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The Aegis Sports

Harford County 2022 high school field hockey preview

Field hockey teams from throughout Harford County, and also Perryville, have been putting in time the past few weeks in readiness for the 2022 season.

A year ago, teams from Fallston (Class 1A), North Harford (2A) and Bel Air (3A) each won region championships, but all three were eliminated in the state quarterfinals. Can either move a step further in 2022? Or might C. Milton Wright (3A champs in 2013, 2018 and finalist in 2017) get back in the state title mix?

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Also, John Carroll welcomes back a coach with over 20 years experience as it looks to make some noise in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland B Conference.

Aberdeen

Coach: Jennifer Finkel, first season

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Last season: N/A

Top players: Senior Sarah Parsley

Season outlook: Finkel, who coached Havre de Grace before the pandemic, and assistant coach Emily Pecora, take over an Eagles program that hasn’t fielded a varsity team since 2019. Parsley is the lone returning player.

“As the team is made up of all players who are new to the sport, we can’t say at this point who our key players are, but for a team of players who are brand new to the sport, they are all looking great,” Finkel said.

Bel Air

Coach: Megan Lukasavage, third season

Last season: 6-7

Top returning players: Seniors Olivia Bannan, Delany McDermott; junior Faith Kregel; sophomore Paige Feick

Key newcomers: Juniors Carrie Ermentrout, Kai Bruso; freshman Avery Frank

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Season outlook: “This year we will have some new players on our offense such as Ermentrout, Bruso and Frank. They work well together and are great at anticipating each other’s passes,” Lukasavage said.

Feick (11 goals, six assists in 2021) and McDermott will lead the midfield.

“Our defense is solid. I’m looking for big things from Bannan and Kregel, who both started for us as defenders last year,” Lukasavage said. “I anticipate a great season, the team has been working very hard. Their dedication to the sport and to each other is fantastic.”

C. Milton Wright

Coach: Kelsey Lovelace, fourth season

Last season: 10-3

Top returning players: Seniors Riley Cushman (D), Charlotte Fisher (M), Brooke Hunsinger (F/M), Carys May (D); juniors Claire Burrows (F), Winslow Dipeso (M) and Sara Durborow (D);

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Key newcomers: Abby Blair, Jr. Forward; Anna Buyse, Jr. Midfield; Paityn Gossman, Fr. Forward; Mackenzie Morse, Jr. Midfield

Season outlook: The Mustangs return eight starters from last season including the same defense that allowed just nine goals in 2021. Cushman (Towson commit), an All-State honorable mention pick and May, alongside Durborow and sophomore goalkeeper Phoebe Hennessy will return to the backfield.

“These four players work very well together, so we will continue to look to them to hold our defensive unit that kept us in every game just a season ago,” Lovelace said. “We also return Dipeso (13 assists, three goals in 2021) and she‘ll be accompanied in the midfield by Fisher, Buyse, Morse, Aubrey Hunsinger and Dakoda Cornes.”

Burrows (eight goals, four assists) led CMW scoring last season.

Fallston

Coach: Jackie Cummings, fifth season

Last season: 10-5

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Top returning players: Seniors Macy Budke (M), Payden Knoll (G), Caitlyn Weitzel (M); juniors Riley Cloude (D) and Hailey Meyer Jr. (M)

Key newcomers: Junior Harper Canatella (F) and Sara Drzik (F)

Season outlook: “This year we are looking forward to building our team chemistry on and off the field. We are going to be strong in our midfield and are really looking forward to seeing what our forward line can do,” Cummings said. “We graduated a lot of senior forwards and are excited to see what our new forward line can do and we are lucky to have our senior goalies back again to be our leaders in the backfield.”

Harford Tech

Coach: Brian Reider, second season

Last season: 10-3

Top returning players: Seniors Mackenzie Cogdill (D), Margaret D’Angelo (D), Natalie Gardini (M), Alyssa Geddie (M), Paige Stanley (M), Lillie Uttenreither (M); junior Isabella Price (G)

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Key newcomers: Junior Ava Beaty (D); sophomore Megan Nguyen (F); freshman Sadie Atkinson (F),
Victoria Klipner (F) and Hailey Spenard (D)

Season outlook: Harford Tech had a great season in 2021 and it is believed they had the most wins in a single field hockey season in the school’s history. With last year’s success, the Cobras were placed in the Upper (Chesapeake) Division of the UCBAC and will not be a surprise to any team this year. The Cobras are working hard in the preseason to get ready for the grueling 2022 schedule ahead of them. On paper, the Cobras will be the ‘underdog’ in the majority of games played this season, but the players believe in the motto, “hard work will beat skill when skill does not work hard.” Harford Tech graduated its top two scorers from last year’s team, and will be looking to replace the scoring threat.

Havre de Grace

Coach: Kristeena Bakke, fourth season

Last season: 1-3

Top returning players: Seniors Allie Greeley (G), Grace Hinton (F); sophomores Mackey Bakke (F), Camie Nguyen (D) and Ella Pensell (F)

Season outlook: The Warriors are looking forward to a stronger offensive team and Greeley had a 70% save percentage last year.

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“We’re trying to score more points this year and to add, we’re an amazing defensive team,” Bakke said.

John Carroll

Coach: Tess Gauthier, 19th season

Last season: N/A

Top players: Seniors Manna Hollin (D), Avery Riffel (M), Kalista Watson (D); juniors Annie Bennett (M), Hayley Lauer (M), Margo Smith (M), Julia Ward (D); sophomores Sammie Bender (M) and Makayla Casey (M)

Season outlook: The Patriots are going to be a strong, young team with much potential in 2022. Coach Gauthier returns to program she led for 18 years in a previous stint. The players are athletic, skilled and have great team chemistry. The IAAM B conference should prove to be very competitive as well as games within the county which round out the schedule.

North Harford

Coach: Carla Harward, 10th season

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Last season: 8-8

Top returning players: Seniors Julia Blondell (F), Kendall Fortune (F), Abbey Saltzer (F), Kaley Mullhausen (F), Isabella Southard (D), Autum Tagliaferri (D/M), Grace Underwood (D); Grace Conklin (M), Sarah Reifsnyder (G) and Korynn Sims (M/F)

Key new players: Juniors Sara Ford (D), Isabelle Hendricks (F); sophomores Mollie Fialcowitz (M), Claire Moffitt (M)

Season outlook: The Hawks are returning eight starters, including goalie Reifsnyder, from last season’s regional championship team, which makes it hopeful to continue where it left off.

“We are skilled, have depth and have experienced leadership on the team,” Harward said. “Our defense/midfield will be anchored by Tagliaferri (Christopher Newport University) as well as our returning leading scorer, Fortune (West Chester University). With a challenging schedule, we will be tested early, and our season will be determined by how well the team works together. We are pleased with the progress we have made so far and look forward to the season ahead.”

Perryville

Coach: Janet Candy, 14th season

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Last season: 3-11

Top returning players: Seniors Quinn Distler (M), Lawrencia Jennings (G), Augustine Mahan (D); juniors Peyton Givens (F) and Rileigh Manthei (F)

Key new players: Junior Jaylin Rouselle (M); sophomore Jillian Gillano (D); freshmen Jeanna Clark (D) and Emma Lidy (M)

Season outlook: “We have a strong group of returning players mixed with an energetic group of newcomers. The team has worked hard in the offseason and all summer to refine skills and enter the season ready to play,” Candy said. “Preseason has given us a great opportunity to progress as a team and continue to build off the momentum from last season.”


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