by Tom Utescher
Springside Chestnut Hill Academy played its final field hockey game of the season on its home turf last Wednesday, and before taking on visiting Penn Charter, the host Blue Devils recognized their two departing seniors, Anna Kuo and Morgan Schneer.
Both would acquit themselves well in their final high school outing. With an assist from junior Allie Billick (team tri-captain along with the two seniors), Kuo scored the lone goal of the afternoon in SCH’s 1-0 victory.
As for Schneer, a defender, Blue Devils co-coach Meg Cipolloni explained “Morgan was injured during our game on Monday and her feet were very swollen today, but she played so well the whole game. I think all the girls went out there with so much desire to win that game that they weren’t going to accept any other result.”
Combined with a 5-1 Penn Charter loss to Germantown Academy three days later, the SCH victory had the effect of locking the Blue Devils and Quakers into a tie for fifth place in the final Inter-Ac standings. PC had claimed a 3-2 victory over the Devils in late October, and both teams defeated last-place Baldwin School twice during the 2013 campaign, giving each club a record of 3-9 in league competition.
A quarter-hour into the affair, Kuo cashed in to put the Blue Devils on the scoreboard after Billick brought the ball downfield in transition. It would remain a one-goal game, as PC junior goalie Kennedy Kline kept the Quakers’ cage sealed the rest of the way.
“Their goalie was very strong,” Cipolloni pointed out. “Allie [Billick] had several breakaways, and overall we had a lot of corners and a lot of shots. She [Kline] saved a lot, and we also had shots that either missed wide or that we lifted over the goal.”
Sophomore midfielder Madi Saltzman was unable to play, so SCH tweaked its line-up a little.
“We had practiced moving the ball quickly with passes instead of carrying it as much, and we did that well today,” revealed Cipolloni, who coaches the Blue Devils along with Katie Mersky. “We’ve also been improving our communication skills, and other things that help us play better together as a team.”
The Devils and the Quakers each had to play shorthanded for a time due to penalty cards dispensed by the officials.
In addition to Schneer’s performance, Cipolloni praised the defensive effort of back Mikaela Watson and goalie Frankie Reitmeyer (six saves). Both are sophomore starters.
When the Blue Devils and Quakers next engage one another in the 2014 season, it will be with nearly the same cast of characters. SCH graduates only Kuo and Schneer, while Penn Charter had no seniors at all on its roster this fall.