After A Tough Start, PA Freshman Stickers Got Rolling

After seeing her Pinkerton Academy freshman field hockey team stumble in its first three matches of the 2014 campaign this fall, former PA field hockey stalwart and present Lady Astros’ frosh coach Brittany Gentile watched her young charges find their footing and enjoy a strong campaign thereafter.

Gentile’s group went 8-2-2 through the remainder of its campaign, and the Lady Astros then went on to acquit themselves quite well – playing up a level – in posting a 1-2-3 record in a junior varsity tournament.

“Our team developed a lot throughout the season,” said Gentile. “We started off the season losing our first three games, but we came through with a win in the next game and a fire was lit, and we found ourselves winning or tying nearly every game after that.”

Hard work sat firmly at the center of the Pinkerton squad’s improvements and surge after the sluggish start.

“We couldn’t get the ball in the back of the net at the beginning of the season, but after doing countless shooting drills at practice the girls took that to their play and got some numbers on the board.”

Forward Summer Garrity was the talented team’s leading scorer throughout the season, netting at least one goal in nearly every game. Other key players included versatile Coaches Award winner Julia Parker, defender Courtney Sobolewski, forward Lacey Cheney, forward Maggie Fahey, midfielder Lucy Malcolm, versatile Lauren Walter, middie Camryn Graichen, forward Laura Martens, defender Abigail Moisan, and goalies Rhiannon Palmariello and Caitlin Merrill. Middie/defender Ashleigh Holland garnered all-tournament honors for her play in the post-season.

The squad’s other players included forwards Kaylee Connolly, Margaret Vaillancourt, and Gwen Thomas, middies Alysha Beauchesne, Autumn Greenwood, and Violet Villanueva, and defenders Camille Billetter and Madelaine Rodriguez. Ashley McCann assisted coach Gentile greatly as the squad’s manager.

“Our best performance of the season would have to have been our second game against Andover (Mass.),” said the coach. “We played them in the beginning of the season and experienced one of our first losses. They are a highly-skilled team with a great coach that knows the game well. When we played them again at the end of the season the girls were ready to prove that Andover was not ready for the game that they were about to play. The girls came out so strong and had a complete team effort, and despite a couple of injuries to key players throughout the game we came out with a huge, 2-1 win.”

The PA contingent dealt with its fair share of adversity during the season and managed to battle through it.

“We experienced many concussions along with a few other injuries, causing some of our athletes to unfortunately not see as much playing time as they would have liked,” said Gentile. “Overall, I am extremely impressed with this group of girls and I hope they continue to play in the off-season and come back next season ready to prove themselves once more.”