Last Thursday's scrimmage at the Mount was GA's first interscholastic encounter of the season.
Third-year Mount St. Joseph Academy head coach Kyra Castano had coached against Jill Posen several times in the past, during Posen's stint heading up the program at a fellow Catholic Academies school, Gwynedd Mercy.
When Posen came to the Mount last Thursday, though, its was as the mentor of a different team, Germantown Academy of the Inter-Ac League.
Posen had a successful run with the Gwynedd Monarchs, leading the 2022 team all the way to the state semifinals in PIAA Class 2A. She played at West Chester University and currently serves as a coach with the Horizon Field Hockey Club. Before coming to Gwynedd Mercy she was on the coaching staff at Downingtown West High School.
Last Thursday's scrimmage at the Mount was GA's first interscholastic encounter of the season. The Patriots fell behind 3-0 fairly early in the match, then netted a late goal for a 3-1 outcome.
The Mount Magic, who'd started practice a week earlier than the Patriots, had already engaged in several scrimmages and then won their August 25 season opener at Christopher Dock by a score of 9-0.
Back in the 2022 regular season, Mount St. Joe had done well against non-league opponents, but found tougher going within the Athletic Association of Catholic Academies. In the PIAA District 1 2A playoffs, the Mounties won in the round of 16, lost in the quarterfinals, and then ended their season in a play-in game for the state tournament.
Germantown Academy placed third within the Inter-Ac League last fall with a 5-5 record. The Patriots then lost in the Pa. Independent Schools tournament quarterfinals to Springside Chestnut Hill, which had actually finished behind GA in the final Inter-Ac standings.
In last Thursday's scrimmage, the Mount fielded a young starting line-up, with just two seniors (Caitlyn Keough and Caroline Killian) and two juniors (Joie Katsock and Sienna Noh). Also in the initial line-up were sophomores Alexa Durand, Avery Lasky, and Nora Massella, all of whom were varsity regulars last season.
Three current freshmen also got the starting nod, Tess Hankins, Julia McGlynn, and Caitlin Paul. Hankins and McGlynn are graduates of local grade schools, St. Philip Neri and St. Genevieve's, respectively.
Senior Grace Kyle is team co-captain along with Keough, and the other 12th graders on the varsity squad are Sabrina Borzi, Grace DeLeo, and Grace Scharnikow. Junior Sara Burman and sophomores Lydia Moy and Katie Tropiano are on the varsity roster, as well. Sophomore Lexi Kelly is the Mount's new starter in goal, while freshman Kathryn Pedicino is the JV keeper and varsity reserve.
Germantown Academy's veteran goalie, senior Madison DeStefano, will go on to play for Queens University. Fellow seniors Hadley Harbert and Olivia Krey are headed to the programs at William Smith College and Lafayette College, respectively. Their classmate Caitlin Luviano plans to play lacrosse at Brown University.
All four started for the Patriots in the Mount scrimmage, along with seniors Caitlin Lozano and Lucy McFadden, juniors Maggie Burkholder, Anita Sinker and Anna Willard, and freshmen Cecelia Durkin and Genevieve Gajan.
Harbert, Lozano, and McFadden are team captains along with junior Sydney Wanner, who was out with an injury. Senior Zara Bhatt and sophomores Mia Curci and Skylar Saldutti are also members of the varsity squad.