Varsity Field Hockey Season Recap

Field hockey team recapCoach: Molly Lachut
MVP: Maddie Sappenfield
MIP: Reagan Bradley
Coaches’ Award: Jee Yoon Kim

The 2018 season was a bit of a roller coaster for the Saints, but the 2018 Varsity Field Hockey team was one of the strongest in program history. The team powered through a tough schedule all season long with grit, resilience, and a sense of pride in the team and the School. 

After beginning the season with a tough 3-1 loss to perennial powerhouse Foxcroft School, the Saints immediately bounced back with a 7-0 trouncing of Frederick County’s Tuscarora High school. Captain Rosy Lin (Sixth Form) had a hat trick and an assist, Olivia Welty (Fifth Form) scored two goals, Olivia Riser (Fifth Form) notched her second goal of the season, and Molly English (Sixth Form) added a goal, while Zoe Esterly (Fifth Form) had an assist. Goalie Leiny Ruggiero (Fifth Form) had a handful of saves in her first shutout of the season. This was followed by a tough overtime loss at Bishop O’Connell High School where Captain Maddie Sappenfield (Sixth Form) had two goals and an assist, Welty had one goal and one assist, and Lin added another goal. Kaitlin Dellaposta (Fifth Form) and Riser each had an assist.

After a loss to Sidwell Friends, Saint James got back on track with a thrilling 1-0 overtime victory against Pennsylvania’s Huntingdon Area High School. Jee Yoon Kim (Sixth Form) kept the Saints in the game in regulation with a defensive save as Ruggiero recorded her second shutout of the season. Reagan Bradley (Fourth Form) scored her first varsity goal about halfway through overtime on a beautiful deflection of a pass from Riser. 

Following a heartbreaking loss to rival Mercersburg Academy, Saint James won a rainy-day contest with Middleburg Academy. Lin recorded two goals and an assist, while Riser added two goals of her own. Esterly recorded her first varsity goal and Sappenfield got in on the action with two assists. With exceptional midfield play from Eliza Durham (Fifth Form), the Saints brought perhaps their best all-around effort of the season to Bullis, but were handed a 2-1 loss despite a highlight-reel goal as Durham, Sappenfield, and Lin teamed up for a penalty corner goal from Lin.

After another loss to Mercersburg and a heartbreaking injury to defensive leader Maggie McFillen (Sixth Form), Saint James wound down the season by outscoring opponents 11-0 during a busy week. Behind a whopping five goals from Welty, the Saints defeated Wakefield School 6-0. Sappenfield added the final goal and Lin had three assists. Riser, Bradley, and Durham each had an assist and Ruggiero worked with a defense anchored by Kim, Captain Victoria Vando (Sixth Form), and Jenna Root (Fifth Form) to record her third of four shutouts on the season. 

Just two days later, Welty was back at it with four goals (totaling nine in two games) as the Saints rolled past a talented team from Brookewood School. Riser tallied two goals and two assists in the game, and Sappenfield and Lin each added an assist. Newcomer Hav Mercer (Fourth Form) joined fellow fourth formers Katy Kwon and Lidwina Eyombo-Bella and sixth former Michele Yeung as key defenders to help Ruggiero record yet another shutout. 

Welty ended the season with a team-high twelve goals plus an assist, and Lin finished her senior campaign with five goals and six assists. Riser added four goals and six assists, while Sappenfield had three goals and five assists to show for her outstanding play all season. Bradley, English, and Esterly each had a goal and Bradley, Dellaposta, Durham, and Esterly each had an assist on the season, meaning that all nine of the Saints’ forwards and midfielders recorded at least a point throughout the season. Ruggiero reached last year’s total of 50 saves for the Saints and was supported with defensive saves from Kim and Vando, as well as strong play all season from the Saints’ defensive unit.

The Saints will lose six starters to graduation, including defensive stalwarts McFillen and Vando, but are still a relatively young team. Thanks to the growth of the 2018 squad, 2019 promises to be a great season for Saint James Varsity Field Hockey. 


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