As they are on the brink of the state tournament, South Hunterdon’s field hockey team continues to enjoy the moment.
“It has been great,” said head coach Stephanie Hart about her team’s 15-2 season. “We’re having a lot of fun. We have a large group of sophomores who got a lot of time on the field last year, and they really looked good this year.”
Hart stated her team is currently seeded fifth for the postseason, but that seeding easily could change after the Eagles’ final 8-0 win over North Plainfield Monday and depending on how the remainder of the field ends their seasons.
The Eagles sat atop the Mountain Division of the Skyland Conference this season.
“It has been pretty steady for us,” added Hart about the season. “This was the first season in which we scored in every single game. We started off strong and then had our first loss.
“But we bounced back and had another winning streak until a recent loss. We had two pretty good runs.”
Hart has looked to senior and four-year starter Alana Catanzareti to captain the team. She paced the team during the regular season with 15 goals and four assists. She exited her final regular season game in style, tallying three goals in the 8-0 win over North Plainfield.
“Yes, it really was a great way to end the regular season,” said Catanzareti. “It’s so sad that it’s almost over, but it has been a great four years.”
Catanzareti has relished all the moments.
“This is the best season I have ever had,” she stated. “We have a pretty young team with experience, but it all ties together on the field.
“We have been very consistent and our two losses haven’t affected us at all. We know what we can do and there always is room for improvement. A lot of our sophomores play club hockey and that has really helped them.”
Along with Catanzareti, Hart has looked to junior captain Rebecca Phillips, who has 14 goals and 11 assists, and sophomore Skyler Badessa to help set the pace.
Hart believes her team can travel deep into the state tournament due to their cohesion and chemistry. They were knocked out in the first round last year.
“They are playing with a lot of confidence,” said Hart. “They really support each other and are great teammates who love to see each other. It is a tight bond. They just want to succeed and really don’t care who scores.
“They really want to be there for each other. We haven’t peaked yet, and we’re excited to see how far we can go.”