Seven starters returning for Fox Chapel field hockey
The Fox Chapel Area High School field hockey team went 10-7 and 8-2 in section last season.
Graduation took a heavy toll on coach Jen McCrady's squad as they lost nine seniors, most notably Maddy Lucas and Haley Durr.
On a positive side, the Foxes will return seven starters — senior forward Kate Hardiman, senior midfielder Rose Grenen, senior back Lizzie Martin, senior goalie Alaina George, junior backs Francisca Bermudez and Kyle Pawlikowski and sophomore midfielder Elizabeth Savin.
A pair of sophomores will step into the starting lineup — midfielder Meghan Lucas and back Annalise Becer.
“We are still looking for consistent goalscorers to join Kate on the forward line,” McCrady said.
Vying for that role will be seniors Meryl Warshafsky and Sammi Pitz along with juniors Taylor Banas, Adelaide Jones, Cat Clark and Rachel Wight.
Also looking to claim starting positions are freshman midfielder Nicole Susi and back Maggie McIlroy.
Additional midfield and back support will come from junior Mackenzie Kline, sophomores Claire Durr, Megan Martin and Emily Thomas and freshman Caroline DeLuca.
“Our strength year after year is our depth,” McCrady said. “We are able to consistently be strong back to front.”
Dominating the midfield and backfield will be priority for the team, as is maintaining ball possession, McCrady said.
“Scoring has proven to be a challenge for us in the offseason and preseason,” McCrady said. “We lost our leading scorer in Maddy, but return two others from last year in Kate and Elizabeth. We are looking for consistent goalscorers to fill our lineup.”
The goal, as always, said McCrady, is for the team to get back to the WPIAL final and “close the deal” with a championship.
“We have been in the final twice and the semis once in the last three years. Our section is always tough, but our goal is to take back our section title from Woodland Hills. I expect Peters and Mt. Lebanon to be tough this year as well.
“We are thrilled for another season, and a tradition of winning for FC field hockey has been established. We expect to be in the WPIAL playoffs every year, and we are obviously anxious to begin section play.”
Marty Stewart is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-782-2123 or firstname.lastname@example.org.