Springside Chestnut Hill Academy held its first practices and first scrimmage for the 2023 field hockey season last week.
Springside Chestnut Hill Academy held its first practices and first scrimmage for the 2023 field hockey season last week, looking to improve upon a successful 2022 campaign. The Blue Devils finished fourth in the Inter-Ac League with a 4-6 record but grew stronger as the season progressed.
In late October league champ Episcopal Academy had to stage a late rally to defeat visiting SCH in the second meeting between the teams, and the Devils then reached the semifinals of the Pa. Independent Schools tournament, losing to eventual champion Hill School.
Emilee Ehret, the architect of SCH's recent rise in the sport, returns for her fifth season as head coach. This fall she has a new assistant in Natalia Purchiaroni, a Syracuse native who came south to play hockey at Central Pennsylvania's Susquehanna University ('23).
SCH returns almost all of its top players from 2022, graduating just three team members last spring.
The captains for the 2023 Blue Devils are seniors Maddie Caliendo, Kerry O'Donnell, Riley O'Donnell, and Madison Freeman.
The O'Donnells are identical twins who committed to Penn State last year, and Freeman will play lacrosse at Villanova University.
These three seniors were in the starting line-up for SCH in the team's first scrimmage last Thursday. A second set of twins, Colleen and Devyn Conlan were among the junior starters, along with Taylor Foley, Veronica Goettner and Morgan Risnychok, who is a transfer student from Wissahickon High School.
Colleen Conlan, a goalie, and Devyn, a forward, have been starting for the Blue Devils since they were in eighth grade, and both have committed to play hockey at the University of Massachusetts. Sophomore Nadia Gross is a returning starter for Springside Chestnut Hill, and there were two freshman starters, Molly McGinn and German exchange student Linnea Klas.
In Thursday's scrimmage at Springfield High School, the Blue Devils controlled play much of the time against the host Spartans. The first players to sub in for the visitors were Caliendo and junior Kira Vakil. With a large roster overall, SCH has a number of other athletes who will be vying for some varsity playing time this fall.