Aug. 28, 2008
By Mal Boright
With just five seniors on the 17-girl squad, the Champlain Valley Union High field hockey team nevertheless has an optimistic outlook going into the season-opener.
The girls start the regular season at 4 p.m. on Thursday at home against Route 116 neighbor Mount Abraham Union.
“We feel good about the preseason,” coach Kate McDonald said over the weekend. “We have a smaller squad than usual but we have five starters back and nine who played last year.”
Among the returnees are senior captains Lucy Barrett, Katie Longshore and Danielle Michael, who were members of the 2007 team that played its way into the Division I state semifinals before losing in overtime at Middlebury Union High.
In preseason scrimmages, the Redhawks last Thursday popped a young Mount Mansfield Union outfit 3-0 after previously winning one and deadlocking twice in a short game, round robin affair on a soggy Mount Abraham field.
Among the pre-season standouts have been two juniors who blossomed last season, Kelsey Jensen and K. K. Logan, both expected to be in midfield positions.
Two other juniors, Emmaleigh Loyer and Kathryn Powell, have looked good, as have sophomores Gillian Shelley and Louise Gibbs.
Instead of the traditional junior varsity and freshmen teams this season, McDonald said CVU will field Jayvee A and Jayvee B teams. She noted that no players had to be cut during tryouts.
McDonald expects the Metro Division to once again be highly competitive and the Eagles to bring a solid team to the Redhawks’ nest on Thursday.
The home opener will be followed by two more contests in the friendly confines at CVU: Wednesday against Mount Mansfield and Friday, Sept. 5 against South Burlington High.