Preview: Fryeburg Academy field hockey

BLITZING THE HAWKS — Raider attacker senior Christina DiPietro (right) scored three goals to lead Fryeburg Academy to a 7-0 opening game win over Sacopee Valley last Wednesday. (Rivet Photo)

VARSITY FIELD HOCKEY

Head Coach: Dede Frost, 26th year (19 at the varsity level)

Assistant: Jess Blasi

Top returnees: Seniors Ellen Bacchiocchi (forward), Christina DiPietro (forward), Kendra Fox (forward) and Alicia MacDonald (defense); Junior Makayla Frost (midfield).

Top newcomers: Senior Sage Antolin (goalie); Juniors Skye Dole (forward) and Madison Davis (midfield).

Other varsity members: Seniors Courtney Bartlett (forward) and Sammy Sgroi (midfield); Juniors Dimitra Kasigiannis (midfield), Kylie Locke (forward); Sophomore Makenzie Hill (forward); and Freshman Mariah Davis (forward).

Keys to the season: Starters remaining healthy and injury free. Stability on defense. Development of newcomers and swing players.

Question marks/concerns: Depth, finding newcomers to fill positions left by last year’s seniors. Making sure roster numbers stay up — “Right now, field hockey across the state seems to be dealing with low numbers, threatening JV programs,” Coach Frost said.

Positives seen in preseason: Flexibility of players to play more than one position, which is certainly necessary with a smaller roster. Great team unity. “A great group of girls getting along and working together,” Coach Frost said. Good leadership — eight more seniors are key to providing experience and leadership to the rest of the team.

Coach’s outlook: “Well, the word on the street is that Falmouth is the team to beat along with Greely and Lake Region being extremely strong this year,” Coach Frost said. “Our goal as a team is to play better each game than we did the game before, learn from our mistakes and capitalize on our strengths. Of course, like everyone else we’d like to extend our season by going to playoffs!”

KEEPING THE PRESSURE ON — Fryeburg Academy dominated play against Sacopee Valley as the Hawk's goalie recorded 30 saves. FA players Ellen Bacchiocchi (left) and Mariah Davis (#14) try to get a shot off during the season opener. The Raiders won 7-0. (Rivet Photo)

Opening week: If Week 1 is any indication about the Raiders being in the conversation as one of the teams to watch this fall, FA produced two strong efforts — a 7-0 thumping of Sacopee Valley and a big 1-0 win over highly-regarded York.

Christina DiPietro recorded a hat trick and added an assist as the Raider front line peppered the Sacopee goal as Chloe Ronco recorded 30 saves. Fryeburg dominated play, keeping the ball mainly in the Hawk end throughout the contest. Other scorers were Skye Dole with two goals, while Kylie Locke and Kendra Fox each had one score. Senior captain Ellen Bacchiocchi controlled the wing area, and set up two goals.

For the second straight year, the Raiders handed York an early loss. FA scored the game’s only goal with 26:20 remaining in the first half.

Makayla Frost started the scoring drive by sending the ball up the wing to Bacchiocchi, who then carried it down the sideline and centered the ball in front of the goal. There, Courtney Bartlett fired a drive on net, which beat Wildcat netminder Amanda Kasbohm (12 saves on the day).

“It was a pretty goal. We executed very well,” Coach Frost said. “For the rest of the game, we were trying to maintain a balance between continuing an offensive attack and being defensive to prevent them from challenging our goal area.”

The Raiders managed both, connecting for 24 shots on goal, while limiting the Wildcats to just five.

“Our goalie did not touch the ball and that’s fine with me!” Coach Frost said. The girls played very well and that was definitely a rewarding finish.”

Up next: The Raiders (2-0) host Wells on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. as part of a three-game homestand. The Raiders host Lake Region Monday, Sept. 10 and Greely on Wednesday, Sept. 12 — both games start at 4 p.m.

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