Salisbury Press

Thursday, December 5, 2019
PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZSalisbry sophomore Athina Filipos battles for a ball during a game against Palmerton. PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZSalisbry sophomore Athina Filipos battles for a ball during a game against Palmerton.

Field hockey wins two of its last three games

Thursday, October 24, 2019 by TODD KRESS tkress@tnonline.com in Sports

After qualifying for the District 11 tournament in each of the past two seasons, the Salisbury field hockey team found itself on the outside looking in at the Class 2A tournament this past fall.

The Falcons (5-13 overall; 4-12 in Colonial League) did win two of their final three games to close out the fall season.

After a shutout 4-0 win over Catasauqua on October 3, Salisbury closed the regular season with a 3-0 victory over Pen Argyl six days later.

“It always hurts when you don’t get a chance to play in the postseason,” Falcon head coach Jane Brennan said. “I think our girls have expected to play postseason hockey after the past couple of years. Postseason hockey is a goal every year now at Salisbury. We just did not do enough to get there this season.”

The Falcons got off to a slow start—2-7 through nine games—and could never recover. It also didn’t help that one of their leading scorers, Riley Stauffer, missed six games due to injury.

“Riley has a lot of speed that creates open space for others,” Brennan said. “Not having that extra bit of space on the field that the girls were used to was tough to overcome during certain stretches of the season.

“We continued to grow and develop in Riley’s absence, and I think the girls did a good job of trying to battle through injury.”

Stauffer’s absence on the field certainly hurt Salisbury’s chemistry on offense. Scoring goals was even a bit of a problem when Stauffer was on the field. The Falcons were shut out three times and held to two goals or less in 14 of their 18 games this past fall.

But Brennan saw her team improve over the final weeks of the season. Seven goals combined in its two wins has something this team can build on going into the offseason.

“We certainly improved on offense during the season,” Brennan said. “The girls did a better job of moving the ball and advancing it as the season progressed. We did generate more scoring opportunities as a result of that improvement, however, it unfortunately didn’t translate into as many goals as we would have hoped.”

Just three seniors will graduate from this team, meaning Brennan will bring a whole lot of talent back for the 2020 season. Stauffer is one of those returning players, as are junior Nevaeh Robinson (8 goals) and freshman Ella DeFazio (8 goals).

That group will look to make it back into postseason contention come next fall.

“We did lose a lot of leadership to graduation last year, but we also have good young players in our program,” Brennan said. “It is hard to gauge sometimes how fast your youth will mature at the varsity level and how that maturity will manifest itself in the win-loss columns. We will return a lot of girls who gained invaluable experience this year in hopes of getting more wins next season.”