Panthers look to continue winning ways
HOOSICK, N.Y. — The Hoosick Falls field hockey team returns a solid mix of veteran players and younger talent for the 2018 season.
The Panthers made a trip to the Class C sectional championship game last year, where they fell to powerhouse Schuylerville 5-0 on the Black Horses' home turf.
Hoosick Falls lost just Mackenzie Sprague, Tayla Conway, Eliza Whitman and Cecilia Vincent to graduation, bringing back most of its core from last year's 16-2 squad.
Most prominently, the Panthers return 2017 first-team Adirondack/Wasaren League all-stars Lillian Hickey and Madison Sprague.
Hickey was Hoosick Falls' top scorer last year and figures to be in that role for her senior season in 2018 as well. She scored all three of the Panthers' goals in their win against Warrensburg last week.
Other major contributors returning are goalie Zoe Gress, Ayla Fauler, Madelyn Kasulinous, Jayda Stell-Gulley and Katie Weeden.
Things have started off well for Hoosick Falls during the early stretch of the season, but long-time Panthers coach Denise Campbell knows there is a long way to go with some of the inexperience her roster has.
"We have a lot seniors, but we have a lot of young starters," Campbell said. "We have two eighth graders starting out there for us. I expect us to be in a lot of games. We have a lot of improvement, but we obviously have a long way to go. (The win against Warrensburg) was a big boost for us and hopefully will point us in the right direction.
Roster: Madison Sprague, Ayla Fauler, Madelyn Kasulinous, Anna Myers, Lyric Kryner, Jayda Stell-Gulley, Macy Lindsey, Catherine Kennedy, Ashlynne Stemp, Dezah Weierbach, Emma McCart, Gracie Lohnes, Katie Weeden, Emily Schnoop, Abby Decker, Lillian Hickey, Zoe Gress.
Goal for MAU: playoff appearance
For the Mount Anthony field hockey team and fourth-year coach Amber Cottrell, the goal is to qualify for the Division I playoffs for the first time in three years.
The last two, the Patriots have come up a single game short of the school's self-imposed 30 percent winning percentage rule.
"We have a lot of players on this team who haven't played in a playoff game," Cottrell said. "It's definitely doable for us, if we can be mentally tough."
The Patriots have a strong senior core with Alison Simmons, Savannah Rogers, Ellen Woodard and Jordan Barilone all bringing their experience to the field.
Simmons, a defender and Rogers, a four-year starting goaltender, make the defense one of the strongest pieces for the Patriots.
"Our defense works really well together," said Cottrell, who also mentioned defenders Molly Cohen and Rylie Bates as well, along with midfielder Abby Farrington. "Molly is a hard worker, smart. Rylie came up in the middle of last season. They know what the competition is like. The biggest thing is being mentally tough, even if we get down one of two scores."
Up front, it is a young group, with Chloe Rogers on the wing and a couple of sophomores, Lily Donahue and Chloe Stitcher, expected to make some waves. Another new player who should make some noise is freshman Laura Bibens.
"Chloe [Stitcher] is aggressive early and Chloe [Rogers] is tough on the wing, and not afraid to drive the ball [toward the cage]," Cottrell said. "Laura still has to work on her defense, but she's a great asset for us."
So far this season, against two tough opponents in Otter Valley and Hartford, things have not gone MAU's way, but the season still has a long way to go.
"We want to be playing strong in the second half [of the season] and work on finishing an entire game," Cottrell said.
Roster: Alison Simmons, Savannah Rogers, Ellen Woodard, Jordan Barilone, Chloe Rogers, Molly Cohen, Taryn Cassano, Abby Farrington, Rylie Bates, Lily Donahue, Andrea Kaufer, Lizzy Bush, Chloe Stitcher, Laura Bibens, Caitlin Seigel, Hannah Lacroix, Logan LaChance.
BBA field hockey improving
The Burr and Burton field hockey team has some strength in numbers and that number is 11, as in, the number of seniors for the Bulldogs this season.
That experience should only serve them well this season after going 7-7-2 last year, falling to eventual D-II champion Bellows Falls in the semifinal.
"We have some great senior leadership, even if for some, they've only been on varsity for a couple of years," said BBA coach Barb Miceli. "As a whole team culture, the seniors really are creating a culture where everyone feels welcome and part of the team, which is bringing everyone to the next level."
On the other side of the coin, there are a couple of freshman as well in Annabelle Gray and Perrin Marion, and they are getting a good chunk of playing time as well.
"I moved Annabelle all around the field in the first two games, she's got speed and poise, she's a smart player and has the skill to move the ball up the wing," Miceli said. "Perrin has been at center-mid, right-mid, left-mid, and you wouldn't know that she's only a freshman out there, she has a lot of confidence out there."
In goal, Hannah Callen is only a sophomore, but she plays like someone with a lot of experience. Against Bellows Falls in the home opener, she was peppered by the Terriers all afternoon, but allowed only four goals, half the number that BF scored on BBA last season.
Efremia Geralis, Celsey McMahon, Riley Cullen and Lola Herzog are all sophomores that will be a big part of what the Bulldogs do.
"We have six sophomores and five played on varsity as freshman last year," Miceli said. "That entire crew, including the two freshmen, has been so committed the entire summer, working out, training in the fitness center, out on the turf. It seemed like every time I drove past, someone would be out working on stick skills and conditioning. They came in ready to go."
The program's numbers are strong, with more than 30 players between junior varsity and varsity.
"We have a big freshman class and a couple of others coming in, our numbers are good," Miceli said.
Roster: Brianna Mayne, Amber Rachele, Hannah Callen, Riley Callen, Charleigh Carthy, Riley Christy, Matea Cusack, Julia Fillion, Efremia Geralis, Annabelle Gray, Lola Herzog, Lauren Hunt, Perrin Marion, Celsey McMahon, Evangeline Morrison, Kaitlyn North, Ashley Poddick, Emma Putney, Abby Wimer, Arden Wojtach.
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