September 20, 2017

Undergoing a Youth Movement by Necessity, Hun Field Hockey Aims for Daily Improvement

CLAWING BACK: Hun School field hockey player Claudine Chiminski goes after the ball in recent action. Senior captain Chiminski is bringing experience to the Hun midfield. The Raiders, who fell to 0-1-1 with a 3-2 loss to Pennington last Thursday, host Montgomery on September 22 before playing at Stuart County Day School on September 26. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

While Kathy Quirk acknowledges that her Hun School field hockey team lacks experience, she believes it possesses a lot of grit.

“We lost 12 seniors last year and the year before that we lost 13,” said Hun head coach Quirk.

“I have seven seniors and only five of them saw playing time last year. We are going to be very young. We do seem to be a lot more scrappier in front of the cage than the teams I have had in the past so I am hoping that is going to buy us some goals.”

In the first week of the season Hun has demonstrated its scrappiness, tying Springside-Chestnut Hill (Pa.) 2-2 in its opener on September 13 and then losing a 3-2 nail-biter to Pennington the next day.

Senior captain Julia Revock helped spark the Raiders in the opening action, scoring a goal in each of those contests.

“We are looking at Revock on attack and we moved Kendall Nehlig, a junior, up onto the line this year,” said Quirk.

“Revock is working hard, she has stepped it up as a leader. She is a very stable player. Nehlig played defense last year and we moved her up to the line, that is where she really likes to play.”

Quirk also likes the work she is getting from others on attack, including sophomore Gigi Venizelos, freshman Ali Rho, sophomore Gabby Samano, and junior Theresa Hemberger.

“Gigi will play on the line, she is very scrappy,” said Quirk of Venizelos, who has also scored a goal in each of Hun’s games this season.

“She is a real coachable kid, she listens to what you want her to do. Three other girls who are looking to play on the line — Ali, who came to us from the Princeton school district, Gabby who played JV for us last year, and Theresa, who also played JV last year.”

In the midfield, senior captain Claudine Chiminski will be leading the way along with senior Isabelle Ross, sophomore Abby Zucatti, senior Barlow Antar, and senior Laura McBryan.

“Claudine Chiminski is the only returning midfield player for us,” said Quirk.

“We have got a new transfer in Isabelle, she is a senior who comes from Baltimore. Abby is looking to play some midfield; Barlow and Laura both played JV for us last year.”

A quartet of juniors — Megan Donohue, Letson Nehlig, Emily Ward, and Olivia Preston, along with senior Kendall Versfeld — will be leading the defensive unit.

“In the back is Meg who will probably be a center back for us; Letson and Emily are on the sides,” said Quirk.

“Olivia is looking to have some playing time back there and Kendall is playing at sweeper.”

Quirk believes that junior goalie M.C. Shea is poised to play well this fall.

“M.C. is working hard,” said Quirk, who also has sophomore Emily Albanese playing in goal. “She really stepped it up last year and she is going to build from what she did last year.”

With Hun having a tradition of stepping up as the season goes on, Quirk hopes her squad will peak by tournament time.

“We have to improve each game, which we have always done in the past,” said Quirk, whose team hosts Montgomery on September 22 before playing at Stuart County Day School on September 26.