The varsity roster recently announced by Coach Castano actually list more seniors than last year's, 11 in all.
Mount St. Joseph Academy has graduated several strong classes of field hockey players in a row. The program took quite a hit last spring, when seven seniors snagged their diplomas and four of them headed off to Division I college programs.
Another change for the 2021 Magic is the arrival of a new head coach, Kyra Castano. The product of one of the traditionally strong scholastic programs in the Wilkes Barre area, Coughlin High School, she went on to play at St. Francis University in western Pennsylvania. She graduated in 2018 and did some coaching around Wilkes Barre for several years.
There is some continuity on the coaching staff with varsity assistant and JV head coach Christina Black, a former goalkeeper for the MSJ hockey team (Class of 2014).
Leading the team out on the field are three senior captains, Katie Convey (who has committed to Colgate University), Devon Lasky, and Ashley Timby. Convey is a graduate of Norwood-Fontbonne Academy, as are team members Campbell Donovan and Olivia Cook (both seniors), junior Devin Loome, and sophomore Grace Kyle. Another Norwooder, Ramsey Tabor, is a goalie on the JV squad.
The varsity roster recently announced by Coach Castano actually list more seniors than last year's, 11 in all. In addition to the five already named are Mackenzie Craig, Ella Keifner, Jane Mezzanotte, Lauren O'Malley, Skylar Vacca, and starting goalie Alyssa Brachielli.
Junior Nora Haney will also play in goal for the varsity, and the other 11th graders (besides Loome) are Lauren Dachowski, Aisling Scibelli and Julia Solecki. NFA alum Kyle and Caitlin Keough are the two sophomores on the roster.
The Magic made their Athletic Association of Catholic Academies debut last Tuesday against visiting Merion Mercy. Until this season, the Golden Bears were coached by Penn Charter alumna Gretta Ehret. Ehret is now a volunteer assistant coach at her collegiate alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania.
Last Wednesday at the Mount it would've been strange if the visitors hadn't scored in the first quarter of the league opener, since they spent much of the period swarming the shooting circle in the Magic's defensive end. By the end of the quarter, Mallory McHale and Kelly O'Connor had given Merion a 2-0.
The two ends of the field were better balanced in the second stanza, when the Mounties played much better.
Unfortunately for the locals, they would not score here or later on in the game. Things could've been much worse if not for strong play throughout by Brachielli, who came away with 12 saves.
The Magic spent much more time on offense in the second quarter, but they did not visit Merion's circle very often, and the half ended with the visitors still up 2-0.
As the second half began, the Golden Bears looked to recapture the dominance they'd displayed early in the game, and in round three they doubled their lead thanks to strikes by Kasey Knapp and Moira Vaughn.
Mount St. Joseph made the first rush of the fourth quarter, but midway through the period Merion Mercy posted its final goal of the day, with the credit going to Brynn Donnelly. In the final five minutes, the Magic pushed into the Merion circle and earned several penalty corners, but no goals resulted from this, and the Golden Bears ambled off with a 5-0 victory in the Catholic Academi