Monday, September 11, 2017

MIAA Field Hockey Notebook: Week 2

Despite graduating a wealth of talent and leadership, Walpole should be just fine.
By Marisa Ingemi (@Marisa_Ingemi)

For Walpole high school field hockey, success is nearly a given, no matter the circumstances.

“Walpole has that expectation to win,” said first year head coach Jen Quinn. “Confidence isn’t an issue for us. This team, the five core players, they play a ton and have the experience.”

Quinn, who had been an assistant at Walpole for 17 years, with a five-year stint in North Attleboro, takes over for Marianne Murphy, the coach who led the Porkers to a Division 1 state title last season.

That’s not the only change in Walpole, either. After graduating a number of talented seniors, including star scorer Melanie Weber, there are only five returning starters from the Porkers' title team.

That means the young group has to step up, but the core five of Christine Murray, Celia Walsh, Audra Tesone, Saylor Murphy, and Quinn’s daughter Caileen, will be called on to carry the load.

“They all play a ton in clubs, and national stuff,” said Quinn. “They’re our core kids leading out there and stepping up together.”

That doesn’t mean the young remainder of the roster isn’t contributing, however. Plenty of underclassmen have roles with the squad, such as sophomore goalie Gigi Amello, starting for the first time.

Even with the younger players, it’s not like they have no experience.

“We brought up a lot of JV kids for the tournament team,” said Quinn. “Sydney Scales is starting as a sophomore, Leila McKinnon is the first sub off the bench, and Taylor Reilly hasn’t seen a ton of time, but is really solid and competing with that defense.”

So far the Porkers are 1-0-1, and that tie came under extreme circumstances. In game one of the season, Walpole outshot Wellesley 19-0 in a 0-0 tie.

That game came the day after a difficult scrimmage game against the state’s best team, Watertown, where Walpole completed the impressive feat of defeating them 1-0.

“There were four or five kids not spot on the next day,” said Quinn. “Not terrible, just not spot on, and they might have been worn out from the day before.”

It was the first time in the annual scrimmage that the Porkers had come out on top in about five years.

Without most of the championship squad? That’s something Quinn can build off of.

“This year, they’ve found ways to work together,” she said. “They’re a team in every sense. We don’t have that total stud, but sometimes that’s a good thing.”

The graduating class is a challenge for any first year head coach, but Quinn has the advantage of having been around Murphy for the past few years.

“It’s not all that different,” Quinn said of being a head coach. “The big thing is, Marianne not being around. The two of us complimented each other, and we really learned to respect and appreciate each other.”

So far in 2017, it seems like Quinn’s Porkers, despite their youth, might be able to find their way back on top.

“We have two new coaches, a new JV coach, we’re really young in experience, but have those five core kids stepping up.”

Highlight of the Week

Lincoln Sudbury head coach Vicky Caburian notched her 200th career win against Weston on Wednesday of last week.

Players of the Week

Keira Semerjian, Lincoln-Sudbury- The senior scored two goals and dished out two assists against Wayland in an 8-0 victory this week

Jill Niele, Wilmington- The forward tallied three goals and an assist vs Woburn in a 6-0 win.

Maeve Murphy, Scituate-
Murphy helped her Sailors to a 3-1 win with two goals in the season opening contest against Marshfield.

Games of the Week

Watertown at Winchester, Monday-
The Raiders are back at the top of the MIAA field hockey world, but Winchester is also off to a good start. This should be a nice opening challenge for the Sachems.

Braintree at Needham, Friday- An early season conference game, and a chance for Braintree to get back on track after a rough start, while Needham tries to stay undefeated.

Winchester at Lexington, Friday-
Another challenge for the Sachems as they take on the Minutemen, who are off to a 2-0 start this season.

Week 2 Top 20

1. Watertown (2-0-1)
2. Acton-Boxboro (2-0) (3)
3. Walpole (1-1) (2)
4. Winchester (1-0) (5)
5. Lexington (2-0) (6)
6. Dennis-Yarmouth (1-0) (7)
7. Andover (1-0)
8. Foxborough (0-1) (4)
9. Ipswich (1-0)
10. Manchester-Essex (1-0)
11. Sandwich (2-0)
12. Needham (2-0)
13. Wellesley (2-0-1)
14. King Philip (2-0)
15. Belmont (1-0)
16. Triton (2-0)
17. Lincoln-Sudbury (3-0)
18. Central Catholic (1-1)
19. Westford (2-0)
20. Oliver Ames (2-0)

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