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Villa Maria, Episcopal Academy field hockey squads aiming high again

The Villa Maria Academy and Episcopal Academy squads, coming off highly-successful 2017 campaigns, are aiming high again this fall.
Villa Maria, which posted a 27-1 record last fall and won a PIAA state title, has a new head coach in Katie Evans and a solid crop of key returnees that include senior midfielder Adele Iacobucci, senior forward Hannah Miller, senior midfielder Mary Harkins, junior midfielder Maggie Powers and senior defender Liz D’Ascenzo.
Other key Hurricanes to watch this fall include freshman midfielder Ryan Hickey, freshman goalie Abbie Zarkoski, junior defenders Adriana Yacovelli
and Kate Perretta and junior forward Meg Dillon.
Evans said, “We have an experienced and talented senior class who are great leaders, a strong attack who are very good at finishing, good speed and athletic backs who read the play well. We have strong players in every line who are excellent leaders and talented players – namely Mary Harkins, Hannah Miller, and Adele Iacobucci. They create a lot of stability in our game and how we play – which allows us to create opportunities together and attack. Our biggest challenge is that other teams are very motivated to play us. We have to be prepared for a fight, every single game.”
Episcopal Academy, which posted a 17-4-1 record last fall, finished second in the Inter-Ac with an 8-1-1 league mark. Led by head coach Gina Buggy, now in her 32nd year of guiding EA, the Churchwomen’s key returnees include senior goalie Caroline Kelly (committed to Boston University), senior center back Lauren Devletian (a first team All-Inter-Ac selection, committed to Dartmouth), senior forward Gianna Pantaleo (a first team All-Inter-Ac selection, committed to Boston University), senior forward Maddie Rehak (a first team All-Inter-Ac selection, committed to Bucknell), junior forward Kathleen Anderson (committed to Cornell) and sophomore midfielders Kelly Smith and Sofia Acosta.
EA lost to graduation last spring Katie Crager (a first team All-Inter-Ac selection), goalie Bridget Boyle, Molly Giles, MaryKate Chambers, Autumn Mueller, Ally Marino and Olivia Tuma. Current EA senior Lindsay Walling tore her ACL and is out for the season.
Buggy said, “Although we graduated a very strong class of seniors, we are looking forward to playing an aggressive style of hockey with an ability to attack from all positions. Our forwards are skilled and fast, and our young defense will have good support from our experienced and athletic goalkeeper. Our ability to gell as a unit will ultimately determine how successful we will be as a team. We are looking forward to working hard together and to challenging each other to get better every day.”

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