Field Hockey Season Preview

Field Hockey Season Preview

CHESTERTOWN, Md. — After qualifying for the Centennial Conference Tournament in 2017, the Washington College field hockey team narrowly missed the tournament last year following back-to-back one-goal conference losses (including an overtime loss to nationally-ranked Ursinus) to end the season. With a core group of returners and a strong incoming recruiting class, the 2019 Shorewomen are aiming to return to the postseason after the one-year hiatus.

Four seniors dot this fall's roster, led by defender Abigail McGowan (Wilmington, Del./Padua Academy). McGowan made one defensive save while starting 17 of 18 games a year ago. Midfielder Sophie Grabiec (Newport, Pa./Newport) was a key reserve last season, playing 16 games, while defender Kylie Weiss (Warminster, Pa./William Tennant) made 11 starts in 14 games played. Midfielder/defender Jessie Willey (Salisbury, Md./Parkside) made four starts in 14 games played. 

The Shorewomen's five-woman junior class is high on offensive power and includes the team's lone returning goalkeeper. Forward Kailyn Brandt (White Hall, Md./Hereford) was named to the All-Centennial Conference first team and All-South Region second team for the second year in a row last fall after leading the team with nine goals, 19 total points, and 50 shots. Forward Grace Steele (Marmora, N.J./Ocean City) scored four goals last season, while midfielder Megan Ritchey (Lancaster, Pa./Penn Manor) made five starts in 15 games en route to Team Most Improved Player honors. In two seasons as a back-up goalkeeper, Kayla Zapcic (Lancaster, Pa./Manheim Township), has recorded a 1.72 goals-against average and a .824 save percentage. Midfielder/defender Parker Wolf (Reisterstown, Md./McDonogh School) played in 12 games as a reserve last season.

Forwards Maddie Knight (Parkton, Md./Hereford) and Alyssa McGinnis (Middletown, Del./St. Georges Tech) and defender Madison Parker (Seaford, Del./Sussex Tech) are the Shorewomen's three returning sophomores. Knight (14 games) and Parker (15) were both key reserves a year ago. Midfielder Cristen Quillen (Pocomoke City, Md./Pocomoke) is a new addition to the sophomore class.

No fewer than 11 freshmen join the Shorewomen this fall: forward/midfielder Jillian Brejnik (Virginia Beach, Va./Frank W. Cox), defender/midfielder Madison Hackett (Hampstead, Md./Hereford), forward/midfielder Anna Harrington (Milton, Del./Cape Henlopen), midfielder/forward Kyra Heap (York, Pa./Central York), goalkeeper Caroline Kral (Clarksville, Md./River Hill), midfielder Gemma Leona (Ocean View, Del./W.T. Woodson [Va.]), forward Catherine Pelligreen (St. Louis, Mo./Villa Duchesne), midfielder/defender Tatum Schatt (Pasadena, Md./Chesapeake), forward Julianna Sterling (Salisbury, Md./James M. Bennett), forward/midfielder Marah Vain-Callahan (Pasadena, Md./Severn School), and midfielder Lizzie West (Tracys Landing, Md./Southern).

Head coach Anne Kietzman is in her third season as the Shorewomen's head coach and welcomes back lead assistant Cody Hunsicker. They will guide the Shorewomen through the always challenging Centennial Conference slate which includes three teams that finished last season nationally-ranked: Johns Hopkins, Franklin & Marshall, and Ursinus. The top five teams in the regular season standings qualify for the Centennial Conference Tournament.

Schedule Breakdown
Total Games 16 (seven home, eight away, one neutral)
Season Opener: August 31 vs. Kenyon (at Centre College) (1 p.m.)
Home Opener: September 14 vs. York (7 p.m.)
Centennial Home Opener: September 21 vs. Gettysburg (1 p.m.)
Centennial Away Opener: September 26 at Bryn Mawr (4:30 p.m.)
Centennial Home Opponents: Gettysburg, #5 Johns Hopkins (9/28), Swarthmore (10/8), #10 Franklin & Marshall (10/19), #19 Ursinus (10/30)
Centennial Road Opponents: Bryn Mawr, McDaniel (10/5), Dickinson (10/12), Haverford (10/16), Muhlenberg (11/2)
Non-Conference Home Opponents: York, Wesley (10/24)
Non-Conference Road/Neutral Opponents: Kenyon, Centre (9/1), Stevenson (9/7), #7 Salisbury (9/11)