After struggling to score goals during the 2013 campaign, there are reasons for coach Laura Federico to think her present Londonderry High School field hockey contingent can be more productive in that area during the 2014 season.
But down at the other end of the field, the Lady Lancers were stung pretty mightily on defense by this past spring’s graduation.
Knowing that Division I is always competitive thanks to the presence of programs like those of Pinkerton Academy, Winnacunnet High School of Hampton, and Exeter High – just to mention a few – Federico and her charges won’t find themselves short on challenges over the next several months.
But Federico, her returnees from 2013, and a crew of newcomers to last fall’s 4-7-3 crew have reasons to be optimistic about their ability to make the opposition feel challenged in every game as well.
The Lady Lancers’ list of returning starters includes battle-tested seniors Jackie Curtin (forward), Janelle Magoon (midfielder), Katie Montminy (back), Emily Downing (goalie), and Marissa Roger (forward), and junior Hannah McGrath (middie).
Other varsity returnees include senior back Hanna Batchelor, senior middie Michaela Kewley, and junior forwards Hannah Cohen and Hailey Gilbert.
The squad’s promising newcomers include seniors Emily Casey (back), Taylor Daleneous (forward), and Jen McQueeney (back), junior Alyssa Fitzgerald (back), sophomores Laura Batchelor (middie), Val Shay (back), Rachel Simkevich (goalie), and Sophia Poulin (back), and freshmen Maeve McPhail (versatile).
“We have a young defense with only the goalie and Katie Montminy returning, so it will be important to get the defense to gel very quickly,” said Federico, whose daughter Tianna was a top scorer as a senior for the Lady Lancers last fall. “We need to score goals. Last year we lacked in that area and we need speed up front, which I think we will have this coming season.”
When questioned about which opposing teams concern her most coming into the new campaign, longtime LHS coach Federico said, “We have to look at every team as a challenge. We have our work cut out for us this year, and every team will challenge us.”