September 29, 2021

Hun Field Hockey Battles Hard to Tie Stuart 1-1, Exemplifying the Progress it’s Making this Fall

STICKING WITH IT: Hun School field hockey player Nicole Schaefer controls the ball in recent action. Senior Schaefer scored a goal as Hun tied Stuart Country Day 1-1 last week. The Raiders, who lost 2-1 to Montgomery last Saturday to move to 2-4-1, play at Academy of the New Church (Pa.) on September 29 before hosting Pennington School on October 2. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Through the first four games of the 2021 season, the Hun School field hockey team had already shown progress from last year.

After going 1-6 in 2020, Hun got off to a 2-2 start, highlighted by defeating Conwell Egan (Pa.) 4-0 on September 13 and then topping Mercersburg Academy (Pa.) 8-0 five days later.

Last week, the Raiders took another step forward as they headed across town to battle local rival Stuart Country Day, earning a 1-1 tie in a thrilling, hard fought contest.

The foes were knotted in a scoreless tie at halftime in the September 21 game and then Hun took the lead midway through the third period on a goal by senior Nicole Schafer, assisted by classmate Ashley Jones.

Stuart responded with a tally by Isabel Milley minutes later and the game ended tied 1-1 at end of regulation. In a 10-minute overtime, both teams had scoring chances but the defenses held and the game ended in the stalemate.

“We have been working on winning the quarters, it was great that we won that one quarter when we put it in,” said Hun head coach Tracey Arndt.

“So now it is next steps. It was a great learning experience. We always say that you win or you learn. We learned from that. It was our first overtime game in a really long time, we had some nice runs.”

The Tartans utilized some nice defensive play as they looked to stymie Stuart’s one-two punch of Lily Harlin and Kaitlyn Magnani with sophomore goalie Norah Kempson coming up big with nine saves.

“Lily up front for them is such a dynamic player; I don’t think she ever ran out of gas and Kaitlyn is so good for them in the back,” said Arndt.

“We just knew that we had to try to shut them down as best we could. Norah did a tremendous job today in goal, she made some fantastic saves.”

It was tremendous for Hun to see its pair of seniors Schaefer and Jones combine for its goal.

“Nicole and Ashley both scored against Mercersburg, which was great,” said Arndt.

“We believe in them so much, it is really fun to see the confidence come out of them. They are seeing the progress. We have believed and trusted in them. What I love is that they are starting to believe that they can do the things that we are asking of them.”

Arndt is seeing that confidence develop collectively across the board.

“With every day and every practice, we have this mantra that we are getting better every day,” said Arndt, whose team lost 2-1 to Montgomery last Saturday to move to 2-4-1.

“We have now scored more goals this year than we had in the last two years combined.”

With Hun playing at Academy of the New Church (Pa.) on September 29 before hosting Pennington School on October 2, Arndt believes her squad will keep getting better and better.

“We are just learning with every day, we really have nothing to lose,” said Arndt.

“We are not ranked anywhere, we are just having fun. Today was a great game. I am really proud of this team, we are going to move forward and focus on our next game.”