While the Hun School field hockey team has displayed a penchant in recent years for getting stronger as the fall goes on, it looks like defense is going to be a strength right from the start of the 2012 season.
In assessing her squad, Hun head coach Kathy Quirk knows that she has plenty of talent on defense, starting with junior Alex Kane.
“Kane has been playing extremely well, you can tell that she has played a lot of hockey since last season,” said Quirk, who guided the Raiders to a 7-8-1 record in 2011 on the way to a spot in the state Prep A semifinals.
“She plays center back and you don’t have to worry about her back there. She communicates well; she has a good feel for the game.”
Quirk doesn’t have to worry about depth along the back line with a trio of seniors in Lauren Apuzzi, Maddie Schade, and Sam Heyrich.
“Lauren is solid; she is doing what we are asking her to do,” said Quirk, whose team gets its 2012 season underway by playing at WW/P-S on September 14.
“Maddie Schade is a tall player with a long reach and can get some balls that others can’t. Sam Heyrich is at sweeper and is doing well.”
The team’s last line of defense, sophomore goalie Reina Kern, figures to be another bright spot for the Raiders.
“She has played a lot; she was in the developmental program and Junior Olympics,” said Quirk, who will be using sophomore Taylor Nehlig as her backup goalie.
“She played all summer long. We need her to take verbal command of the game. She needs to see the ball and direct the other kids.”
At forward, the Raiders boast a tandem in senior Carey Million and junior Francesca Bello who can form a commanding presence.
“When the two of them are working together well, they are a great duo,” asserted Quirk.
“Million is such a great competitor; I have her in the center and she seems to take charge. When Bello is on, she is on.”
Hun needs its midfield to be on the same page. That unit features junior Olivia Albanese, sophomore Julia Blake, sophomore Vicky Leach, junior Kristen Manochio, junior Liz Mydlowski, and junior Courtney Leach.
“Albanese has skills,” said Quirk. “Mydlowski is going to see time; she’s a scrappy hard worker. She can play middie or the back line. Faulkner played in Europe this summer.”
Quirk, for her part, hopes to see her team build off of its defensive foundation.
“We have to play as a team, we need to be unselfish and we can’t be afraid to pass,” said Quirk.
“We have to work on transition from the back line all the way to the forward line. We also have to be hungry.”