Field hockey teams battle for local supremacy

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Field hockey teams battle for local supremacy
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Episcopal looks to repeat championship run

Maroon coach Jaye Locke looked on from the sidelines a year ago as her squad triumphed over cross-town rivals St. Stephens and St. Agnes to secure the Independent School League championship.

It was the boarding schools first Independent School League title since 1993. With 10 experienced seniors returning this year, Locke expects a repeat and, hopefully, a state championship. Unlike rival St. Stephens, Locke will have to work fast to bring together a team of players from across the country. 

Were [made up of] kids from all over, she said. These kids dont grow up playing together from a very young age. We need to find a way to gel quickly were lucky we live together.

Though the current crop of players boasts plenty of experience, Locke expects senior Kelly Chandler, a top-ranked area lacrosse player, to bring her athletic prowess back to the team. 

Fellow seniors Marion Williams and Weeza Miller, both midfielders, also are projected to perform well this year as the Maroon push for a state title. 

    
Fleet-footed Saints eye local, state titles

After going 10-10 and finishing as runner ups in the ISL tournament, the St. Stephens and St. Agnes Saints are looking forward to a redemption year. 

While theyve been left with just three seniors, coach Marsha Way sees a young team with plenty of talent and depth about to head into the 2011 campaign. 

Theyve got the speed, she said, now they need to work on the rest of their game. Way is depending on seniors Katie Wiseman, Erica Chafin and Cat Doulis to use their speed and experience to carry the Saints back to prominence. 

But theres room for anyone to make a difference, she said.

Every coach is going to tell you, I want to win. I want to win our league, I want to win states, Way said. Thats kind of the ultimate goal, but with the kids weve got to break it down into smaller ones, like improving our stick skills. Our goal is to become much more of a finesse team and working on being a total team not having a superstar that has to carry us, but on any given day somebody can step up and be the star of that game.

    
Titans take the field with young talent

Two seasons ago, the T.C. Williams Titans exited the Northern Region field hockey tournament in a 1-0 loss to Langley. They havent been back since. 

In high school sports winning isnt everything, said coach William Heresniak, who has his players working on individual goals ranging from personal improvement to athletic success. 

Still, a return trip to the regional tournament is at the forefront of his mind. 

Its not going to be an easy feat with few seniors returning to the field this fall. Heresniak has watched 26 12th-graders graduate in the previous two years, leaving just three on the teams 2011 incarnation. 

Were young, but its a good group and I am extremely optimistic, Heresniak said. With graduating that number [of players], there are a lot of spots to fill and it takes time to figure out who is going to fill that spot or if theyre going to be effective in that spot.

Heresniak is looking to senior captain Sophie Leidolf, a midfielder, to lead the team. Junior goalkeeper Megan Boyle will be another Titan to watch. With two varsity seasons in net already under her belt, Boyle will provide some of the veteran experience the team sorely needs. 

Another junior, Emma Bracken, likely will draw some attention as a midfielder. With excellent stick skills, Bracken can score at will, Heresniak said.  

Heresniak is depending on Leidolf and Bracken to spearhead his constantly attacking style of play. He expects a physical and aggressive squad to take the field this season. 

Their success will depend on whether the underclassmen can rise to the challenge. 

Its a matter of getting the kids who were on the freshmen team last year playing at a varsity level, Heresniak said. Its at a faster speed, more physical and a little bit more mentally challenging.

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