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Falcon field hockey preview
RUMFORD -- There's always changes, however, the Mountain Valley field hockey team still believes it will have enough talented players available to be successful this fall.
This will hopefully provide a boost and serve as a major incentive for the current Lady Falcons, who finished the regular season before falling shy in a preliminary playoff game.
The Falcons must retool after graduating leading scorers Nicole Burgess and Payton Provencher, but a majority of the six returning lettermen will be on the offense. They include seniors Alyson Carlton (forward), Nicky Couch (forward/midfielder) and Kayla Pingree (midfield); and sophomores Lexy Duguay (forward) and Madeline Kaubrys (forward/midfield). These five players will be counted on for experience. Alexa Fryover will be missed advancing the ball into the circle.
Falcon coach Melissa Forbes said strengths are the returning seniors who have proven already that they are willing to help and encourage the underclassmen. During the first week they have seen great improvements and team play. The coaches see lots of potential and athleticism in the incoming freshmen class and believe the team will get stronger and more comfortable with every practice and game.
The defense was hit hard and only returns senior fullback Ellie Hall. It will be extremely important for this unit to communicate with each other and maintain proper spacing on the field.
Promising newcomers include sophomores Lexi Edwards (forward), Kaitlyn Radcliff (goalie/midfielder) and Danielle Thibodeau (midfielder, fullback).
Several freshmen could contribute: Liza White (midfield), MaKayla Burgess (fullback), Kassie Thibodeau (goalie), Chelsea Allison (forward, midfield) and Marissa Crosby (forward).
Long time assistant coach Amy DeVivo returns also.
''We are working on all the basic skills and positioning," said Forbes, regarding points of emphasis during preseason. ''Since we graduated so many senior varsity players, we have positions on the field that need to be filled. We want to make sure the underclassmen that fill those positions feel confident out on the field."
A weakness is obviously the lack of varsity experience. With so many spots to fill, the players must provide the lineup with more versatility.
''I expect that we will have a rollercoaster of a season due to the fact that we have very athletic players with great potential, but no varsity experience. But I wouldn’t count Mountain Valley out. These girls love the game and have proven already to be very coachable," said Forbes.