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2020 H.S. field hockey preview capsules

East Lyme

Coach: Kristy Behbehani (6th season)

Key returnees: Jr. A Abigail Hanney, Jr. A Sarah Healy, Jr. A Cailyn Maiolo, Sr. D Emily Crandall, Sr. M Lindy Erikson, Sr. D Kora Lovdahl, Sr. M Caroline Real.

Outlook: The Vikings enjoyed one of their best seasons in 2019, winning a share of their first ECC regular season title since 1990 and their first outright conference tournament title, going 13-3-3 overall and losing in the first round of the Class M tournament. They'll have to fill a hole left by the departure of All-Area Player of the Year Lydia Swan, an all-state goalie. Behbehani expects an interesting season dealing with COVID-19 restrictions. "However, the girls are excited to be out playing the sport they love!"

Fitch

Coach: Diane Kolnaski (10th season)

Key returnees: Sr. M Ally Cabral, Sr. F Michaela Ellis, Sr. M Haley Rodgers, Sr. F Jesicca Russo, Sr. F RaileyAnn Westervelt.

Top newcomers: Jr. G Madison Kite-Gerrish.

Outlook: Fitch, which qualified for the Class M tournament last season and posted an 8-9-1 record, is looking forward to playing on a new turf field. Players worked hard during preseason to prepare for games, according to Kolnaski. The Falcons have a solid group of forwards who have improved attacking skills and speed. They expect to have a strong defense. Kite-Gerrish, a first-year varsity player, will start in goal. "We anticipate a great season ahead," Kolnaski said.

NFA

Coach: Noel Houle (2nd season)

Key returnees: Sr. G Norah Gallagher, Sr. F Dakota Burns, Sr F Sara Coley, Sr. M Brenna Comeau, Jr D Rachael McNally, Jr. D Naina Prakash, Jr. D Caitlin Duda, Jr. D Jayna Neault.

Top newcomers: So. F Katie Peters, Fr. F Alice-Ann Rourke.

Outlook: The Wildcats are building and developing the program. Burns and Coley will provide offensive punch on the front line and the backfield looks strong with Gallagher in control of the net. "We look to be a formidable opponent to any team we come to play," Houle said. Gallagher and McNally will serve as team captains.

Stonington

Coach: Jenna Tucchio (17th season)

Key returnees: Sr. A Ellie Korinek, Sr. A Olivia Monte, Jr. A Hannah Nulick, Sr. M Teagan O'Brien, Jr. M Sandy McGugan, Jr. M Dillon Griscom, Jr. M Maddie Mendez, Jr. D Anne Drago, Jr. D Sophia Fernholz.

Top newcomers: Jr. A Alex Fidrych, Sr. M Shea O'Connor, Jr. M Sam Harris, Jr. M Eileen Ackley.

Outlook: Stonington reached the Class S quarterfinal round last season, went 13-4-2 overall and won a share of the ECC regular season title. Korinek, Fernholz and McGugan, three all-area players, will lead the charge. Tucchio says the Bears have plenty of talent but haven't played since last November and have been limited to mostly stick work during preseason. "I would like to say we will be very competitive and play good hockey," Tucchio said. "But we're not there yet."

Waterford

Coach: Molly Quiles (2nd season)

Key returnees: Sr. F Hannah Buczkowski, Jr. M Sophia Hathaway, Jr. D Danielle Nykyforchyn.

Top newcomers: So. D Samantha San Juan, So D Kam Mazzulli, Jr. G Ilyanna Rivera.

Outlook: Despite losing 11 players, including All-Area performer Molly Quiles, the Lancers are strong and eager to play competitive hockey this season, according to coach Quiles. "The girls are just very happy being given the opportunity to play this season," she said.

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