KENADY KELLY is one of four seniors returning to the field for the Plymouth field hockey team. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
August 20, 2012PLYMOUTH — Plymouth field hockey coach Ashley Laufenberg has a young team this fall, but she also has a group of four seniors that she will be leaning on heavily to help lead the young group behind them.
"We're definitely going to be a young group, but I have a handful with some good varsity experience," Laufenberg said. "And the four seniors are going to be the ones that lead the way."
Seniors Kenady Kelly, Leah McAuliffe, Meghan Coursey and Cortney Holmes will all serve as team captains.
"Those girls have had some varsity experience over the last few years," Laufenberg said. "Hopefully they can lead us in the right direction."
Laufenberg expects that the midfield will be the strength of the Bobcat squad, with Kelly and McAuliffe leading the way. They will be joined by juniors Ann Furbush and Rachel Goyette. Junior Sami Gilmore and sophomore Mia Brickley will also be expected to chip in at the midfield as the season rolls along.
At forward, Coursey and Holmes will lead the way for the Bobcats, but they will also have some help, as Angelina Stewart, Carolyn Ebner, Jess Toomey, Sam Wisniewski and Lilly Vittum will all be looking to chip in with some offensive power.
Laufenberg noted that a number of the girls played on the lacrosse team in the spring together and that helps their communication and field vision immensely heading into field hockey season.
On defense, junior Alisha McGlone will be expected to lead the way, though she will get some help from Sydney Kahl, Brianna Luscher, Allie Trojano and Anneke Huynen.
Sierra James, who helped backstop the Plymouth lacrosse girls to the Division III finals in the spring and Annie Schwartz will help to fill in as needed along the way for the Bobcats.
Emelia Karntakosal will be the team's keeper, providing the final line of defense for the Bobcats.
The team has already seen some action, heading to a jamboree at Winnisquam over last weekend. Laufenberg admitted that she was unsure of where some players might fit into the plan heading into the tournament, but came away from the games with some good ideas.
"We went in unsure of where kids were playing and it was great to see how quickly they ended up clicking," the Bobcat mentor said. "I think the chemistry is there, it's just a matter of developing it and see where it takes us."
Laufenberg noted that this year's schedule is a bit different, though also features plenty of the traditional rivals.
Plymouth will play Kennett, Kingswood and Lebanon twice, while also seeing Souhegan, Milford and Hanover, teams they don't traditionally see. In fact, the Bobcats have seen the Sabers of Souhegan in the playoffs the last two years but haven't met them in the regular season in a while.
"There's some new teams for us, a different vibe," Laufenberg said. "But there's no doubt that Division II is a tough division. We'll be looking to hold our own."
The Bobcats will open the season with a home game against Souhegan at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 28.
Joshua Spaulding can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 569-3126