F – KATE GALICA, Sr., Conestoga — Throughout her high school career, Galica has been one of the top players in District 1. The Pioneers’ leading scorer all four year on varsity, Galica piled up over 100 goals in her career. Galica, who will play lacrosse at the Univerity of Virginia next year, tallied 35 goals and 19 assists for 89 points — 282 points for her career — and scored in every postseason game in 2022.
F – CIARA MARGETICH, Sr., Downingtown West — The Whippets’ captain notched her 100th career goal this past season, finishing the year with 33 goals and 11 assists, including a perfect four-for-four on penalty strokes. Margetich, a St. Joeseph’s recruit, scored both goals in West’s 2-0 district quarterfinal win over Souderton, and two of West’s three goals, including the game-winning stroke, in the Whippets’ district championship title game, a 3-2 victory over Conestoga.
F – MOLLY MAIN, Sr., Unionville — Main put together a fabulous season for the Longhorns in 2022. A natural leader, Main leads by example, both in and out of the classroom. The speedy senior led Unionville with 31 goals, while also chipping in with 13 assists.
F – Ashley Plzak, Sr., Downingtown West — Along with Margetich, Plzak helped give the Whippets one of the strongest front lines in the state. Plzak, who will continue her field hockey and academic careers in the Ivy League at Cornell, found the back of the cage on 29 occasions, with 18 assists.
M – GIA WHALEN, Sr., Villa Maria — Whalen, whose resume and national acclaim could fill up a book, did some of her best work ever in her time at Villa, as a steady leader of a young team. Whalen led the Hurricanes in assists, with 21, and was second on the team in goals scored, with 21. The senior is headed to the University of Iowa next season.
M – EVA NEMETH, Jr., Great Valley — A student of the game, Nemeth is great at reading the field and the movement of the opposing team. With has upper level stick skills, Nemeth scored 23 goals and assisted on 15. The junior committed to play Division I field hockey at Northwestern following her graduation from Great Valley in 2024.
M – SHAE WOZNIAK, Soph., Conestoga — Still only a sophomore, Wozniak has already established herself as one of the area’s top players. Second only to Galica on the Pioneers’ scoring list, Wozniak is an excellent distributor. She notched 34 goals and 15 assists and was called upon as the team’s primary stroker.
D – SARAH BURNS, Sr., Kennett — The Blue Demons had one of the stingiest defenses around and Burns was a key part of it. With excellent stick skills, Burns is a poised, deceptive and quick center back. Credited with nine defensive saves, the senior was the anchor. On the offensive side, she scored three goals along with three assists.
D – CAREY WERLEY, Sr., West Chester East — Werley, a center back with a powerful stroke, was a key part of both offensive and defensive corners for the Vikings. Credited with 10 goals and a pair of assists, Werley also chipped in with five defensive saves. Werley is committed to play field hockey at Villanova in the fall.
D – LILLY NORTON, Sr., Conestoga — One of the Pioneers’ captains, Norton anchored a defensive unit that made sure goalie Alex Lepore never had to work too hard. A strong and skilled player, Norton kept opposing players out of the backline all season.
G – MADDIE SEARS, Sr., Kennett — Coach Meghan Shumway could count on Sears to be a brick wall minding the cage. Sears, who is committed to Villanova, was a four-year starter for the Blue Demons, finishing this season with a stellar save percentage of 90 percent, including nine shutouts. Sears allowed just 17 goals in 20 games, and stopped two of the three penalty strokes she faced.
F – Caitlin Connell, Fr., Villa Maria
F – Rylee Dennis, So., Downingtown East
F – Madison Britton, Sr., Avon Grove
F – Kaitlin Giandonato, Sr., Great Valley
M – Ellie Almeida, Sr., Unionville
M – Abby Johnson, Sr., Oxford
M – Alyssa Freeman, Sr., Downingtown West
D – Kate Mahmud, Sr., Downingtown West
D – Callen Todd, Jr., Villa Maria
D – Molly DiCampli, Sr., West Chester Henderson
D – Amanda Hill, Sr., Conestoga
G – Kaiya Chepow, Jr., Downingtown West
Avon Grove: Camryn Spancake, Keleigh Clausius, Kendra Cornatzer; Bishop Shanahan: Stella Dambro, Mia DiGenova; Coatesville: Lorelei Lehenkey;
Conestoga: Alex Lepore, Keating Hopkins, Lexi Patterson, Addie Delorefice, Emma Nikolic; Downingtown East: Nia Massey, Megan Latch; Downingtown West: Mia Freeman, Carly Smith, Piper Cline, Olivia Morraye; Great Valley: Ella Winters, Grace Flynn, Rachel Hubley; Kennett: Kaitlyn Stolp, Jordyn McMillan, Whitney Walker; Oxford: Ava McGlothlin, Lily Fay; Unionville: Ria Rossman, Rachel Young, Brooke Phillips; Villa Maria: Brynna Hill, Ella Cellini, Caitlin Files, Gabby Balzano, Emma Maher, Erin Mitchell; West Chester East: Anna Capelli, Lydia Bechtel; West Chester Henderson: Kristina Cobb; West Chester Rustin: Grace O’Hora, Sam Ward, Grace Walsh.
COACH OF THE YEAR
Katie Evans, Villa Maria — During the storied history of the Villa Maria field hockey program, the Hurricanes developed a reputation of never rebuilding, just reloading. But after a season that saw eight seniors move on, many to Division I programs, 2022 looked like it might be the rare year where Villa was just a little bit young and inexperienced, especially in the always tough AACA.
Despite fielding a team that at times, saw as many as nine freshmen and sophomores taking the field, coach Katie Evans didn’t change her approach, not even easing up a little on Villa’s brutal non-league schedule.
“We faced a lot of really tough opponents early in the year,” said senior captain Gia Whalen, who will be taking her considerable talents to the University of Iowa. “The kind of schedule we played helped us earn and grow and build confidence, and it’s made us well prepared for the kind of competition we’ll see in the postseason.”
The Hurricanes took their lumps over those first few weeks, at one point falling below .500, nearly unheard for the perennial field hockey powerhouse. By the end of September, Villa had been handed five defeats, often equal to 2-3 season worth of losses.
But Evans and her staff stuck with the program, relishing every minor, but steady sign of improvement, and building on each small success. Each successful pass, and each successful penalty corner begame to translate into wins. After falling to Gwynedd Mercy for the second time during the regular season, the Hurricanes went on a tear, winning their next nine straight.
Along the way, Villa earned a bit of revenge, topping Gwynedd Mercy in the District 1, Class 2A title game. The Hurricanes then won their first two games of the state tournament to advance to the semifinal round, before losing a 1-0 heartbreaker in overtime to Mechanicsburg, the eventual state champion.
“The start of the season with this young team, it wasn’t so much about wins and losses as it was wins and lessons,” said Evans. “We never lowered our goals and expectations for Villa Maria field hockey, but asked the players to step up to reach them, and they responded beautifully. I couldn’t be more proud of this team. This was supposed to be a rebuilding year, so to reach this stage of the state playoffs speaks volumes to the depth we have in this program.
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