Field hockey preview

Raiders united: aim for playoffs

PREVIEW: VARSITY FIELD HOCKEY

Head Coach: Dede Frost

JV Coach: Jess Blasi

Key returning players: Seniors Bethany Bennett (link), Maddy Smith (forward), Ellie Jones (forward), Brittany Fox (goalie), Sage Hennessy (forward); Juniors Christina Dipietro (forward), Ellen Bacchiocchi (forward) and Makayla Frost (midfield).

Top newcomers: Kendra Fox (forward), Courtney Bartlett (forward) and Laura Lewis (sweeper).

Players to watch: Sage Hennessy and Christina Dipietro will be fun to watch as they add speed and experience to the forward line. Bethany Bennett will stabilize the midfield as a seasoned veteran with plenty of determination.

Strengths: 80% returning forward line, only one graduated, from a playoff team of a year ago. Speed and agility from the offense should prove to be a strength.

Weaknesses: Finding the right combination to fill the defensive gaps left by last year’s seniors.

Based on what you’ve seen thus far, what are you most encouraged by? “I have a great group of 35 girls who are excited about a new season. They are united and positive and that’s half the battle,” Coach Frost said. “Winning and losing are much easier when it’s done together.”

Three keys to the season? 1. Led by captain Bethany Bennett and four senior “quad captains” provide tremendous leadership. Keeping the team united and excited is always a key! 2. Finding a system of play that works best for the team and converting some players to midfielders! 3. Creating a strong line of defense with newcomers.

Three goals? “I’d like to score that many a game!” Coach Frost said. Add transitioning from offense to defense smoothly and mastering the new corner rule — both offensively and defensively — and scoring more than the other teams in as many games as possible as other goals.

Season opener: The Raiders open the season at home today, Thursday, Sept. 1 against rival Lake Region at 3:30 p.m. The Raiders then travel to Greely on Monday for a 4 p.m. game and York next Friday, Sept. 9 for a 4 p.m. contest.

LR: great promise?

PREVIEW: VARSITY FIELD HOCKEY

Head Coach: Dagny Leland, 10 years.

Assistant Coach: Deb Albert

JV Coach: Lisa Shane

Key returning players: Seniors Chelsie Murch (forward), Alice Sanborn (forward), Shannon Van Loan (goalie), Monica Couvillion (forward) and Abby Craffey (forward).

Top newcomers: Juniors Kayleigh Lepage (midfield), Lucy Fowler (midfield) and Kate Cutting (halfback); Sophomore Mackenzie Mondville (midfield).

Varsity roster: Kristina Morton, Meghan Skarbinski, Victoria Girardinn (V/JV), Miranda Chadbourne (V/JV), Dana Fitzgerald (V/JV), Casey Heath (V/JV), Paige Kenison (V/JV), Bridgette Letarte (V/JV), Kayla Reinhard (V/JV), Elizabeth Schreiber (V/JV).

JV roster: Zoe Barrett, Emily Burnham, Ashley Clark, Eleanor Cusack, Kendall Dinsmore, Destinee Durant, Nele Haunschilde (AFS), Maria Kolofsky, Samantha Marucci, Nicole Marucci, Maggie Scarlett, Abby Scott-Mitchell, Meghan Van Loan, Caitlynn Willett, Courtney Yates.

Players to watch: All of the above. “They are playing hard in practice and becoming very strong with their stick work and skills. After the Play Night at Oxford Hills, there is great promise for being a very competitive team. They look good and confident in their abilities,” Coach Leland said.

Team strengths: Everybody is working hard toward the same goals.

Team weaknesses: “Having it all come together is really not a weakness, it’s what we need to continue to do. Keep practicing and make a difference,” Coach Leland said.

Based on what you’ve seen thus far, what are you most encouraged by? Their hard work and dedication to the game. Constant hard play. Seeing what’s working and who is playing well at what position they manage to use their skills to make those passes and create when they need to — very impressive.

Three keys to the season? Stay focused. Stay strong. Work with each other to create.

Three goals? Academic Trophy. Win more games this season. Staying in the game.

Season opener: The Lakers open today, Sept. 1, at Fryeburg Academy at 3:30 p.m. Lake Region’s first home game is this Saturday, Sept. 3 at 11 a.m. against Poland at Linda Whitney Athletic Field.

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