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Main Line field hockey squads should contend this fall

The Main Line high school field hockey scene this fall should feature a solid number of contending teams. Coming off particularly noteworthy 2015 campaigns are Conestoga (21-4, undefeated Central League champions), Episcopal Academy (22-0 in 2015, and 12-0 in the Inter-Ac) and Villa Maria Academy (22-1 overall, 12-0 AACA, PIAA state finalists). Main Line squads coming off winning 2015 campaigns include Academy of Notre Dame, Agnes Irwin, Archbishop Carroll, Harriton, Haverford, Lower Merion, Merion Mercy Academy and Radnor.
What follows are previews of the fall 2016 Main Line high school field hockey teams:

Academy of Notre Dame
Head coach: Adele Williams, 14th year.
Last year’s record: 15-4 overall, 8-2 Inter-Ac.
Key returnees: senior forward Sarah Boles, senior defender Colleen Kearney, senior defender Ryan Loftus, senior forward Quinn Maguire, senior forward/midfielder Mary Kate Neff, senior midfielder Cami Osborne, junior forward Tina D’Anjollel, junior midfielder Ava Leonhardt, junior midfielder Sarah Jane Quigley.
Others to watch: sophomore midfielder Lauren Curran, junior goalie Katie Liebeskind, freshman forward Mia Leonhardt.
Lost to graduation: midfielder Emily Lambert (playing for Colgate), defender Caroline Allen, goalie Erin Boyle, defender Natalie Burns.
Outlook: Listing the team’s biggest strengths as speed, athleticism and experience, Williams said, “[We] return many key players who will provide strong leadership and a great amount of experience. With the addition of extremely talented, young players, we are looking forward to a successful season.”

Agnes Irwin
Head coach: Alison Monzo, fifth year.
Last year’s record: 14-6 overall, 6-4 Inter-Ac.
Key returnees: senior midfielder Julianna Tornetta, senior midfielder Jax van der Veen; junior forward Grace Weise, junior midfielder Ellie Kirkpatrick, junior defender Murphy Meredith.
Others to watch: freshman defender Alex Conway, freshman midfielder Kacy Hogarth.
Lost to graduation: defender Charlotte Alexander, forward Arden Berlinger, midfielder Kendall Henderson, goalkeeper Rosie Kalis (playing for Miami University of Ohio), defender Morgan Smith, defender Connie Thompson.
Outlook: Monzo said, “This season, our biggest strengths include the old and fresh talent. Our returnees are seasoned in their positions and our incomers are just as hungry to dive in and compete. With that comes some growing pains of finding the balance and flow of our game. I’m confident we will find this balance in the early days of our season and that it will serve us well through post-season play.”

Archbishop Carroll
Head coach: Christina Elisio, first year.
Last years record: 11-3 Catholic League; lost to Bonner/Prendie 2-1 in league semifinals.
Key returnees: Senior forward Sam Swart, senior midfielder Maddie Sutter, senior forward Jess Hewitt, senior defender Mary Dudas, senior forward Meg Foster, senior defender Katie Hageney, senior goalie Kimmy McGroary, senior forward Katy Curry.
Others to watch: junior midfielder Hannah Bateman, sophomore defender Maggie Pina, sophomore midfielder Keri Daly, freshman midfielder Eilie Kent, freshman midfielder/defender Carly Bateman.
Lost to graduation: forward Gabby Sutter, defender Mary Catherine Jones, forward Gracie McClatchy (playing for University of Scranton), defender Kearstin Crossan, midfielder Jordyn Crossan, defender Carly Peters, defender Kate O’Connor.
Outlook: Elisio listed the Patriots’ biggest strengths as communication, perseverance (“We finish plays out well”), free hits and stick-to-stick passing. She listed the team’s biggest challenges as stick work, cutting to the ball and quicker decision making.

Baldwin School
Head coach: Karen Lancaster, first year.
Last year’s record: 4-11-2 overall, 2-7-1 Inter-Ac.
Key returnees: senior defender Courtney Loomis, senior forward/midfielder Caroline Schaeffer.
Others to watch: senior forward/midfielder Maya Bindra, senior defender Gillian Chestnut.
Outlook: Lancaster said, “We are in a developing year with a new and growing program.”

Conestoga
Head coach: Megan Smyth, fifth year.
Last year’s record: 21-4 overall, 11-0 Central League.
Key returnees: junior midfielder Kiley Allen, sophomore midfielder Charlotte de Vries, senior defender and co-captain Sophie Grove, senior defender and co-captain Stephanie Hamilton, junior midfielder Grace McEvoy, junior forward Emma McGillis, senior defender Madison Rogalski, senior forward and co-captain Meredith Ross.
Lost to graduation: Casey Allen (playing for Harvard), Kelly Baker, Kate Billings, Caroline Coladonato (playing for Villanova), Natalie Hirst, Ivy Hollander (playing at University of Mary Washington), Grace Jalboot.
Outlook: Smyth said, “With eight returning starters and seven experienced seniors, we are looking forward to a fun and exciting season. This team brings a wealth of experience and enthusiasm and is ready to work together as one to achieve their goals. The seniors have already rallied their team behind the motto, ‘Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.’”

Episcopal Academy
Head coach: Gina Buggy, 30th year.
Last year’s record: 22-0 overall, 12-0 Inter-Ac.
Key returnees: senior forward Corinne Zanolli, senior forward Lexi Fischer, senior forward Jenna Lotsis, senior back Taylor Lucey, junior midfielder Katie Crager, junior goalkeeper Bridget Boyle, sophomore goalkeeper Caroline Kelly.
Others to watch: sophomore midfielder Lauren Devletian, sophomore midfielder Genevieve Becker, sophomore forward Maddie Rehab, sophomore forward Gianna Pantaleo, junior forward Olivia Tuma, sophomore back Lindsay Walling, junior back Ally Marino, junior back Autumn Mueller, senior back Shannon Gillespie.
Lost to graduation: (Maddie Bacskai, back Princeton, Margaux Paolino mid, Duke, Courtney Williamson, mid UNC.
Outlook: Buggy said, “Having lost a lot to graduation, our [biggest] strength will be in our ability to play well together as a team. We will have to depend on everyone in every position to contribute on a daily basis. Our attacking unit should be formidable, and our defense will have to catch up quickly. We have strong leadership from our senior class and in particular from our tri- captains, Corinne Zanolli, Lexi Fischer and Jenna Lotsis.”

Friends’ Central
Head coach: Jody Mayer, ninth year.
Last year’s record: 2-8.
Key returnees: senior midfielder and captain Chay Anderson, junior forward Danielle Schweitzer, sophomore back Katie Leone.
Lost to graduation: goalie Maddie Henry (Cornell), back Elise Foster (Pitt).
Outlook: Mayer said, “Losing the entire midfield and most of the forward line as well as Maddie Henry, a very accomplished goalie, means that we will have a lot of rebuilding to do. Our commraderie and positivity is certainly our biggest strength. We are gelling well and I’m excited to see the improvement that I know is coming. We are very young with three athletes new to hockey for the first time this year. Our veteran players are mentoring them well and showing great leadership. I think that we have the potential to see some success on the field this year, but we have a lot of work to do in the meantime.”

Harriton
Head coach: Cassandra Cicalese, 10th year.
Last year’s record: 10-6-1 overall, 7-3-1 Central League.
Key returnees: senior left midfielder Sophie Grady, junior low center midfielder Sarah Marks, junior center defender Molly McDonough, junior right midfielder Meg Wilcox, sophomore center forward Grace Copeland.
Others to watch: junior right defender Grata Stahl, sophomore high center midfielder Nikki Handel, sophomore right forward Elle Seward, freshman left defender Lucy Dwyer.
Lost to graduation: center forward Carly Adams, high center midfielder Robyn Clark, goalie Laura Lasprogata (playing for Saint Joseph’s University), center defender Haley Morris, right defender Meredith Morris.
Outlook: Cicalese said, “With only two seniors and just six returning varsity players, we are a very young team this year. That said, many of our underclassmen are rising to the occasion and have really stepped up their level of play and intensity. We’ve got a great group of athletes who are focused and willing to work hard.”

Haverford High
Head coach: Christa Taylor, first year.
Last year’s record: 14-6 overall, 10-1 Central League.
Key returnees: senior defender Francesca Truax, senior defender Lea VanLuvender, senior forward Laura Winters, sophomore midfielder Megan Phillips, sophomore forward Carly Gannon.
Others to watch: senior midfielder Brynn Thiel, sophomore midfielder Sydney Corcoran, sophomore forward Kelsey Knapp.
Lost to graduation: midfielder Tess Horan (playing for Drexel University), goalie Emily DiGaetano (playing for Susquehanna University), forward Hannah Breslin (playing lacrosse for Old Dominion University), midfielder Lauren Vanstone (playing ice hockey for Neumann University).
Outlook: Taylor said, “{We have] great senior leadership and tons of speed and agression from [our] underclassmen. We will develop maturity and decision-making as we come together as a team. The girls are excited for another competitive season in the Central Leauge.”

Lower Merion
Head coach: Rachael Bloemker (interim coach), first year.
Last year’s record: 11-6-1.
Key returnees: senior midfielder Annie O’Connor, junior midfielder Ashley Roberts, senior back Eleanor Gaddy, junior back Leona Fisher, senior forward Samantha Bruttomesso-Clarke.
Others to watch: junior back Sophie Shaffer, junior forward Danielle Geis.
Lost to graduation: Emma Ungar, Lauren Clarke, Megan Dennis.
Outlook: According to Bloemker, the team’s biggest physical strength is its speed; its biggest challenge is varsity experience.

Merion Mercy Academy
Head coach: Margaretha Ehret, first year.
Last year’s record: 13-7 overall, 8-4 AACA.
Key returnees: senior midfield/defense Kelsey Farkas, senior midfield Jamie Natale, senior midfield Kolbe Keating, sophomore forward Margo Carlin.
Others to watch: senior forward Caroline Steller, senior defender Cameron Toddy, junior midfield Katie Murphy.
Lost to graduation: defender Caroline Heath, goalie Lauren Thomas.
Outlook: Ehret said, “As a team we are fast and fit. We carry the ball well with speed and can make things happen in the transition. We have a bunch of skilled attacking-minded players who can put the ball in the cage! We continue to look to improve and make our individual and team defense as strong as possible.”

Radnor
Head coach: Katie Maguire, first year.
Last year’s record: 10-9 overall, 8-3 Central League.
Key returnees: senior back Natalie Junior, senior back Hope Smith, senior midfielder Emma Majercek.
Lost to graduation: Katie Quinn, Katie Wakiyama, Lauren Hemcher, Morgan Gryga, Nikki Barish, Morgan Stanley, Sarah Sobel.

Sacred Heart
Head coach: Patty McNevin, second year.
Last year’s record: 7-10-2 AACA.
Key returnees: senior defender MaryRose O’Donnell, senior defender Kellie McIntyre, senior forward Emily Franz, senior midfielder Lauren Palumbo, junior midfielder Hannah Seifried, junior goalie Colleen Vissar.
Others to watch: senior forward Anna Terzian, sophomore forward Danni Santora.
Lost to graduation: Brigid Gliwa.
Outlook: McNevin said, “Our greatest strength is going to be behind the leadership of our eight seniors. We have a big number of underclassmen, who will be fortunate to experience the seniors’ leadership and expertise. The Catholic Academy league is always so strong, our greatest challenge will be to stay aggressive and not let our guard down against them, staying focused and determined.”

Shipley
Head coach: Maggie Gilligan, third year.
Last year’s record: 4-11 overall, 4- 4 Friends’ Schools League.
Key returnees: junior midfielder Ashleigh Gundy, sophomore midfielder Kate Scutt, senior midfielder Caroline Getlin, senior forward Olivia Sobel.
Others to watch: freshman midfielder Carolina Riley, junior back Jasmine Powell.
Lost to graduation: midfielder Whitney Harris (playing for Ohio State), back Avery Yecies, forward Allison Schoenberg.
Outlook: Gilligan said, “We have a lot of new talent and key returning players. Challenges will be learning to play together as a team, connecting, staying mentally strong.”

Villa Maria Academy
Head coach: Daan Polders, third year.
Last year’s record: 22-1 overall, 12-0 AACA, PIAA state finalists.
Key returnees: junior goalie Danielle Acuna, senior Jen Finley, sophomore Mary Harkins, junior Lindsay Dickinson, sophomore Adele Iacobucci, sophomore Hannah Miller, senior forward Annina Iacobucci.
Others to watch: junior forward Emily Doyle, junior defender Erin Zielinski, junior defender Brianna Dietz, senior Aliya Kalman, senior defender Bri Bamber, junior Erin Finley, senior Meghan Rohr, sophomore defender Elizabeth D’Ascenzo.
Lost to graduation: Nicole Tsiaras (Catholic University), Abigail Siana (Villanova), Megan Vermeil (Villanova), Caroline Mullen (Scranton), Emily Wilson (WPI), Colleen Rohr (Scranton), Devi Donthineni (Navy).
Outlook: Polders said, “Our biggest strength is our experience after playing deep into the season last year again, combined with smart players. Our biggest challenge is replacing new players and fitting [them] in quickly in their roles.”

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