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Reporter/Times Herald Field Hockey: Plymouth Whitemarsh returns loaded lineup after District 1-3A runner-up finish in ‘19

Plymouth Whitemarsh's Kaleigh Missimer makes a pass while Wissahickon's Juliet Tripoli defends. (Ed Morlock/MediaNews Group)

The Plymouth Whitemarsh field hockey team took a big step forward in 2019. Despite years of regular season dominance, it was the first time that group of players won a district playoff game. The Colonials went all the way to the District 1-3A championship game — a 3-2 overtime loss against Downingtown West — and earned a spot in the state tournament.

This year the Colonials will be looking to do more. Fifth-year head coach Charise Halteman returns two first team All-State seniors in Ava Borkowski and Kaleigh Missimer and a second team All-State junior in Molly Lynch.

Borkowski, who was a first team All-State selection as a sophomore, too, dominated in 2019. The Reporter/Times Herald/Montgomery Media Player of the Year re-wrote the PW record books with 58 goals and eight assists — totaling 124 points.

The Colonials also return All-Suburban One League American Conference selections in Hailey Copestick and Carly McGee.

Elsewhere in the SOL, Wissahickon looks to have another strong season in 2020. The Trojans went 12-2 in league play a year ago with both losses coming against the Colonials. Abington, Souderton, North Penn, Pennridge and SOL newcomer Lower Moreland were also among league teams to reach the District 1 playoffs a year ago and hope to return.

In the Pioneer Athletic Conference, Methacton, Spring-Ford and Perk Valley all won district playoff games in 2019. The Warriors have high expectations for a deeper postseason run in 2020 after losing just two key contributors from last year’s squad.

In the Bicentennial Athletic League, Dock Mennonite looks to build on last year’s season. The Pioneers finished second in the league and reached the District 1-A semifinals. The Pioneers have been putting in plenty of time this summer and are ready to take a step forward in 2020.

Following is a team-by-team look at the area.

ABINGTON
Head Coach: Katie Small (4th year).
Last Year: 8-9-1 overall, District 1 qualifier.
Key Returners: Camryn Stewart, Aly Campbell, Devan DiMaria.
Notable Losses: Paige Doyle, Jasmine Cubbage, Grace Kirwin, Mikayla Kizel.
Season Outlook: “Coming into camp the girls were excited to get back on the field. Although practices don’t have the same feel as years past the team came into camp in shape, excited and ready to start training to feel a sense of normalcy. With the graduation of Doyle (LaSalle), Abington will be looking to fill a hole left in the middle of the field. Captains Campbell, Lowery and Zoe Freedman are leading the charge and making sure the team is ready to play. Abington is looking forward to some strong competition this year in the new American Conference.”

CENTRAL BUCKS WEST
Head Coach: David DeAngelis (1st year).
Last Year: 4-14 overall, 3-9 SOL Continental.
Key Returners: Julia Bunch, Claire Engebreth, Emily Erickson.
Season Outlook: “We will be competitive while looking to gain valuable varsity experience in a strong SOL conference. As we continue to emphasize teamwork; our senior leadership and student-athletes have accepted the responsibility and accountability as well as commitment towards each other.”

DOCK MENNONITE
Head Coach: Michelle Waldspurger (9th year).
Last Year: 13-7 overall, second place BAL, District 1 second round.
Key Returners: Casey Harper, Olivia Yetter, Savahn Duerksen, Kylie Godshall, Olivia Zaskoda, Celeste Derstine, Ainsley Moyer. 
Notable Losses: Cedar Smith, Kate Landis, Elizabeth Longacre, Sophie Zaskoda.
Season Outlook: “We are looking forward to playing this season – girls have been training hard all summer and once we got the okay mid June we have been on the field twice a week since then – it’s been a lot of fun working together and setting goals and working towards achievement them – we are looking forward to another great season!”

LOWER MORELAND
Head Coach: Shawn Mayer (3rd year).
Last Year: 13-6-1 overall, 10-3-1 BAL, District 1 third seed.
Key Returners: Taryn Mayer, Linda Tang, Sarah Rosala.
Notable Losses: Ashley Tang.
Season Outlook: “We’ve lost a number of players due to COVID concerns but are heavy with underclassmen looking to contribute. We will need to find our rhythm early as we enter tougher competition against larger schools in the SOL.”

METHACTON
Head Coach: Amanda Fuertsch (2nd year).
Last Year: 11-9 overall, 8-5 PAC, District 1 second round.
Key Returners: Alexa Kratz, Grace Shiels, Ava Probst, Gaby DiPrinzio, Kristen Riddell, Elena Snodgrass, Jess Serafin, Bayla Plower, Madison Noh, Celia Long, Elise DeWan, Nicole Uebele.
Notable Losses: Rachel Alderfer, Liz Chipman.
Season Outlook: “Methacton is returning to almost full strength this season, with losing only 2 key players from the 2019 season. The athletes have been working hard over the summer, both virtually and in person, to prepare their fitness and skills for the upcoming season. We are excited for the opportunity to put all their hard work into play and look forward to being competitive this season.”

Mount Saint Joseph Academy
Head Coach: Sue Wentzel (3rd year).
Last Year: 14-9 overall, 8-4 AACA.
Key Returners: Megan Maransky, Meghan McGinley, Katie McCallum, Erin McGinley, Kelly Moore.
Notable Losses: Rory Williamson.
Season Outlook: “The Magic will be looking towards a league championship this year instead of states due to not playing in districts or states! They expect to match fierce competition with league rivals Villa Maria, Merion Mercy and Gwynedd Mercy.”

NORTH PENN
Head Coach: Shannon McCracken (9th year).
Last Year: 8-10-1 overall, District 1 qualifier.
Key Returners: Megan Albert, Katie Blanch, Eleni Kountroubis, Mallory Stowell, Bay Detweiler, Linsey Gilbert, Erin O’Donnell, Madison Waldspurger.
Notable Losses: Alex Fein, Deborah Kim.
Season Outlook: “We are excited to compete in the conference games this year as our conference is always very strong!”

PLYMOUTH WHITEMARSH
Head Coach: Charise Halteman (5th year).
Last Year: 20-3 overall, 14-0 SOL American, District 1 runner-up.
Key Returners: Ava Borkowski, Kaleigh Missimer, Molly Lynch, Hailey Copestick, Carly McGee, Darcy Miller, Sarah Trask.
Notable Losses: Livia Truong, Kayla Link.
Season Outlook: “Despite the changes to our season, the PW team is eager to compete! We have a strong attacking unit led by seniors Ava Borkowski and Kaleigh Missimer and many experienced players returning to our starting line-up. The senior class is playing at a high level and are motivated to build on the success of last season.”

PENNRIDGE
Head Coach: Becky Spahr (7th year).
Last Year: 11-8 overall, 5-7 SOL Continental, District 1 qualifier.
Key Returners: Maddie Bross, Emily Amsden, Lexie Dinsmore, Payton Muth, Hayley Bornman, Brynn Wenger, Emily Miller, Maia Machado.
Notable Losses: Abby Ludlow, Macy Price, Shannon Griffin, Kelcie Mannon.
Season Outlook: Pennridge is looking for its strong group of upperclassmen to mesh well with newcomers during the condensed 2020 season.

SOUDERTON
Last Year: 18-5 overall, 11-1 SOL Continental, District 1 6th place, State qualifier.
Notable Losses: Courtney Kenah, Anna Gwiazdzinski.
Key Returners: Lauren Kenah, Taylor Weaver, Reiley Knize.

SPRINGFIELD-MONTCO
Head Coach: Linda Nixon.
Last Year: 17-6 overall, 10-3 SOL American, District 1-A runner-up, state qualifier.
Key Returners: Anya Kochanowicz, Kate Wojeck, Lauren Corrado, Maddie Yoder, Ella Marino, Annie Coll.
Notable Losses: Charlotte Henry, Brigid Roy, Emma Congdon, Rebecca Berglund.
Season Outlook: “We lost our experienced deep defenders and Rebecca Berglund a very competent goalkeeper and captains Brigid Roy, Charlotte Henry, Emma Congdon who anchored the midfield and forward lines. We are just excited to have the opportunity to play and although we’ve started late the group is really beginning to come together.”

UPPER DUBLIN
Head Coach: Heather Boyer (22nd year).
Last Year: 4-12-2 overall, 2-10-2 SOL American.
Key Returners: Sarah Brightcliffe, Annabel Coplan, Mikayla DeMichele, Ellie Eby, Maisie Hanson, Peyton Kullmann, Dani Lucidi, Jenn McCarry, Allie Rock, Erin Eby, Avery Lennon.
Notable Losses: Lydia Casey, Rhianna Gonzales.
Season Outlook: “There is a lot to balance and plan for now that we are playing in the era of COVID-19. As players adjust to their new normal, we are expecting a big senior class to serve as leaders and experienced role models to pave the way for our younger players.”

WISSAHICKON
Head Coach: Lucy Gil (15th year).
Last Year: 14-6-1 overall, 12-2 SOL American.
Key Returners: Alli Wood.
Notable Losses: Grace Ball, Hannah Havrilla, Meghan Reilly.
Season Outlook: “I think we will be very competitive this year. Everyone is happy to be playing and working hard to make this strong team!”

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