2013 Field Hockey Season Preview
As preseason gets underway, the Washington & Jefferson College field hockey team preps for a return to the NCAA Division III Tournament, which they qualified for in 2011 for the first time in program history.
Seventh-year Head Coach Jomara Coghlan has led the Presidents to an Empire 8 Tournament appearance during all six years of her tenure. Following the team’s inaugural conference championship in 2011, W&J reached the Empire 8 Tournament a season ago after posting an 11-8 overall record and a 4-3 conference mark.
Coghlan has the program trending in the right direction as the Presidents have not finished a season with a losing record since 2005. However, coming into the 2013 season, Coghlan will need to find replacements for her top three scorers from last fall, including CoSIDA Academic All-American Erin Barno and the program’s all-time leading goal scorer Jennifer Marabella.
A successful 2013 campaign will hinge on players with varying years of experience stepping into key roles with more responsibility. A solid group of six newcomers will be expected to become impact players once the regular season begins at Cameron Stadium on Aug. 30 against Kenyon (8:00 pm).
Entering her junior year, Catherine Beaudoin returns as the top scorer and should fill some of the void left by the graduated duo of Barno and Marabella. Beaudoin notched seven goals and five assists during her sophomore season.
Joining Beaudoin on the front line will be senior Catherine Villa, who saw action in 15 games and tallied two goals and two assists.
In the middle, senior Casey-Rae Feeney and junior Gina Taglieri, who started all 19 games last fall, will provide experienced leadership, to an otherwise, young group of midfielders.
Senior Tori Patrick, an all-conference second team selection, aided the Presidents’ offense with five goals and six assists last fall, while helping the defense collect five shutouts. With all five of her goals coming off set plays, she has been notably effective on penalty corners. Patrick's leadership will be important as 2011 Empire 8 Tournament MVP Meaghan Thornlow, one of the top defenders in school history, also graduated.
Helping Patrick to secure the backline will be classmate Briana Savage, who is returning after a semester abroad, and junior Aria DeSimini. All three should provide veteran perspective and experience in front of a crop of young goalkeepers.
W&J must continue to develop solid play out of its goalkeepers as well. Sophomores Morgan Brozena and Kira Bunker split time as freshmen and will most likely follow that same trend this fall. They combined to post five shutouts.