Ocean City Today

WP field hockey players ‘focused,’ coach says

By Managing Editor, Lisa Capitelli | Sep 07, 2017
Photo by: Lisa Capitelli Worcester Prep junior Virginia Bateman pushes the ball up the field during last week’s scrimmage. She will assist the Prep defense this season.

(Sept. 8, 2017) The young talent is mixing well with Worcester Prep field hockey varsity veterans.

“They’ve come in strong,” Prep Coach Katie Oxenreider said of the new players that have joined the squad. “We’re a young team. We only have one senior. We have six juniors, four sophomores and five freshmen.”

Half of the Lady Mallards on Oxenreider’s 16-player roster competed for her in 2016 when the team went 9-5. The squad captured the Eastern Shore Independent Athletic Conference championship with a 1-0 victory over Holly Grove. Hailee Arrington scored the game-winning goal.

She led the team last year with 12 goals. Arrington also recorded four assists. She earned All-Conference honors for her performance during the 2016 season.

Arrington, a junior, returns for her third season and will play both forward and in the midfield.

The co-captain will help lead the team by “being really positive and encouraging the younger teammates.”

“At forward [my job is] getting it into the circle, dishing it off to the right because that’s our strong side, and in the midfield, just getting it up to the forwards and moving it up the field,” she said. “I think we’re doing really well this early in the season. Usually running starts out really slow. We kind of just jumped right into it. I think we’re going to be good.”

“Hailee will be a big leader. She’s quiet but she leads by example,” Oxenreider said. “She’s positive, she’s a really skilled player and she tries to help her teammates.”

Arrington was one of several girls who played during the offseason. Competing before the Worcester Prep season began was beneficial for the girls.

“It helps by coming into preseason in shape,” Arrington said.

“Everyone came out already well conditioned and we’re all just honing our techniques,” said the team’s lone senior, Mia Meacci, who also played during the offseason. “It definitely looks good. Just having a stick in your hand helps.”

Meacci, a forward and team captain, played for Worcester her freshman and sophomore year. She transferred to Cape Henlopen for her junior year. She returns to finish her high school field hockey career at Worcester.

“I think I’ll be able to help lead by being a voice on the field because I know most of the girls and by pumping everyone up,” she said. “It’s my last year and I’m looking forward to it. We definitely hope to win the ESIAC championship and play good field hockey.”

Aly Matha had never played field hockey before joining the team as a freshman last year. She earned the starting goalie spot and has returned for the 2017 season.

Sophomore Abbi Nechay, a team captain, is back as well and will compete in the midfield and on defense.

“Abbi will be a leader for us coming out of the backfield,” Oxenreider said.

Junior Virginia Bateman will take the field on the defensive line. Freshman midfielder Tenley Pelot is an experienced field hockey player who has joined the squad this year.

“I think we’re pretty fast up front and we have some forwards who are pretty good shooters. We’re also strong on defense,” said Oxenreider, coach of the team for three years. “I was impressed with the game play I saw [last] Thursday in the scrimmage. It was nice to see them put everything together. I was impressed with their stick work and their passing.”

Oxenreider graduated six seniors from the 2016 team, five of them were major contributors. She is shuffling players around this season to see who fits into the team’s formation best.

“They’re pretty focused. Their goal is to get back to the championship game,” Oxenreider said. “They know the tough teams we will play and they’re working hard and thinking about those games when we’re at practice. But we’re also not going to take any other team lightly.”

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