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Fox Chapel field hockey team looks to defend crown

| Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

The Fox Chapel Area High School field hockey team is coming off a championship season as the Foxes claimed the WPIAL crown last year with a win over Penn-Trafford in the title game.

If they are to repeat, the Foxes will need to replace some key components from last year's team.

“We are returning only two varsity starters,” FC coach Jen McCrady said.

Those two are junior Elizabeth Savin and sophomore Maggie McIlroy.

There will be a strong contingent of seniors led by forwards Taylor Banas, Cat Clarke and Rachel Wight, midfielder Adelaide Jones, and defender Mackenzie Kline.

“We will be looking for their leadership,” McCrady said.

McCrady is expecting significant contributions from sophomore forward Nicole Susi, freshman Megan McCrady, and sophomores Jenna Alexander, Margot Savin, and freshman Megan Botos.

“Defensively, we are looking to defensive midfielders and juniors Meghan Lucas, Claire Durr and Megan Martin, and sophomore Emily Yousem,” she said. “Goalkeepers this year are senior Hannah D'Cunha and freshman Natalie Columbus.”

The team is relatively young, but that did not stop the Foxes from starting the season on a positive note.

Fox Chapel defeated defending Class AA WPIAL champion Shady Side Academy, 1-0, as the Foxes dominated the time of possession and got the winning goal from Clarke.

The team followed that game up with a yearly road trip to the Twin Valley Rider Classic as the Foxes prepared to open section play earlier this week.

“Our section looks to be competitive with Mt. Lebanon and Peters Township, who are always tough,” McCrady said. “They are both well coached and athletic teams. With the exception of Mt. Lebo, however, a lot of teams are suffering the loss of a very strong senior class from last year.

“In section 1, look for Pine-Richland, Penn Trafford and NA to fight for the playoff spots.

“Our team has a lot of talent but we are still trying to find the right combinations and see who can put the ball in the cage for us. This young team has the task of defending the WPIAL title. With leadership and an intense work ethic they can handle that.”

Marty Stewart is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-782-2123 or mstewart@tribweb.com.

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