When you see a chance, take it.
That’s what the Kenmore Field Hockey team has to keep in mind when scoring chances present themselves.
Last season the Devil Dogs, which is a unified team made up of student-athletes in the Ken-Ton District, lost several games by a 1-0 final.
So, coming into 2016 head coach Les Simon said priority one is finding a way to kick start the offense on a more consistent basis.
“We lost too many 1-0 games last year where we put too much pressure on our goal tender,” Simon said.
Graduation obviously presents some type of challenge for all high school teams as they look to plug holes in the lineup created by departed players. Kenmore has two huge pieces of the puzzle to replace in goal keeper Cara Klopp and defenseman Grace Simmons. Not only two top tier players in terms of skill on the field, they were also reliable leaders with a pedigree of winning during their time on the unified Kenmore girls ice hockey team.
Simmons and Klopp were also the kind of leaders that every coach dreams of having as they worked hard, were unselfish and always put the team first. Simon said it will not be easy to replace Cara and Grace.
Simon, however, is very secure that his next cast of captains will work just as hard to lead the right way and make their own positive mark on the program.
This Fall, Kenmore will lean on the leadership of forward Britnay Waite and Emma Botham, and Hannah Greidanus (center/defense).
“Based on the leadership from last year, we’ve taken them as an example. So we want to be like them,” Hannah Greidanus said.
“So we’re just trying to push people to improve and encourage people. We’re not trying to bring anybody down if they can’t get it. We just say try again.”
Both fourth year varsity players, Simon said that Waite and Botham will have to shoulder the bulk of the scoring load.
The Devil Dogs line up will get a little more bite thanks to Jaclyn MacVittie, Hannah Munley and Jenna House, who will bring the physicality of their ice hockey background to the field. The aggressive side that the girls with the ice hockey background bring has had a ripple effect that has resulted in every girl playing more fearlessly and physically.
Jillian Scozzaro will set up shop between the pipes as Kenmore’s new starting goalie.
“For scoring, we need to pass more. Focus on that,” Greidanus said. “If we can pass it up into the circle we have really good shooters who can finish it off for us.”