Tuesday September 11, 2012

Drury

Coach: Molly Meczywor

Last year: 7-6-3, lost to Hoosac Valley in Western Mass. Division II first round

Key returners: Ali Tatro, Sr., GK; Danielle Racette, Sr., D; Amanda Ramsdell, Sr., M/D; Chelsea DeGroff, Sr., F/M; Cori Ghidotti, Jr., F; Mackenzie Bona, Jr., D; Morgan Lamarre, Jr., D.

Key newcomers: Alyssa Marceau, Jr., M.

Things you should know:

n Drury finally has experience on its side. Meczywor said this will be the first time since around 2003 or 2004 that the Blue Devils haven’t been forced to start a freshman.

n Meczywor is high on Marceau, who came on strong at the end of last season before suffering an injury. She said her speed and skill is evident.

n Communication will be key. Meczywor wants to play a possession style of play in which talking on the field is a must. Hoosac Valley

Coach: Blair Mahar

Last year: 9-5-4, lost to Monson in Western Mass. Division II quarterfinals

Key returners: Danielle Beauchemin, Sr., M; Meg Rodowicz, Jr., M; Courtney Hayer, Jr., D; Jen Gale, Jr., M; Alyssa Bush, Jr., M; MacKenzie Robinson, So., D; Cali Romaniak, So., D; Marissa Felter, So, F; Meg Richardson, So., GK.

Key newcomers: Alex Rousseau, Jr.; Madi Ryan, Fr.; Jasmine Knapp, Fr.; Taylor Kline, Jr., D.

Things you should know:

n The Hurricanes return nine players, including some real strength in the midfield. The team’s only senior is Danielle Beauchemin at center midfield, who has played every minute since her freshman year. Beside her is Meg Rodowicz, who is in her third year as a starter.

n Helping out keeper Meg Richardson, who is looking to follow up a strong freshman campaign, will be Courtney Hayer at sweeper. Mahar said she was unbeatable on defense last year and he’ll lean on her again in her junior season. She’ll be joined by sophomores MacKenzie Robinson and Cali Romaniak to form a strong defensive core. Mahar said those three were key to Hoosac’s wins over North foes Wahconah and Taconic last year.

n Hoosac big weakness hasn’t changed. Just like last year, the Hurricanes have little depth. Mahar has just 13 players, meaning any injuries or fatigue could really limit his options.

Lee

Coach: Lauren Finnegan

Last year: 5-11-2

Key returners: Victoria Murphy, Sr., F; Eileen Dooley, Sr., M; Hadley Cook, Sr., D; Sara Middleton, Sr., GK.

Key newcomers: Meghan Heppleston, Sr., F; Sarah Winston, Fr., M; Meghan Cook, So., D.

Things you should know:

n The Wildcats have a key returner at each position -- keeper, defense, midfield and forward.

n Finnegan said all those experienced seniors mean this is a team not with positional strength but with a lot of veteran leadership.

n Lee loses Cam Biasin, who is now at Berkshire School. She was a standout keeper who split time with returning senior Sara Middleton while also playing the field. Finnegan said the Wildcats will miss Biasin’s positive attitude more than anything.

Lenox

Coach: Matt Cote

Last year: 15-1-3, lost to Hopedale in Division III state semifinals.

Key returners: Kathy Prescott, Sr., GK; Hayden Zinchuk, Sr., D; Jane Fitzgerald, Sr., D; Jen Delasco, Sr., D; Josie Marshall, Jr., M.

Key newcomers: Alessandra Arace, Fr., M

Things you should know:

n Lenox has a different look following a Western Mass. championship in 2011. Former All-Eagle MVP Erin Barry was one of eight starters to graduate.

n Cote does, however, have the luxury of having a key returner at each position. That includes senior keeper Kathy Prescott, who Cote describes as "vocal, aggressive off her line and has excellent technique between the posts."

n Lenox adds freshman Alessandra Arace this season. Cote said she should both score and set up goals this season. He said the rookie has "superior speed and field vision, deceptive ball skills and shows creativity and a nose for the goal."

McCann Tech

Coach: Mike Dowling

Last year: 12-6-1, lost to Granby in Western Mass. Divison II quarterfinals.

Key returners: Mary Nguyen, Sr., F; Alex Lincoln, Sr., M; Alexa Durant, Sr., F; Jordan Prevey, Jr., M; Danielle Gibeau, Jr., D; Alex Wood, Jr., GK.

Key newcomers: Monique Martel, Fr., M/D.

Things you should know:

n The Hornets are young at the back after losing their three defenders and their keeper from last year. Junior Alex Wood is expected to take over duties in net this season.

n McCann will be able to score, however. Mary Nguyen (84 career points entering this season) is back up front. Dowling said the senior has become more refined, with some nice moves and a stronger left foot.

n Midfield will also be a strength with some older kids like Alex Lincoln anchoring that unit. Dowling said he thinks his team can move the ball pretty effectively.

Monument Mountain

Coach: Jess Platt

Last year: 8-8-3, lost to Belchertown in Western Mass. Division II quarterfinals

Key returners: Courtney Freadman, Sr., M; Emma D’Alessio, Sr., D; Haley Korte, Jr., M; Katherina Lister, Sr., F.

Key newcomers: Bennie Lopez, Fr., M; Cara Freadman, Fr., D; Erica Broderick, Fr., F.

Things you should know:

n The Spartans took three freshmen on varsity this year and two are the younger sisters of standouts. Bennie Lopez is following in the footsteps of Alandra, who graduated last year, while Courtney Freadman’s younger sister Cara also made varsity.

n Monument has plenty of versatility. Platt said her team has "a lot of girls that are skilled and can play wherever we want to play."

n One position Platt doesn’t have to worry about is goalkeeper. Iolani DeRis has returned after spending last year in Chile. DeRis played as a sophomore. The athletic keeper replaces standout Meg Nejaime.

Mount Everett

Coach: Jess Tomich

Last year: 5-11

Key returners: Sam Hoover, So., GK; Taylor Garrett, Sr., D/F; Haley Finn, Sr., M; India Ward, Sr., M; Natasha MacLeay, Jr., D; Brooke Morehouse, Jr., D.

Things you should know:

n The Eagles lost three from last year, including a pretty dominant player in Claire Tomich, Jess Tomich’s younger sister. The elder Tomich said filling that gap shouldn’t be too difficult, though. Everett has three strong players in the middle in India Ward, Haley Finn and Hannah Joyce. All three bring experience to the midfield.

n Tomich said there’s lots of enthusiasm around the program. The Eagles had 23 girls sign up, which Tomich said is the most of any fall program at Everett.

n The toughest part about replacing Claire Tomich will be losing her voice on the field. Her sister said Claire was very vocal, and right now the Eagles need that leader to coordinate communication.

Mount Greylock

Coach: Tom Ostheimer

Last year: 11-6-3, lost to Wahconah in Western Mass. Division II quarterfinals

Key returners: Margot Besnard, Sr., GK; Alexa Adams, Sr., D; Alexandra DeVeaux, Sr., M; Alex Majetich, Sr., F; Miranda Bucky, Jr., M; Sophie Leamon, Jr., F.

Key newcomers: Mackenzie Flynn, Jr., D

Things you should know:

n Greylock has 14 players returning from last season. The Mounties have four team captains, one at each position -- keeper, defense, midfield and forward.

n All-Eagle goalkeeper Margot Besnard is back. This will be her fifth season as a starter and Ostheimer said he thinks she’s the best keeper in the county.

n Greylock struggled a bit offensively when striker Alex Majetich was hurt last year. Ostheimer said he wants to work on distributing the ball and going out wide with the offense instead of driving down the middle constantly.

Pittsfield

Coach: Andy Waluszko

Last year: 12-7-2, lost to Minnechaug in Western Mass. Division I semifinals

Key returners: Sydney Deluce, Sr., M; Deanna Nesti, Sr., D; Kara Alfonsi, Jr., M; Meghan Driscoll, Jr., D.

Key newcomers: Nicole Alfonsi, Jr., F; Allie Supranowicz, Jr., M; Morgan Matthews, Jr., D; Lindsay Neuberger, Jr., F.

Things you should know:

n Waluszko’s Generals have been second in the North the last two seasons. The coach is hoping this team can bring him his first division title since 2009.

n The big question will be who will replace two-year starter Abby Hunt in goal. Junior Colby Aitken and freshman Allie Hunt will be jockeying for that spot.

n The Generals may have found a playmaker up front with a talented newcomer in Lindsay Neuberger. The junior is a natural on the ball and can provide good service on corners.

St. Joseph’s

Coach: Betsy D’Agostino

Last year: 3-11-2

Key returners: Emma Peplowski, Sr., M; Keegan McCauley, Sr., M; Kendall Smith, Sr., GK; Emylee Carnevale, Sr., D; Bailey Vinette, Sr., M; Chanler Hospot, Sr., M/F; Kaitlyn Amuso, Sr., D.

Key newcomers: Liz Bean, Fr., M/D; Cate Bean, Fr., M/D.

Things you should know:

n The Crusaders return a strong nucleus from last year, led by senior captains Peplowski, Smith and McCauley. D’Agostino said she’d like to see this team make a run at the Western Mass. tournament this year.

n St. Joseph’s numbers are up, with 17 girls on the team this season. D’Agostino said that’s encouraging and many of the newcomers have soccer experience.

n The biggest thing this team needs to work on is team unity, D’Agostino said. We want to "to play this year as a more united front, to work as a unit," she said. "There are no superstars and it takes all of us to move that ball up the field."

Taconic

Coach: John Flynn

Last year: 4-8-3

Key returners: Alyssa Latimer, Sr., M; Kristin Hill, Sr., D; Molly Barbarotta, Sr., D; Megan Hill, Sr., M; Ashley McLaughlin, Sr., GK; Kristina Walser, Sr., GK; Angela Panesco, Jr., M; Lyndsey Curry, Sr., D; Courtney Luscier, Jr., D; Lisa Laughnane, Jr., F.

Things you should know:

n Taconic lost a big senior class from last year, meaning this year’s group is a little inexperienced.

n Luckily for Flynn, the Braves do return both keepers in seniors Ashley McLaughlin and Kristina Walser. Flynn said the duo should help break in a relatively new back line.

n Flynn said he thinks this team could come on strong and make a run at the tournament late in the season.

Wahconah

Coach: Pat West

Last year: 10-4-5, lost to Belchertown in Western Mass. Division II final.

Key returners: Alex Keator, Sr.; Erin Grogan, Sr.; Gabby Lavinio, Sr.; Shannon Lussier, Sr.; Alanna White, Sr.; Rachael Brennan, Sr.; Jackie Farrell, Sr.; Payton Hines, Sr.; Kyrsten Thibodeau, Jr.; Rachel McMahon, Jr.; Bridget Lussier, So.; Katie Dumas, So.; Katherine Lewis, So; Maddie Sprague, So.

Key newcomers: Shelby Tonelli, So.; Bethany Houle, So.; Jamie Downer, So.

Things you should know:

n West takes over for Jess Ryan, who led a team that was supposed to be rebuilding last year all the way to the Western Mass. final. West may want to circle Oct. 15. That’s when Wahconah travels to Drury to face the Blue Devils, coached by his niece Molly Meczywor.

n Wahconah has a brutal early schedule that was made a little easier when a road trip to Belchertown last Saturday was moved to October. The Warriors also play Hampshire and Northampton in the first 10 days of the season.

n West said his team may lack varsity experience, but the players he does have are eager to learn and work hard. West said it’s a pleasure to work with the Warriors.