Field Hockey Capsules: Oakmont Poised for Big Year
After graduating nine players -- including two of Central Mass.’s best in Lauren Ladue and Maddie Moran -- the 2018 edition of the Oakmont Regional field hockey team will be built on speed and endurance. Roy notes that she is optimistic that “with time and hard work, we will gel and play well.” Oakmont is always a wagon, so we’ll be keeping our eyes on South Ashburnham to see what’s happening there. The name enough should make some teams quake in their shoes.
Head coach: Leanne Roy (10th season)
2017 record: 16-5-1 (state finalist)
Key losses: Lauren Ladue, Gabby Slack, Jordan Bartell, Riley Hess, Maddie Moran, Sarah Craig, Jill Kolijan, Julia Kiedasch, Julia Sharon.
Key returners: Seniors Rachel Lemay, Kelsey Rasmuson, Jenna Duval, and Kaitlyn Paine, junior Sammy Gastonguay
Notable newcomers: None listed
Outlook: After graduating nine players -- including two of Central Mass.′ best in Lauren Ladue and Maddie Moran -- the 2018 edition of the Spartans will be built on speed and endurance. Roy notes that she is optimistic that “with time and hard work, we will gel and play well.” Oakmont is always a wagon, so we’ll be keeping our eyes on South Ashburnham to see what’s happening there. The name enough should make some teams quake in their shoes.
Head coach: Jamie Mariani
2017 record: 18-1-2 (sectional finalist)
Key losses: Courtney Cote, Hannah Gaffney, Gigi Zarrella
Key returners: Natalie Brown (senior forward/midfielder), Jane Bonazzolli (senior midfielder), Chloe Spedden (senior defender), Lauren Hill (senior forward), Erin Mehigan (senior defender), Caylie McMahon (junior goaltender), Gigi Fay (junior defender), Erica Spallone (junior forward), Kayla Ballas (junior), Maddie Zacchini (sophomore midfielder)
Notable newcomers: Lela Boermeester (freshman)
Outlook: The Chieftains return nine starters to this year’s team, and with loads of quality opponents, we’re expecting the Route 117ers to make a deep, deep run. Mariani has to replace Cote, the Central Mass. Player of the Year and the Mid-Wach B MVP from a year ago. Who steps up into her role? Brown was the team’s leading scorer a year ago, so expect her to be the focal point.
Head coach: Jennifer Biery (fifth season)
2017 record: 14-5-1 (sectional quarterfinalist)
Key losses: Gabrielle Alleva, Cassandra DiGeronimo, Rebecca Handy, Molly Masciarelli, Olivia Proctor, Victoria Rigopoulos, Sophie Shapiro, Kristen Melanson
Key returners: Maddison Arpano (senior defender), Rachel Drasser (senior midfielder), Abigail Koziol (sophomore midfielder), Jenna Morse (junior goaltender), Alizah Raboin (junior forward), Kayla Rhoades (senior forward), Leah Sowerbutts (senior forward), Lena Spadafore (senior defender), Elizabeth Walsh (senior midfielder)
Notable newcomers: Jinnie Do (junior defender), Emma Marinchev (sophomore forward)
Outlook: The Blue Knights look to be one of the area’s best teams from top to bottom, especially with everyone Biery has coming back. Sure, she graduated a bunch of talent (Handy, Masciarelli, Proctor, Sharpio), but everything coming back? The forwards in Raboin, Rhoades, and Sowerbutts should be the focal points in Lunenburg’s attack, with Marinchev getting the ball on her stick, too. There’s plenty in the back to help Morse. Biery has a great group of hard-working young women, and we can see them making serious noise this year.
Head coach: Maureen Watson (10th season)
2017 record: 10-7-2 (first round)
Key losses: Lexi Arsenault, Sophia Chernoch, Cassaundra Cooper, Kayla Johnson, Meghan Laperriere, Maggie Lashua, Abbi McIntosh
Key returners: Chantelle Goncalves (senior defender), Abby Sallila (sophomore defender), Kate Roseberry (senior forward), Frankie Alley (Sophomore), Paige Sanville (sophomore goaltender)
Notable newcomers: Molly Eglington (freshman forward), Caitlin Florio (freshman forward), Wiley Doucette (sophomore mid)
Outlook: Watson, as always, is positive about her team, one which has great stick skills. The Bulldogs need to thunk that cage, and with some solid talent in Roseberry returning and Eglington starting as a freshman, they can tally up some impressive scores. Sanville will make the jump to varsity and is expected to use the skills she acquired over the summer to keep opponents honest. With 21 young women on the roster, Watson should have a solid team in the Colonial.
Head coach: Lauren Hatfield (third season)
2017 record: 7-9-2
Key losses: Raleigh Finnegan, Maddie Worthington-Grimm, Lizzie Fortier, Becca Wheeler, Morgan Cormier, Sophia Hess, Megan Caless, Emily Hogue, Emma Barnaby, Gabriella Frederick
Key returners: Tam Landry (senior goaltender), Lexi Hahn (senior defender), Jenna Chiurri (senior forward), Hannah Wyman (senior forward), Grace Adams (junior midfielder), Ivana Akoachere (junior midfielder), Skylar Finnegan (junior forward), Ali Iacaboni (junior forward)
Notable newcomers: Caiya White (junior defense), Eliza Howlett (sophomore midfield), Sara DeAmicis (sophomore midfield), Arianna Constant (sophomore midfield)
Outlook: Hatfield is positive about this season, which sees a great deal of scoring power return to Doyle Field. Iacaboni and Finnegan contributed to a great deal of the goals. And despite graduating a great deal, LHS returns more experience in key positions. If Leominster can take last year’s effort and intensity and pair it with strong play on both sides of the field against some of the best competition Central Mass. has to offer, the Blue Devils will be back in the postseason.
Head coach: Jennifer Scott (fifth season)
2017 record: 0-14-2
Key losses: Nine players
Key returners: Anna Jordan (senior, midfield), Danielle Peterson (senior, back), Karly Allen (senior, forward), Abby Jollimore (senior, back), Wonoula Ashaju (junior, forward), Lucia Arciprete (junior, back), Soleil Leblanc (sophomore, back), Lilly Bray (sophomore, goaltender)
Notable newcomers: Lilly LeClair (senior, back), Aleysha Santos (sophomore), Ariana DeLeon (sophomore), Olamide Bamgbose (sophomore), Lainey Jaramillo (sophomore), Maddie Magliore (sophomore), Alyssa Pandolph (sophomore), Olivia Tran (sophomore), Marin Kupfer (freshman)
Outlook: Scott reports that “there are already noticeable improvements from key returners. Additionally, there is impressive speed coming from the newcomers.” There is plenty of athleticism in this team, as Ashaju -- the Red Raider triple jump champ -- should give FHS a triple kick up top. Bray backs what should be an improved defense. There’s plenty of youth in the above names -- nine 10th graders -- which should help boost the program over the next three autumns.
Head coach: Kelly Marciano (32nd year overall)
2017 record: 6-7-4
Key losses: Alexis Reidy, Kammryn Richard, Cali Conley, Rachel Tortora, Emily Hurst, Ashley Bosch
Key returners: Shelley Lielassus (senior forward/midfielder), Jessie Coppinger (senior forward/midfielder), Katarina Menice (senior forward/midfielder), Maggie Hackler (junior forward/midfielder)
Notable newcomers: Megan McCarthy, Riley O’Brien, Stephanie Sutton-Brown, Florence Ruel, Maddy Rowley, Caitlin Swartz, Maura Ridley, Chloe Bengston
Outlook: The Patriots may be young, but Marciano says her team has a wealth of experience to build on in 2018. NM has plenty of firepower up top with that senior triumvirate of Lielassus, Coppinger, and Menice, and you can bet Hackler’s ready to pounce on a loose ball and get it on -- and better yet, in -- the cage. McCarthy is an athlete, and she’ll be in the mix.