In the early part of the season, both Palisades’ and Plumstead Christian’s field hockey teams can mirror each other.
They basically are young teams seeking to find their level and identity along the way.
When they met Monday afternoon, Palisades walked away with a 5-0 victory, but both teams realize that it is a process.
“We played well,” said Palisades first-year head coach Kim DeNato. “We’re a very young team without any seniors. We have a big crew of juniors and sophomores.
“I had most of them when I coached at the middle school level. It is fun to watch how they have grown, and a number of them are stepping up.”
Juniors Morgan Magditch notched a pair of goals and Abby Carey and Katelyn Shoemaker each tallied one to help Palisades to an early 4-0 advantage. Shoemaker added her second goal to round out the scoring as the Pirates recorded 16 shots on goal.
Fellow juniors Angelina Day and Samantha Trickel also will be counted on for their contributions and leadership.
Junior Hannah Higgins and sophomore Alycia DeNato split time in the nets and will continue this fall.
The Pirates previously split their first two games with a win over Wilson and a loss to Lehighton, ironically with both 3-2 scores. Coach DeNato believes she will get a good reading on her team over the next two weeks when they have eight games on their slate.
“This will be tough, but they are resilient,” she stressed. “It will be exciting to see how they do. We still have to work on putting the ball in the cage. We’ll have to make some adjustments, but we have a solid group of girls.”
At Plumstead Christian, third-year head coach Tiehl McRoberts has 14 players on her roster, and she welcomed her opening games against Academy of the New Church and Palisades, even though both resulted in defeats.
“We didn’t have any scrimmages (due to COVID-19) and we can’t do that much with only 14 players,” said McRoberts. “The girls were anxious to play against someone. We have a team that is led by team players. In the past, we had some individual leaders.
“But this year, we have more of a team concept. The girls really support each other, and you can see that in their play.”
McRoberts will look to returning seniors Emily Earl, Anya Link, Maddie Mancini, Sarah Meltser, and Kaia Moore to set the pace. Fellow senior Cameron Yurgel is a first-year player. The Panthers also have seven sophomores and one freshman on their roster.
The Panthers are faced with a unique situation of finding a goalie, as their returning netminder opted out due to a medical situation. McRoberts still is weeding out the candidates.
“Everyone is taking turns,” said McRoberts. “It is very interesting as our field players never really experienced it. We do have some players who could do, but they are too valuable for us in the field. But it is exciting to see what some of them can do.
“We’re still in the process and we’ll see how it develops.”
McRoberts stated last year’s team struggled with two wins and two ties, yet she saw them in many games. She believes this year’s team has the potential to take the next step, notably in the Bicentennial League, and is hopeful the season can continue.
“This year, we should be competitive and we anticipate some wins,” she said. “In our league, we play each team three times to get to 12 games.
“This will be a process, and we are so thankful just to be able to play. The seniors have told me that after our games, and I hope we can push through the season for them.”