tremendous amount of talent and skill and have shown great improvement and increased confidence from last season to this season. We will look to be aggressive yet disciplined in our defensive press of the ball and skillful with great vision and speed on attack. We can’t wait to start.”
Head coach: Patty McNevin, third year.
Last year’s record: 6-11 overall, 2-10 AACA.
Key returnees: senior midfielder Hannah Seifried, senior goalie Colleen Vissar, senior defensive back CeeCee Schuller, senior wing Bella Chan.
Others to Watch: junior midfielder Julia Flood, junior center Danielle Santora, junior wing Catie Gordon, junior defensive back Sarah Terzian.
Lost to graduation: MaryRose O’Donnell, Emily Franz, Kelli McIntrye.
Outlook: McNevin said, “One of our biggest strengths this season is our versatility. With many players being able to swing in different positions, we should be able to handle the field aggressively. Our biggest challenge is, after graduating nine seniors last spring, we need to fill and prep the younger players to fill in the gaps – we need to prepare them for the competitiveness of the Catholic Academies League.”
Head coach: Avery Safford, first year.
Last year’s record: 9-6 overall, 5-2 Friends’ School League.
Key returnees: senior midfielder Ashleigh Gundy, senior defender Jasmine Powell, junior midfielder Kate Scutt, junior midfielder Emma Durham, junior goalie Alison McDonald, sophomore defender Gianna McDougall, sophomore forward Carolina Riley.
Others to watch: junior forward Sydney Nagorsky, sophomore goalie Taylor Wells, freshman midfielder Claire Rubenstein, freshman defender Lydia Frorer.
Lost to graduation: forward Olivia Sobel.
Outlook: Safford, a Shipley alum who recently graduated from the University of Richmond, heads a completely new coaching staff. The Gators are a very young team with about a dozen freshmen and only five returning seniors. Safford said, “Right now our biggest strength is unity – we’ve been working on teamwork and keeping a positive attitude all preseason. We are also working on our shots in the circle and corners. Our biggest challenge we see in preseason is finishing our shots and recovering after a turnover.”