locally owned since 1854

Middletown Blue Raiders field hockey seeking to build winning culture

By David Barr

davidbarr@pressandjournal.com

717-944-4628
Posted 9/7/17

Rebuilding a team and establishing a winning culture takes time, and that will be the case for Middletown field hockey this year.

Last year, the Raiders went 2-15-1, with a 0-9-1 league record in …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

E-mail
Password
Log in

Middletown Blue Raiders field hockey seeking to build winning culture

Posted

Rebuilding a team and establishing a winning culture takes time, and that will be the case for Middletown field hockey this year.

Last year, the Raiders went 2-15-1, with a 0-9-1 league record in the Mid-Penn Capital Division. Head coach Jana Woodring, back for her fifth year at the helm, understands this and yet she sees past the numbers that make up the 2016 record.

They start their season by visiting East Pennsboro at 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 7.

According to Woodring, many of those defeats were one- or two-goal losses, not blowouts. With a little luck and a proper bounce or two, those losses could become wins this season, she said.

“I think this season will go well,” Woodring said. “We’re still in building mode here. We’re going to take it one game at a time.”

One of the challenges for Middletown is the number of players. Last year, there were 19 girls on the team, with 10 of them lost to graduation. 

One player that won’t be back is goalkeeper Sidonie LaPlante, who is now a member of the University of Michigan’s field hockey team. All LaPlante did at Middletown was earn 2016 Capital Player of the Year honors in 2016, earn two Mid-Penn all-star nods in 2015 and 2016, and lead the state of Pennsylvania in saves in 2015.

This year, there are a total of 16 players on the team. The majority (11) of them are sophomores and with the low numbers, there is no junior varsity team to help develop players. Woodring has had to spend time teaching the basics of field hockey instead of advanced skills. 

She said she sees a sophomore class that has played together before and is looking at them as a group that, given more time to gel and play together, can be the catalyst for turning the corner.

“Win or lose, they’re doing all they can,” Woodring said. “I’m confident in our girls.”

Key returning players include sophomore Kiera Guckavan, a center midfielder, and senior defensive stalwart Malia Daniels.

“Hopefully we just get better as a team because we’re so young. It’s hard because we’re young, but hopefully in a couple years, we’ll start to win some games,” Guckavan said.

“There’s no doubt in my mind Middletown will have several wins in the book,” Woodring said.

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment