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Field hockey preview: Year could be one of learning

Seniors Alex Loeb (left), Julia Rogers, Ally McNamara and Olivia Gautier are captains of the 2013 Weston High varsity field hockey team. A young group, the Trojans hope to be competitive in what could be a rebuilding year.—Rocco Paul Valluzzo photo

Seniors Alex Loeb (left), Julia Rogers, Ally McNamara and Olivia Gautier are captains of the 2013 Weston High varsity field hockey team. A young group, the Trojans hope to be competitive in what could be a rebuilding year.—Rocco Paul Valluzzo photo

Progress will be measured one step at a time for the Weston High varsity field hockey team in the 2013 season.

A young team, the Trojans have many players who are new to the varsity level. How quickly they can adjust will determine how they will stack up against the competition.

“We’re kind of a young team this year with not many seniors,” said second-year head coach Nicole Pidgeon, whose team started practice last week. “We’re sorting positions and players to see where they fit best.”

With close to 40 players out for the program, which includes varsity and JV teams, the Trojans are in good shape as far as numbers are concerned. They also appear to be a quick group, based on what they have worked on in practice.

“We have a lot of speed,” said Pidgeon. “Hopefully we can utilize that.”

Weston will also need other factors in its favor, such as the ability to score, something it often found difficult last season. Scoring only four goals, the Trojans finished with an overall record of 2-13-1 for the second year in a row.

They also graduated a number of experienced players since then, including former captains Anna Mahony, Ana Babinec and Shawnee Sloop, all starting players.

An All-South-West Conference selection, Mahony started in goal. Babinec, an All-Patriot Division selection, was in the midfield and Sloop played defense.

Julia Armijo, a forward, has also graduated, as have Staci Goldberg (All-Patriot Division) Catherine Kimberly, Sarah Levin, Claire Cook, Lily Cook, Bridget Johnson and Liz Lepore.

“We lost a lot last year,” said Pidgeon. “Since so many have left we’re filling in the spaces and trying things to see where people fit.”

Weston will be a young team this season, having just five seniors to provide leadership on the field. Three are captains Olivia Gautier, Ally McNamara and Alex Loeb.

Gautier will be up front as a wing while Loeb and McNamara will be on defense as center back and right back respectively. Classmate Janine Rupprecht is a midfielder and Kendra Savage is a sweeper.

From the junior class is captain Julia Rogers, a center forward. On defense Weston has Caroline Braden, Ari Sahl and Megan Quinn, an All-SWC honorable mention last season.

In goal will be Anna Kimberly. Also back are midfielder Caroline Maretz and forward Jessica Terry. New to the team is forward Allison Steinberg.

Weston also has a number of sophomores who could see varsity time as the season continues. There are also 12 freshmen, some with playing experience at the middle school level.

Scoring more goals is something Weston has in mind for this season. With the speed it has, it hopes to be able to move the ball to the sides and get it up field to set up shots on goal.

The Trojans start the season on Sept. 11 at home in a non-league game against Watertown at 6:30 p.m.

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