Lyon Hockey

Andover still the best, but contenders lurk – Boston Herald

As field hockey returned to regular play last year after the COVID-impacted season, what followed was a hugely engaging set of storylines as teams navigated an all-new formula and rankings format. playoffs.

This system is coming back, and many of the top competitors from last year are ready to relaunch it.

Reigning Division 1 Andover State Champion is loaded. Emma Reilly, a senior Columbia signing, argues as the best player in the state, joined by fellow All-Scholastic Rose MacLean in midfield. Goaltender Adelaide Weeden, senior defender Anna Broderick, forward Haley Carver and junior Casey Michael complete a full roster.

The side they edged out in the final are likely to make another deep run as Walpole brings senior Lindsey Jacobs, junior Katie Colleran and keeper Maddy Clark back to a dominant defense, while Kerin Birch, Brigid Welch and Caitlyn Naughton also play.

Needham are legitimate contenders with the return of junior stars Lily Schmalz and Megan Ledbury, striker Olivia Alper, midfielder Sarah Deroian and Jillian Flueckiger. Newton North is experienced, led by senior goalkeeper Devin Ackerley, striker Caitlin Conroy and midfielder Macy Goodwin. Natick is looking to make a playoff run with last year’s leading scorers Brooke Spiegel, Olivia Norchi and Sophia Ambrose leading seven returning starters.

Wellesley should be strong, while Braintree maintains his continuous improvement.

Franklin is hungry to wrestle, dismissing nine starters. Striking dynamos Kaitlyn Carney, Shaw Downing and Payton Crandall lead a charged attack while Emily Carney, Sophia Cuneo and Kaeley Dubriske anchor a strong midfield. King Philip and Attleboro will be competitive in the Hockomock League.

State semifinalist Concord-Carlisle leads the DCL, with star Leesie Sohn, returning starter Hadley Swenson and third-year college seniors Kate Lyons, Grace Baker, Lindsey Piper and Emma Gebhart. A young Acton-Boxboro fights behind returning forwards Cat Holz and Keira Baglio, as well as junior midfielder Devin Onken. An ultra-athletic Lincoln-Sudbury is led by Reagan Malo, committed to the Tufts, midfielder Katie Wolin and four-year-old man of letters Eliza Stewart looking for a deeper run, and Westford Academy is much improved.

Winchester will hope to peak at the right time behind senior Maddie Walsh, senior Claire Kutylo and young defender Kate Burkart. Lexington takes on star scorer Hannah Ward, ST goalkeeper Sophie Orytl and defensive anchor Anna Hazewindus. Arlington should cause crises, just like Belmont.

Chelmsford navigates a tough schedule with star UMass rookie Remore Serra leading the way alongside Bentley-bound Emily Stagnone and defenders Ava Balan and Jenna Nigro. North Andover is a Merrimack Valley Conference team to watch. Central Catholic is young, but senior Fallon Barr leads a promising group.

Bishop Feehan takes it to the next level by dismissing elite scorers Ava Meehan and Kay Murphy ahead of Sam Buonaccorsi, Marissa Pereira and promising scorer Alice Taylor. Hingham includes Abby Kennedy, Ellie Savitcus, Julia Glennon and Siena Brackett to lead a strong freshman class as she hopes to make the playoffs. Marshfield will cause them problems in the Patriot League as returning senior starters Erin Boyd and Lyla Hunter lead the offense.

Barnstable will be battle tested out of the Cape and Islands League, with returning starters Ella Salas (forward), Margaret Maki (midfielder) and Grace Bunnell (goalkeeper). Durfee is on the rise with junior star Emily Curran anchoring the defense while Kacey Curran, Toni Freitas and Shakira Cadet highlight a quick attack.

Wachusett are a solid team to watch alongside Shrewsbury.

While reigning Div. State Champion 2 Westwood lost seven starters after winning their first title, they also fired 15 players in the middle of a mission to prove it won’t be a one-hit wonder. TVL All-Star Olivia Willliams, Katie Krumsiek, Ava Kelly and Ashley Braren return as starters while Quinnipiac-commit Riley Harrington (goalie) and Molly Kilgarriff step into big defensive roles.

“We want to prove that this isn’t a moment, last year wasn’t just a one-off affair,” coach Heather Joyce said. “We are a consistent team that will hopefully always play well and be consistently tough in the playoffs. … We’ve broken that kind of ceiling now, so we know we can do it.

Westwood’s path was full of teams that are loaded for a rematch this playoff, starting with runner-up Nashoba as he displays a solid defense led by Abigail Zacchini. The Falmouth State semi-finalist will once again be powerful behind Katie Shanahan, entered by Quinnipiac.

Danvers was a double overtime goal away from the Final Four and there returns a slew of talent led by Katherine Purcell, Emma Wilochoski, Sadie Papamechail, Sophie Papemechail and keeper Megan McGinnity. Masconomet are ready to avenge a dominant year that didn’t take long, with scoring phenom Maggie Sturgis and star midfielder Julia Graves returning for new coach Elizabeth Dean. Marblehead are expected to race behind a veteran defense in seniors Elise Burdge and Emma Callaghan.

Canton is set for a breakout season with eight returning starters, supported by goaltender Carolyn Durand, defensemen Katie Lavoie and Sierra Abbott, and star forward Ellie Bohane. Scoring duo Erin Cottam and Julia MacLaine are testing them for Oliver Ames in the division race.

Karissa Albin is a major player to watch for a more experienced Somerset Berkley side, and Dartmouth is also looking to take the next step by sacking SEC All-Stars Grace Haskell, Samantha Souza and Abbie Zuber. Notre Dame Academy (H) is a senior-laden contender, led by returning starters Avery Engle and Reilly Walsh, while Bishop Fenwick is still a threat.

Reading are building on last year’s strong season and Wakefield are looking to build chemistry around Middlesex League Liberty star Grace Seabury.

Nauset head coach Cheryl Poore has the youngest group she’s ever had in 50 years of coaching with 13 freshmen, but expects Cristen Schaet and Amelia Stevens to help them lead them to the playoffs. Holliston is just as young after graduating 16 seniors, relying on sophomores Anderson Hastings and Ellie Culver to step up.

Grafton returns little from last season, but expects Brie Dwyer (forward), Taylor Coonan (defense) and Ava Martin (keeper) to make noise. Norwood, Plymouth North, Scituate and Silver Lake will also be challenging.