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Main Line field hockey squads looking to net glory this fall

Plenty of strong teams dot the Main Line high school field hockey landscape this fall, including PAISAA champion Episcopal Academy, Catholic League champion Archbishop Carroll, Central League champ Conestoga, Academy of Notre Dame. Haverford High, Radnor and Villa Maria Academy. Here’s a beginning-of-season look at the Main Line High school field hockey squads (based on information sent to us by the respective teams):

Academy of Notre Dame
Head coach; Adele Williams, 18th year.
Last year’s record: 18-3-1 overall, 8-2 Inter-Ac, PAISAA tournament semifinalist.
Key returnees: senior defender/midfielder Emily Graeff, senior midfielder Mia Leonhardt, senior defender Brianna Odgers, senior midfielder/forward Megan Mitchell, senior forward Vivi Trumpbour, junior goalie Paige Kieft.
Others to watch: senior forward Sophia Amos, senior forward Riley Gillin, junior midfielder/forward Abby D’Anjolell, sophomore defender/midfielder Evelyn O’Neill, sophomore forward Emma Steel.
Outlook: Williams said the team’s biggest strengths are speed, athleticism and a strong midfield and goalie. “With the loss of key starters to graduation, including our team leading scorer, Lauren Curran, we will have a relatively young team supporting our returning players,” said Williams. “It will be exciting to see how the incoming players adjust to their new roles.”

Agnes Irwin
Head coach: Morgan Paese, first year.
Last year’s record: 9-10 overall, 4-6 Inter-Ac.
Key returnees: senior forward Avery Niedland, senior midfielder Ciaran Scott, senior forward Hadley Evans, junior defender Kelly Cooper, sophomore forward Marissa White, sophomore midfielder Lily Bott, sophomore forward Ariana Karalis.
Others to watch: freshman midfielder Maggie Kondrath, freshman midfielder Lauren DeRose.
Outlook: Paese said, “We have a strong group of seniors leading the team this season. As a program, we are starting fresh, with many changes in leadership. Team culture and chemistry have been two major focuses during the preseason. Our goals will be achieving a winning record, with a focus on improving our Inter-Ac League play.”

Archbishop Carroll
Head coach: Christina Elisio, fourth year.
Last years record: 16-4 overall, 9-0 Catholic League (champions).
Key returnees: senior defender/midfielder Carly Bateman (first team All-Catholic League last fall), junior midfielder Carleigh Conners, senior defender Emma Sutter, senior forward Megan Curry, sophomore midfielder Grace O’Neill.
Others to watch: senior forward Kadi Dekovitch, junior forward Julia Kingsbury.
Outlook: Elisio said, “Many of our girls have varsity experience, and having won the Catholic League last year and making it to States was beyond exciting, but we have to stay focused and continue to work hard. Our players work extremely well together as a unit and as the season goes on they will get more and more comfortable with each other’s playing styles. Our biggest challenge that we face is having lost six starters to graduation last spring. They played all over the field so we have some big shoes and gaps to fill but we are confident that the present players will fill in nicely. We have girls who are playing different positions this year than they did last year. With change comes opportunity and we know the girls are up for the challenge.”

Conestoga
Head coach: Regan Marscher, first year.
Last year’s record: 15-4 overall, 10-0 Central League.
Key returnees: senior goalie Katie Clemson, senior forward Chloe Ziegler, senior forward Annie Hirshman, senior defender Lauren Demilio, senior midfielder Faith Albertson, junior midfielder Carly Hynd, junior midfielder Amanda Foster, junior midfielder Jess Mullen, junior forward Caroline Wisch, senior midfielder McHalea Beck.
Others to watch: senior midfielder Autumn Hill, junior defender Sofia Ries, sophomore defender Lily Wolfe, freshman forward Kate Galica.
Outlook: Marscher said, “We have experience on offense and strong and enthusiastic newcomers stepping up. Our biggest key to success will be our ability to play as a unit. Our biggest challenge will be making sure our newer players have the confidence to step up.”

Episcopal Academy
Head coach: Gina Buggy.
Last year’s record: 15-2-2, won PAISAA title, was ranked 12th in the nation by Maxfieldhockey.com.
Key returnees: senior forward Kathleen Anderson, senior back Louisa Baxter, junior midfielder Sofia Acosta, junior midfielder Kelly Smith, junior midfielder Macy Szukics.
Others to watch: senior forward Melanie LIm, senior forward Laura Null, sophomore midfielder/forward Ashley Sessa, sophomore midfielder/forward Mia Garber, sophomore goalie Gianna Cillufo, senior forward Jackie Miller.
Outlook: Buggy said, “This team has a good work ethic and an ability to score goals. We lost a large group of productive seniors to graduation last spring. However, the returning varsity core along with the JV and incoming freshmen should be a formidable unit so we are optimistic about our potential. Once again, we will have a strong combination of multi-sport athletes, some of whom consider field hockey their No. 1 sport and others who do not. With the appropriate work ethic, unselfish play and commitment to team we look forward to a very successful season.”

Friends’ Central
Head coaches: Lisa and Bobby Mansure, second year.
Last year’s record: 1-9-1 overall, 0-6-1 Friends Schools League.
Key returnees: senior midfielder Lindsey Schweitzer, sophomore forward Bella Lederman.
Others to watch: senior forward Lilah Epstein, senior midfielder Jane Whellan, junior forward Ruby Kauffman-Rosengarten.
Outlook: Mansure said, “With the loss of some key defensive players, we will have some big shoes to fill. However, our returning players have the willingness to learn about the game. Last year, our best game of the season was the first round of the FSL Quaker Cup, and we can only grow stronger from where we left off at the end of last season.”

Harriton
Head coach: Kirsten Taylor, second year.
Last year’s record: 10-6 overall, 6-5 Central League.
Key returnees: senior defender Kat Berberian, senior defender Lucy Dwyer, senior midfielder Paige Fisher, junior midfielder/defender Ashton Odiorne, junior forward Sydney Odiorne.
Others to watch: freshman midfielder Kiki Egberts, sophomore forward Rachel Kolton.
Outlook: “The saying, ‘Defense wins the games’ is very true for our team,” said Taylor. “While our forwards and mids are working hard and have improved so much, our defense is strong and we are excited to watch them play. The leadership and hard work from all of them really show on and off the field. Our biggest challenge is that we have a very small group this season between varsity and JV and lost a lot of key starters last year. Our goalie from last season is injured and this year we have another incoming freshman goalie. It’s going to be a learning experience for some of them, but we are ready for the challenge.”

Haverford High
Head coach: Christa Taylor, fourth year.
Last year’s record: 16-2-1 overall, 10-1 Central League.
Key returnees: senior midfielder Eilie Kent, senior forward Katie Redding, senior defender Shannon Quaile, junior defender Leah Drake.
Others to watch: junior forward Mary Kate Ardizzi, junior midfielder Emilia Conners, sophomore forward Maura Quaile.
Oulook: Taylor said, “We graduated some great players last year, but there are very talented girls ready to fill the ranks. We have several solid returning starters who will fill leadership positions, and the whole team is working on fine tuning our passing game and communication. We expect our new players on the forward line to generate consistent offense, and our solid backfield to hold things down defensively. It should be a competitive year in the Central League.”

Radnor
Head coach: Katie Maguire, fourth year.
Last year’s record: 15-4 overall, 7-2 Central League.
Key returnees: senior midfielder Brigid Lowry, senior midfielder Barbara Civitella, senior defender Olivia DeCain, senior midfielder Genevieve Mehra, junior defender Madison Milhous, sophomore defender Hope Delaney.
Others to watch: junior forward Cierra Hopson, junior forward Margaret Mooney, sophomore midfielder Riley Mazzalupi.
Outlook: Maguire said, “We have a genuine team camaraderie which can make great things happen this year. These girls have a lot of fun together on and off the field. We are looking to have great wins this year against big opponents. The biggest challenge for us will be consistency in scoring, but I know we we’ll overcome it.”

Shipley
Head coach: Avery Safford, third year.
Last year’s record: 7-8 overall, 6-3 Friends’ Schools League.
Key returnees: senior midfielder Carolina Riley, sophomore forward Peyton Turner, junior goalie Casey Goss.
Others to watch: freshman midfielder Aisling Smith, freshman midfielder Katie Eads, freshman defender Julia Lissack.
Outlook: Safford said, “This year we have two captains who are dedicated to field hockey and making this year enjoyable for all players. They have created a team who isn’t afraid to fail and take risks – knowing full well they have people to pick them up if they fall or mess up. I think that trust is vital for the success of a team. We had seven starters graduate last spring. With having such a young team (four seniors) this year, we are asking the freshmen to step up and fill in some big shoes.”

Villa Maria Academy
Head coach: Katie Evans, second year.
Last year’s record: 18-3.
Key returnees: senior forward Meg Dillon, senior midfielder Maggie Powers, senior back Kate Perretta.
Others to watch: junior back Colby Dobra, sophomore forward Annie Shaw, sophomore back Maia Dechario, sophomore midfielder Ryan Hickey, sophomore midfielder Caroline O’Brien, sophomore forward Lindsey Roberts, freshman midfielder Gia Whalen.
Outlook: Evans said, “I think our team’s greatest strength is our cohesiveness. We also have an incredible group of seniors who are true examples of what our program is all about, and are excellent leaders for our underclassmen. We have a new coach joining us this year, Katie Grant, who is such an asset. She played at Duke, was a three-time All-American, an international athlete and coached previously at the D1 and high school level as well. Although former Villa players (and current U19 National Team athletes) Mary Harkins, Hannah Miller, and Adele Iacobucci left big shoes to fill, I’m excited by the opportunities for growth our team will have this year.”

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