Field hockey: Freshmen making an impact for title contenders

Freshman Emily Groves has scored 19 targets this season, probably the most by way of a participant in Marcia Wood’s 10 years as trainer of the Freeport box hockey crew. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

Marcia Wood knew the children may play. But may the Freeport High box hockey crew’s seven beginners, a lot of whom had been going to want to play giant roles,  assist the crew win?

“That was exactly my thought,” the Falcons’ trainer stated.

That query has been responded. With beginners Emily Groves, Reed Proscia, Liza Flower and Lilliana Larochelle flourishing within the ahead positions and Lizalyn Boudreau anchoring the midfield, Freeport has develop into certainly one of Class B South’s most up to date groups, successful 8 of 9 video games to complete with a 10-3-1 regular-season document.

“I’ve been watching them (for) years and years,” Wood stated. “I knew when they got here it was going to be amazing. I just didn’t expect it this soon.”

Freeport’s a outstanding instance, however this autumn beginners are making an important impact for a number of of the highest box hockey groups in southern Maine. Cheverus and Biddeford had been boosted by way of the midfield play of Joey Pompeo and Kayla Magnant. Groves and Thornton Academy’s Martina Prat have develop into main scorers. Cape Elizabeth’s Lulu Stoecklein and Scarborough’s Sabrina Ocampo had been playmakers at ahead. Gorham’s Annabelle Collier, with 5 targets, is the Rams’ highest-scoring freshman in years.

With the playoffs set to start out, first-year avid gamers may have a hand in deciding who is going on lengthy runs.

“Looking at all the rosters, there are a handful of freshmen that are contributing,” stated Cheverus Coach Theresa Arsenault. “I think it’ll be cool to see which of those girls start to stick out.”

Cheverus freshman midfielder Joey Pompeo has two targets and 10 assists. Drew Bonifant photograph

Arsenault has a just right one in Pompeo. The sister of NCAA Division I avid gamers Sophia, a senior at Providence College, and Lucia, a sophomore at Quinnipiac, Pompeo has develop into one of the most leaders of the 14-0 Stags’ deadly midfield recreation, scoring two times whilst including 10 assists.

“She’s big on our transition, from defense to offense. She’s really good at setting up her teammates and distributing the ball,” Arsenault stated. “Her stick skills (are good), but her ability to see the field and see her teammates, and her field hockey I.Q. … She doesn’t play like a freshman.”

Arsenault stated Pompeo “fit right in” on a Cheverus crew that returned 10 of eleven starters. Pompeo puzzled if she would.

“I was nervous coming in a little bit as a freshman, wondering how I’d fit in,” she stated. “I felt my way into the role, but I’ve played club too my whole life. I’ve always been kind of a playmaker, not really a scorer.”

At Biddeford, Coach Caitlin Tremberth raved in regards to the impact Magnant has had within the midfield. She went in the course of the roles at the crew: Cece Keller rankings the targets, Ayla Lagasse will get breakaways, Eliza Doyon will get the ball on protection and Kiki Jackson is the “quarterback.”

And Magnant’s function?

“Kayla’s our playmaker, for sure,” she stated.

Tremberth in comparison Magnant’s talents as a freshman to former standout Abby Allen’s freshman 12 months in 2017.

“We’ve been able to put her at the left side, the right side, mid, forward. She can even play some defense, she’s good at every single position,” she stated. “Her passes are always smart. It’s a pass to space or it’s a pass to get someone open.”

Magnant, who has 3 targets and 12 assists, used to be taking part in U-16 box hockey this summer time at 14 years previous.

“The first game, I was obviously nervous to be on the field with great players,” Magnant stated. “But right as we stepped on the field, my mindset switched and we connected instantly. I was out there just playing my game with girls I consider family.”

Freeport freshman Lilliana Larochelle works on stick dealing with right through a convention drill on Wednesday. Larochelle, a ahead, is certainly one of a number of beginners flourishing for the 10-3-1 Falcons. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

Cape Elizabeth’s Stoecklein simplest began taking part in box hockey 3 years in the past. Now, she’s a significant component for the Capers (12-2), operating to arrange teammates Grace Gray and Kaitlyn McIntyre from her proper ahead place.

“She’s sort of that missing piece,” Coach Maura Bisogni stated. “It’s her willingness to sometimes not score, but to set up the play or to pull people out so someone else can go in. That selflessness is really important, too.”

Stoecklein, a former football participant, stated the playmaker function has come naturally.

“That’s what I’ve always kind of done. In soccer, I did that, and in lacrosse, I do that,” she stated. “I felt pretty comfortable going in that way.”

Freeport’s Groves, in the meantime, has inspired as a finisher with 19 targets this season, probably the most by way of a participant in Wood’s 10 years as trainer.

“(Wood) told me that I was going to play a big role, and the seniors kind of welcomed us in,” Groves stated. “I could feel a little bit of pressure going in, and I was a little nervous. But as the season went on, I realized that we were all there to support each other.”

Of the entire beginners Falcons, Groves used to be the hardest to stay off the rating sheet.

“She has that competitive nature. If she’s in front of the goal, she’s going to get it,” Wood stated. “Anything in there, she’s constantly keeping at it, keeping her stick on it, pushing through, being aggressive. And she’s got a really good eye for the ball, so she’s in the right place, too, at the right time.”

The playoffs generally is a other check. Groves, then again, expects the revel in to repay for her and her classmates.

“We worked for our spots,” she stated. “I think that we deserve to go far in the playoffs.”


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