While the Hun School field hockey team didn’t make the kind of postseason run this fall that it has been known for in recent years, it did end the season on a high note.
The Raiders rolled to a 6-1 win over Mercersburg Academy (Pa.) in its finale, snapping a six-game losing streak to post a final record of 8-11.
“The seniors knew it was their last game and they came out strong,” said Hun head coach Kathy Quirk.
“We had a nice ceremony for them before the game and they felt good about themselves.”
One of Hun’s top seniors, co-captain Vicki Leach, ended things with one of the strongest performances of her career, tallying four goals and two assists in victory against Mercersburg.
“Vicki came out feisty in front of the cage,” said Quirk. “She is very
unselfish, she is not afraid to pass but she was in the right place in the right time to score goals that day.”
Even in defeat, Hun showed feistiness collectively. “I think when we were playing Springside, we were down 3-0 and came back to lose 4-3,” recalled Quirk.
“We were down 4-0 to Germantown Academy and scored two goals to make it close. When we wanted to, we showed we could score goals.”
The Raiders also made improvement at the defensive end of the field. “I think the defense stepped up; they were so young and inexperienced,” said Quirk, noting that senior co-captain Julia Blake and sophomore Sophia Albanese were the only returning players.
“Charlotte Stout, Taylor Nehlig, Shannon Graham, Julia and Sophia really played well. Julia did a great job leading back there; she would get the ball side to side and would carry it up the field when needed.”
In addition to Leach and Blake, Hun got good work from its other seniors, Nehlig, Graham, and Penn-bound goalie and co-captain Reina Kern.
“They all had a really big impact, they all contributed in their own way,” said Quirk.
“Taylor really blossomed this year. I am glad that she got out of goal and became a field player. She was not afraid to go after opponents and just bother them on the field. Shannon was new to the team last year, coming over from soccer. With her soccer and lacrosse experience she was able to pick up the game quickly and did a good job skill-wise on defense. Reina ended her season on a high note. She really progressed from her freshman year to her senior season. She was a true leader on the field, not afraid to direct her teammates.”
In Quirk’s view, the program is headed in the right direction. “We have a good group of players returning,” added Quirk, whose core of returners includes junior Shannon Dargan, sophomore Julie Fassl, junior Gabrielle Cifelli, freshman Julia Revock, sophomore Delia Lawver, junior Sierra Hessinger, sophomore Sophia Albanese, junior Mariesa Cay, and junior Maura Kelly.
“Shannon Dargan is ready to step up on goal. Fassl is just a coach’s dream. She works hard and asks questions. She puts out 100 percent all the time. She has speed up and down the field and sends the ball across well. She has a great hit. Cifelli will be on the line next year. Revock learned a lot this season and Delia played well. We have some good defensive players coming back in Sierra and Sophia. Cay and Kelly will help in the midfield. We have good numbers, we carried 21 and are losing just five.”
Going forward, Quirk is looking for her team to carry the play on a more frequent basis.
“Sometimes they waited too long to put out the intensity; sometimes we would give up a goal before we got going,” said Quirk.
“It is a good group. I hope they work hard over the summer and come back in good shape.”