Fall previews / field hockey

Stonington's Kiera Petersen, left, challenges teammate Libby Morrison for possession in front of the goal during a practice on Sept. 7, 2011.
Stonington's Kiera Petersen, left, challenges teammate Libby Morrison for possession in front of the goal during a practice on Sept. 7, 2011. dAY FILE Photo

ECC

East Lyme

Coach: Amy Lloyd (8th year)

Key returnees: Sr. F Caroline Regan, Sr. F Ellie Bruckner, Sr. F Emilie Farrugia, Sr. M Paige Schneider, Jr. B Samantha Horner, Jr. M Emma Perry.

Top newcomers: Sr. F Jordan Duerr, Sr. D Jess Griffin, Sr. Util Linh Nguyen, Sr. F Alice Navarro, Jr. M/D Molly Bennet, Jr. G Sarah Bond, Jr. M/D Colleen Durkee, Jr. Util. Kaitlyn Favalora, Jr. M/D Erica Hill, Jr. F Emma Punsalan, Jr. M/D Kelsey Shukis, So. F/M Kailey Marcaurele, So. Util. Chloe Williams.

Outlook: Lloyd returns six starters from last year's team and the coach calls "a charismatic and strong senior core" one of the Vikings' strengths. Bruckner, Regan and Schneider are tri-captains. Regan led the team with seven goals and six assists last year and was named All-ECC and All-Area. East Lyme (10-6-1 last year) will be a little more inexperienced on defense after losing all-state goalie Carolyn Baremore, but Lloyd has confidence in Horner at back and Bond in goal.

Fitch

Coach: Diane Kolnaski (2nd year)

Key returnees: Sr. F Paige Vinson, Sr. F Ashley Hall, Sr. F Clare Doyle, Sr. F Annie Edwards, Sr. F Sarah Giblin, Sr. D Caity Noel.

Outlook: Fitch's inaugural season as a varsity team last year yielded a 7-7-2 record and a state tournament berth, something to celebrate for a program which started as a club just two years before. This year, the Falcons join the ECC for the first time, another milestone, with the players eligible for All-ECC honors for the first time (a scheduling difficulty resulted in Fitch not playing all the ECC teams last year, forcing it to wait a year for inclusion in the league). "We are looking forward to our first year competing in the ECC," Kolnaski said. "Our players have worked on improving skill work during the offseason. We are anticipating a great fall season."

NFA

Coach: Meghan Feraco (4th year)

Key returnees: Sr. F Ellen Popinchalk, Sr. D Julia O'Rourke, Sr. D Alexa Plante, Sr. M Ellie Swanson, Sr. F Alexa Franchetti, Sr. M Maria Defosse, Jr. F Hannah Long, Jr. G Becca Arpin, Jr. M Emily Devito.

Top newcomers: Jr. M Casey Worski, Jr. A Shylia Barnes.

Outlook: The Wildcats (4-12) return several starters and gained enough experience last season to give them confidence headed into this one. "We are hoping to increase our stick skills and work on our offensive game," Feraco said. "With Hannah Long being a part of the ECC honorable mention team last year, we are looking to her to be a strong offensive force backed by a more experienced midfield and defensive line."

Stonington

Coach: Jenna Tucchio (9th year)

Key returnees: Sr. D Kiera Petersen, Sr. D Amanda Roy, Sr. F Courtney Scherer, Sr. M Chloe Slater, Sr. F Stephanie Stearns, Jr. F Emily Cassata, Jr. F Celeste Courtney, Jr. D Lauren Hultgren, Jr. M Tia Lafrance-Boyce, Jr. F Libby Morrison, Jr. D Meg O'Lari, Jr. M Samantha Shroyer, So. F Molly Crowley.

Top newcomers: So. G Olivia Bertino, So. M-D Margot Calmar, Jr. G Annie Knizeski.

Outlook: The Bears (12-6) have won the conference 20 of the last 21 seasons and are well positioned to win yet another. They return most of their forward line and midfield, and seniors Petersen and Roy will anchor the defense. Morrison broke Stonington's single-season scoring record last year as a sophomore, finishing with 28 to smash the previous mark of 23, set in 1987. Stearns has accounted for 23 goals and nine assists the last two seasons and is a two-time All-Area selection.

Waterford

Coach: Traci Susi (7th year)

Key returnees: Sr. F/M Karalyn Harlow, Sr. M Mady Lebeau, Sr. F Nicole McComic, Sr. G Becca Gregoire, Sr. F Maura Arnold, Sr. D Emily Lanzarotto, Sr. D Chelsea Feliciano, Jr. F/M Julia Peay, Jr. F/M Kelly Dacimo, Jr. Util. Bri Sotiropolous.

Top newcomers: Sr. F Desi Taveras, Jr. Util. Raquel Delgadillo, Jr. D Nicolette Fardon, Jr. M Alyssa Mathiowetz, So. D Kimberlee Grohocki.

Outlook: Waterford overcame a season filled with injuries in 2010 to finish 8-8-1 a year ago and qualify for the state tournament and the Lancers hope to build on that foundation. Gregoire, in goal, anchors the defense.

Others

Williams

Coach: Eliza Smith (2nd year)

Key returnees: Sr. M Elizabeth Reiser, Jr. F Simone Kronholm, Jr. F Carrie Meneo.

Top newcomers: Jr. M Samantha Linares, So. M-D Mickey Ellis.

Outlook: Smith begins her second season with a team that is young defensively, but shows great promise in the midfield and up front. The Blues should have more scoring punch this season and will work to improve their ball movement out of the back.

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