Experienced field hockey team looking to build on historic season

Sep 14, 2018 by

JUNIOR Hope Melanson is back to set the pace in the midfield for the Warriors. (Donna Larsson Photo)

Published in the September 14, 2018 edition.

By DAN BYRNE

WAKEFIELD — With fall sports now in full swing, the Warriors’ varsity field hockey team, one of the most highly anticipated teams of the fall season, returns with head coach Cara Luca at the helm. She very generously made herself available to the Item for a brief interview to profile this year’s team.

Last season, the team broke a 10-year drought of missing the MIAA State Tournament as the program showed great progress.

In 2018 Coach Luca and her girls have to believe that they have the capability to return to the postseason this year.

“Last year was a great year for the program,” Luca started. “We made the tournament after a 10-year drought. So of course we have high expectations for each of our athletes.”

She added, “Our ultimate goal as a team is to make it to the tournament again. We lost a strong senior class last year in both the offensive and defensive end so we have a lot of work to do this year.”

The 2018 varsity roster consists of 16 girls, 11 returning varsity players and six newcomers. Coach Luca outlined the players that make up this years’ squad saying, “We have Ava Vaughan, Laura Keegan and Alexa Pesce as our captains this year,” the coach said.

“Alexa Pesce will be in net again this year,” Luca said, as she went through her roster from back to front.

In front of Pesce, the Warriors will need to play strong defensively, and coach Luca thinks she has the personnel to have a successful season.

“Rachel King, Aguila Lever, Carestin Stewart and Laura Keegan will lead the backfield, along with Olivia Cataldo, Norah Coyne and Alana Galatas.”

Controlling the midfield is key to having success in field hockey.

“Our midfield is led by Ava Vaughan, Fiona Heffernan, Hope Melanson and Lindsay Bergholtz,” Luca said.

Ultimately the only way to win is to score goals, and that usually comes down to the forwards finding the net.

“The front line consists of Annabella Forziati, Shannon Foley, Caitlin Cataldo and Erin Heffernan,” coach Luca continued.

As September rolls on, the Warriors have already participated in three games, but only two games have been played to completion, as coach Luca explained, “We opened up last Thursday versus Winchester. Due to the storm we only got in 26 minutes of the game, so we have to continue at the point of stoppage on Oct 10. We were trailing 3-0.”

On Saturday, September 8 the Warriors dropped a 3-0 result to Reading, and on Wednesday September 12 they lost a 3-0 game to Lexington.

When asked about her hopes for this years’ team Coach Luca said, “I think what I am looking forward to the most is to see these girls grow and work as a team. We have a lot of talent and it is just a matter of time before the chemistry of the team comes into play.”

“Right now we are working on our confidence on the field. Taking the skills and applying it the way they should on the field.”

Coach Luca will be joined on her staff once again by her assistant coach, Maria Kenney. At the junior varsity level, the Warriors program consists of four sophomores and eight freshmen, and they’ll be led by coaches Laura McNeil and Stephanie Dembro.

The next varsity field hockey game is on Friday, September 14 at 4 p.m. as the Warriors travel to Burlington High School.

Next week they face Revere on the road at 4 p.m. Monday. Tuesday they host Watertown at 4:30 p.m. at the Shaun F. Beasley Track and Field, before finishing the week on the road at Wilmington on Friday at 4 p.m.

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