Area field hockey teams looking to make progress

Staff photo by HECTOR LONGO Merrimack's Hunter Webb (in white) gets down low and plays a little defense to blunt this Salem attack, sending the ball straight up in the air.

Area field hockey teams are hungry to make a statewide impact this fall, especially in Division I.

Bishop Guertin returns five starters for coach Steve Duprat on a team that won 11 games a year ago and advance farther than any other local DI team, hitting the quarterfinals.

Among the returners are Sarah Coyle, who netted seven goals and added seven assists, along with Emily Foltan, who had two goals and three assists.

Merrimack looks to have a lot back from a squad that suffered a tough 1-0 playoff loss a year ago. The Tomahawks should again be headed toward the top half.

Nashua North coach Chloe Audesse likes what she sees from new goalie Kiley O’Brien, and she’s got a good one in front of here in defender Theresa Ellison. Lauren Shaw and Julia Gagnon will be the top offensive threats for the Titans.

Nashua South learned some valuable lessons in 2017 and hopes to turn those into wins this fall with a deep returning cast.

In Division II, perennial power Souhegan is in re-load mode with only one returning starter back from the 2017 state final four team. Hollis Brookline steps up to Division II and will be hunting a playoff spot along with Milford.

Division I

Bishop Guertin

COACH: Steve Duprat, 11th season

2017: 11-4, Division I quarterfinals.

RETURNING STARTERS: Caroline Carey, sr.; Sarah Coyle, jr.; Emily Foltan, sr.; Britney Pearson, jr.; Athanasia Theofilopoulos, jr.

RETURNING LETTER WINNERS: Abigail Ahearn, jr.; Liv Hlebichuk, soph.; Lindsey Hult, soph.; Rachel Reardon, jr.; Emma Wallat, sr.; Kennedy Wright, sr.; Brooke Yabroudy, soph.

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Rylee Bouvier, frosh.; Stephanie Coulombe, soph.; Elise Harnish, soph.; Chloe Leonard, frosh.; Emily Lisi, sr.;

Mckaela Meaney, sr.; Amelia Piercy, soph.; Stephanie Reap, frosh.; Monina Tosi, soph.; Anna Wentworth, sr.; Grace Wilson, jr.

COACH’S COMMENTS: “Our forward line is untested and will need to produce this year. Our midfield and defensive units are pretty solid, but will have to keep pressure off our young goalie.”

Nashua South

COACH: Ciki McIntire

2017: 1-12-1

RETURNING STARTERS: Katherine Tello, sr., midfield; Emma Lynch, sr., forward; Vanessa Norton, sr., midfield; Abbey Rowe, sr., defense; Liz Harrington, sr., forward; Calley Goulet, sr., forward; Jenna Chiavelli, jr., midfield; Madison Sewade, jr., defense; Kirsten McIntire, jr., midfield.

RETURNING LETTER WINNERS: Josephine Coehlo, sr., defense; Emma Pucillo, sr., midfield; Victoria Gates, sr., defense; Sarah Signorello, jr., midfield

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Courtney Tello, soph., goalie; Sarah Picard, jr., defense; Kaitlyn West, frosh., forward; Amy Marison, soph., midfield

COACH’S COMMENTS: “After only losing three seniors to graduation and a successful offseason training program, we are hopeful that we are going to compete even more this year as long as we can stay healthy. Everyone has been working extremely hard during the preseason and we have tremendous leadership from the seniors this year. The team is working well together on the field and we are looking forward to a fun, successful season playing together.”

Nashua North

COACH: Chloe Audesse

RETURNING STARTERS: Julia Gagnon sr., forward; Lauren Shaw, soph., forward; Kayleigh Eckenrode, sr., midfield; Hannah Farley, sr., midfield; Theresa Ellison, jr., defense; Izzy Gates, sr., defense; Lizzie Deck, jr., defense; Lauren Schalk, sr., defense

RETURNING LETTER WINNERS: Emma Tomasetti, jr., defense; Kenzie Smith, soph., forward; Emily Closson, jr., forward

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Kiley O’Brien, goalie

COACH’S COMMENTS: “I am optimistic for the season. With several returning starters, I hope to work on several aspects that we focused on last year. Our focus is conditioning and basic skills to help improve our overall game. The team has a positive mentality and hopes to reach the goals we have set. A team is usually measured by how strong their record is, this year we hope to see improvements and growth, as well as a strong team bond.”

Merrimack

COACH: Ann MacLean

2017: 7-5-1, Division I first round

RETURNING STARTERS: Heather Rohr, jr., goalie; Jess Trahan, sr., defense; Erin Knauer, soph., defense; Brenna Davenport, sr., defense; Hailey DelRossi, sr., defense; Chloe Kapsambelis, soph., forward; Amber Brewster, sr., forward; Julia Valluzzi, sr., forward; Hunter Webb, sr., forward

RETURNING LETTER WINNERS: Dimere Lauture, jr., forward; Dimetria Gonzalez, jr., defense; Ellie Boucher, jr., forward; Megan Elwell, sr., defense; Kaitlyn Cota, jr., forward

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: “Caisy Redding, sr., defense; Megan Dinsmore, jr., forward; Theresa Twardosky, soph., forward

COACH’S COMMENTS: “This year’s team has many returning players that have experience playing together. They have great chemistry on the field and enjoy working hard for a common goal. This should be a fun and rewarding season for them.”

Hollis Brookline

COACH: Jennifer MacLeod

2017: 6-8, Division III first round

RETURNING STARTERS: Sofia Barassi, sr., forward; Minn Danaisawasdi, sr., forward; Jordan Mazzola, sr., defense; Emelia Mulligan, jr., midfield; Julia Frugard, jr., midfield

RETURNING LETTER WINNERS: Gabby Paquin, sr., midfield; Rachel Cerato, sr., midfield; Abbie Fitzgerald, sr., goalie; Grace Catalanotti, sr., midfield; Abi Blasi, jr., defense

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Delaney Weimer, soph., forward; Valerie Labak, soph., forward; Mary Martin, jr., midfield; Emma Elkin, soph., defense

COACH’S COMMENTS: “We’re facing an aggressive new schedule in Division II and will play teams we haven’t played before. We also are starting the season with some significant injuries among our senior leaders. Although it looks to be a challenging year, we have a relatively young team with great energy and we will make the best of every opportunity.”

Milford

COACH: Betsey Kallfelz

2017: 5-8-1

RETURNING STARTERS: Sydney Kolasinski, jr., forward; Jenna D’Angelis, jr., midfield; Abagail Forrence, jr., midfield; MyKaela Cederberg, jr., midfield; Cora Holtshouser, jr., forward; Erin Jasper, soph., defense; Allyson MacDonald, soph., midfield; Caroline Boudreau, jr., defense

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Lily Moore, frosh., goalie; Allison Demmons, frosh., forward; Sophia Renda, jr., goalie

COACH’S COMMENTS: “While our numbers are off this year we do have a core group of dedicated athletes who have considerable skills and are determined to make each game a competitive one. They’ve worked hard in preseason and I’m excited to see what they can do.”

Souhegan

COACH: Kelli Braley

2017: 13-1, Division I state semifinals

RETURNING STARTERS: Avery Karavas, soph., forward

RETURNING LETTER WINNERS: Margot Redway, sr., midfield; Ava Van Ballegooyen, soph., forward; Nicole O’Rourke, soph., forward; Izzy Aiello, jr., midfield

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Elle Byram, jr., goalie; Ally Lipkin, sr., goalie; Juliette Rafuse, soph., defense; Paige Castell, jr., defense; Avonlea Cummings, sr., defense; Cari Mastergeorge, frosh., defense; Sarah Geary, jr., defense; Margot Manz, soph., midfield; Eva Stine, soph., midfield; Molly Atkinson, soph., midfield; Julia Ireland, soph., midfield; Delaney Facques, soph., midfield; Caroline Steenhoek, sr., forward; Rowen Bentley-Melle, jr., forward; Soleil Gookin, jr., forward

COACH’S COMMENTS: “I am really excited about this team! On the field, we have great speed and lots of young, talented players who are very coachable. In the net, we have two very solid and reliable goalies. This is a wonderful group of young women to work with and I cannot wait to see how far they will go.”