by Tom Utescher
There will be a decidedly new look for the Springside Chestnut Hill Academy field hockey squad for 2013. A total of six players graduated from the 2012 roster, and three of last year’s underclassmen are not back with the team. One of them, a young starting goaltender, transferred to another school, so the Blue Devils will have their third keeper in as many seasons starting out in the cage.
In addition, one of the two co-coaches moved out of state, so this year returning mentor Megan Cipolloni (a 2007 Germantown Academy graduate) will be joined by Katie Mersky, who played hockey for Dickinson College (’12). Mersky, originally from Lancaster, Pa., also has a full-time position in the admissions department at SCH.
The only seniors on the young squad are Anna Kuo and Morgan Schneer; they’re the team captains along with junior Allie Billock. Even the 11th-graders are relatively thin on the ground; Billock’s contemporaries on the team are returning varsity players Alyssa Fairman and Carlin Rode, and new addition Gini Peyton.
Fortunately, there are half-a-dozen sophomores who look ready to step up and take on varsity responsibilities, beginning with the new netminder, Frankie Reitmeyer. Her classmates on the team are Remi Filippini, Lily Glendinning, Lexi Prochniak, Madi Saltzman, and Mikaela Watson. Two freshmen who have seen action in early scrimmages are Morgan Fitton-Zellers and Carlin Rode’s sister, Mason.
Just a week into the field hockey preseason, two projected starters were already hurt, so the younger players have already been seeing more action than anticipated. Nonetheless, Springside Chestnut Hill was able to overcome its first three opponents last week, topping Sacred Heart (3-2), Little Flower (4-0), and Lower Merion (1-0, in the first official game).
In the Sacred Heart scrimmage, host SCH had to come from behind to force overtime, and then prevailed thanks to a goal by Billock. On the sidelines, the Blue Devils’ Cipolloni was reunited with her former Lynchburg (Va.) College teammate Maddie Brannau, a Sacred Heart alum who is now an assistant coach for the Lions.
SCH’s string of non-league matches wraps up on September 18 with a bout at Germantown Friends, and two later the team launches its Inter-Ac League campaign against always-powerful Episcopal Academy. The Blue Devils will be looking to improve upon a 2-10 league record from 2012, when they finished 6-14 overall.