The All-Delco field hockey package runs tomorrow. It includes a final Super 7, but I’ll unveil it early. Again, thank you so much to all of our loyal readers and we hope to see you stick around during the rest of the school year. Tell your friends and family to read, too.
Anyway, here’s your final Super 7 of the 2012 field hockey season.
1. Episcopal Academy (23-2-0, Co-Inter-Academic League champions, PAISAA champions) Last week: No. 3
Big move for the Churchmen and it’s all because of their big win over archrival Notre Dame in the PAISAA final, a 3-1 EA victory. It’s going to be awfully tough for coach Gina Buggy to replace such a good senior class, but something tells me she’ll do quite well with returning players like Margaux Paolino, Lexie Curry and Gianna Pileggi, among others. Paolino had a goal and an assist in the win over the Irish, setting up Curry for a goal and burying a penalty stroke that iced the game. Pileggi was superb in goal when called upon, and Tori Sarmiento and Claire Kneizys were superb defensively. All-Delco Alana Dumas‘ goal got the festivities started. Top to bottom, this was the deepest team in the county.
2. Notre Dame (21-2-0, Co-Inter-Academic League champions, PAISAA runnersup) Last week: No. 1
The Irish drop a spot after that loss to EA, and while the disappointment will sting for a while, ND has a lot coming back next year. The headliner, of course, is two-time All-Delco Moira Putsch, who easily captured the Delco scoring race by 15 points. All-Delco Emily Faught had the lone goal against EA and her superb two-way play will be sorely missed. Goalie Gabby Carlini blossomed in her first year as a starter and could contend for All-Delco honors as a junior. Here’s a breakout player pick for the Irish in 2013: Taylor Leonhardt. She’ll be asked to make up a lot of what ND loses to Faught’s graduation.
3. Archbishop Carroll (14-5-1, Catholic League champions, PIAA Class AA qualifier) Last week: No. 5
Megan Kelly deserved a better fate in the Patriots’ 4-3 double overtime loss to Donegal in the first round of states. The Virginia-bound midfielder scored all three goals for Carroll, which almost overcame an overwhelming deficit in corners to win. Kelly also played a big role in the Patriots’ PCL title game win over Cardinal O’Hara as she set up her twin, Katie, for the lone goal of the game. Carroll gets hit hard by graduation as it loses, among others, the Kellys, four-year starting goalie Becca Brosious and defensive standout Shelby Amspacher, but the Patriots don’t rebuild. They reload.
4. Cardinal O’Hara (19-3-0, Catholic League runnersup, PIAA Class AAA qualifier) Last week: No. 2
The Lions lost a heartbreaker to Carroll and followed it up by losing a game that they deserved to win against Wissahickon. Marissa Cicione had a dazzling goal to bring O’Hara even late in regulation, but the Lions fell in the extra frame. Good news for coach Marie Murphy and bad news for everyone else: only one starter graduates for the Lions, and that’s Carlie Spaeder. That’s a big loss considering Spaeder led the county in assists and was fourth in points, but all things considered, O’Hara should be formidable next year, especially with Cicione, All-Delco Grace Boston, Lauren DelRomano, Gabby Rowe, Jess Randazzo and Liz Piszker back.
5. Haverford (15-5-1, Central League champions, District One Class AAA qualifier) Last week: No. 4
The Fords simply couldn’t find the back of the cage in back-to-back losses to Central Bucks South and West Chester Henderson to end their season despite superb efforts from goalie Katie Wyman to keep things close. The sophomore earned All-Central League honors and figures to be one of the county’s top goalies again next year. Haverford loses a ton of seniors, most notably two-time All-Delco Jess McCarthy, Morgan Druce, Kim Carden and Rosie Coogan. But coach Beth Sandowich to provide coaching stability, something that has sorely been lacking for the Fords with four coaches in four years. Sandowich’s first year was a success, so there’s no reason why she and Haverford can’t keep rolling.
6. Strath Haven (13-4-1, Central League runnersup, District One Class AAA qualifier) Last week: No. 7
Despite neither team playing a game since we last checked in, I flip-flopped Haven and Garnet Valley. Makes sense, right? All things considered, they’re both incredibly even, but the Panthers’ head-to-head win should count for something. I was stunned to see Casey Oehler only get second-team All-Central, but them’s the breaks. Regardless, she was superb and a big reason for the Panthers’ big year. Do-it-all star Jess Borbee blossomed into one of the county’s elite, and Caroline Boyd showed flashes of brilliance in her first year as a starter. Borbee and Oehler, along with Rebecca Lucci, graduate and leave big shoes to fill, but the Panthers have a bevy of young players ready to go.
7. Garnet Valley (16-4-0, District One Class AAA qualifier) Last week: No. 6
Hailey Valerio might have been the most improved goalie in the county this year. Her performance in an overtime loss to Mount St. Joseph was fantastic, and there’s no reason to think she can’t be in the mix for All-Delco next year. All-Delco Eleanor Kirby and Giulz Antignani won’t be around to protect Valerio, though, but Alison Amen will be. She was great in the playoffs for the Jaguars. Katie Keyser sniped 19 goals this year and could push that total to 30 next year. There’s a nice young nucleus back forGV coach Erin Fidler, so expect the Jaguars to contend for the league title next year.
Dropped out: None. Also considered in alphabetical order: Agnes Irwin, Radnor, Sacred Heart.
Thanks for stopping by.
– MATT CHANDIK