Pindara takes over for Pioneer field hockey

Sep 16, 2020 by

Published September 16, 2020

MADDIE MURPHY returns for the Pioneers this year as a part of new head coach Samantha Pindara’s first senior class. (File Photo)

By STEPHEN MARTELLUCCI

LYNNFIELD — It is tough enough to be a first-year head coach at the high school varsity level in a normal year. With the coronavirus, it has made things even tougher for Lynnfield High rookie head field hockey coach Samantha Pindara.

With Lynnfield being labeled a “hot” zone for Covid-19, the Pioneers will not be able to start practice until Sept. 30 while the other Cape Ann League schools can start on Sept. 18.

The games are slated to begin during the first week of October. 

It will be a league only schedule this year and the season will run until nearly Thanksgiving with no state playoffs.

There are also new field hockey rules the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) has implemented this fall.

Players on the field will be reduced from 11 to seven per team, one of whom must be a goalie.

All players must wear masks and bench players must be at least spread six feet apart on the sidelines.

There will be no penalty corners, instead fouls in the circle would be 25-yard hits. All players must be five yards away on free hits. No bully’s, instead it will be alternating possession.

There will be four 12:30 quarters instead of two 25-minute halves.

There won’t be any pregame stick inspection by the officials as the coaches will be responsible for making sure all of their players’ equipment is legal. Officials also cannot use traditional whistles. Electronic whistles and air horns are allowed.

“It is going to change the game completely,” stated Pindara, who is a guidance councilor at Lynnfield High. “The teams with the best speed and finesse are going to be the best teams with all of that open space.”

Pindara also went on to say that the scores are going to be much higher and that the bench players will get more time to conserve energy.

“A lot of the girls went to the Bentley (College) camp during the summer and they have been working out on their own,” said Pindara, about what her squad has been doing this summer.

Last season was a memorable one for the North champion Pioneers as they reached the Division 2 state semifinals before being edged 2-1 by eventual state champ Dover-Sherborn.

Lynnfield finished at 16-5 overall and 12-4 in the league. They came in second place in the CAL Kinney division behind Masconomet.

The Pioneers lost eight seniors to graduation from that squad and they also lost head coach Mamie Reardon who retired after 37 years at the helm.

Pindara was an assistant coach under Reardon two years ago and she got the job in June.

The good news for Pindara is that the team returns over 10 veterans from last year.

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