Field Hockey: No stars, but Marple Newtown’s expectations on the rise

Marple Newtown will need another big year out of Trez Knox if it wants to compete with the best of the        Central League. TIMES STAFF/JULIA WILKINSON                                           


Robin McCarthy is always hesitant to name names when it comes to who she expects big things from.

The Marple Newtown head coach would rather her team fly under the radar and try to make an impact when other teams least suspect it. Plus, the way she sees it, it’s better for team chemistry that the expectations across the board stay the same.

“We have eight returning varsity starters this year, three of which are Seniors,” McCarthy said. ” We will rely heavily on the experience of our seniors and juniors  who are going into their third season playing together.  We will continue to work to improve their standing in the Central League looking for some key wins this year against teams that we only lost to by one goal last year.”

Sounds like a solid plan for improvement. But McCarthy opened up a bit more after a recent scrimmage against Norristown, and after seeing the results, perhaps with good reason. A 3-0 whitewashing of Norristown gave McCarthy ample reason to be excited about the coming season, even against an always daunting Central League slate.

“All three goals were assisted by Trez Knox,” McCarthy said. “Lauren Ferguson had two goals and Gina Monahan had one.”

Knox looks to build upon a season where she was one of the Tigers’ leading scorers a year ago. There’s enough athleticism surrounding her to help improve a fledgling offense that was shut out seven times in Central League play last year. If MN wants to find its way out of the cellar, it will, quite simply, need a lot more offense.

McCarthy singled out Kelly Houghton and Gina Rosario for strong defensive play, and it sounds like they’ll be expected to carry that over into the regular season. It also seems like McCarthy expects big things from Erin CarpenterCat Rainone and Sam Panczner. All three had solid years last spring on the lacrosse field, and they’ll be counted upon to bring that athleticism over. McCarthy singled out the trio for strong ball movement in the Norristown scrimmage, something they’ll be asked to do all season.

Goalie Megan Peterson blanked Norristown, and if she can keep that performance up, it’s safe to say that McCarthy won’t be too upset about it.

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