Lady Barons hope to contend in Section Two under McCoy
Under first-year head coach Lisa McCoy, the Manheim Central field hockey team kicks off its 2013 season this Friday with a tough non-league battle against Carlisle.
The Lady Barons have been working hard and stepping up to fill positions left vacant by the departure of 10 seniors from last year’s team, which finished 9-9-1 after falling to Conestoga Valley in a District Three Triple-A play-in game.
Although the MC girls are young as far as experience, with sophomore Jillian Wolgemuth the only returning starter, McCoy believes they have a lot of potential. The hope is that if they continue to work hard and progress, they will be able to challenge in the Section Two race.
Recently, Lititz Record Express sports editor chatted with McCoy about the upcoming season. The following is a transcript of their conversation.
Bruce Morgan: Your team scored seven goals in its scrimmage against Pequea Valley. Do you feel like the offense is going to be a strength for you this year?
Lisa McCoy: We’re working really hard with the offense and I think we’re changing the mindset a little bit with the offense from what they looked at last year. So I think that is going to most definitely help with our scoring. It will remain to be seen how that goes. We’ll have a pretty good test on Wednesday with that second scrimmage (against defending L-L champ Penn Manor), and then of course leading into the first game on Friday, I’m anxious to see how that little change in our offensive attack goes.
BM: Is it a change in system, or what kind of change is it?
LM: It’s a change in just the philosophy of what they did when they entered the circle, as opposed to what they were taught last year. I personally just like to get the ball going toward the cage as quickly as possible with shots on the goal. I really don’t like to see a lot of passing inside the circle, per se. And I think that’s just a little bit of a change, and just really being hungry for the ball inside the circle and getting a stick on the ball in any way that you can. So I think it’s just a little bit of a mindset that’s changed.
BM: Who are some of the girls that you’re looking at to score for you?
LM: I think (junior forward) Morgan Wagner is going to really step up for us this year. I think (sophomore midfielder) Jillian Wolgemuth will continue to be a scorer. I’m really hoping to get support and scoring from (senior midfielder) Kylee Garber and (senior forward) Kyla Logan and (sophomore forward) Sarah Ober also.
BM: What are some of the talents that those girls bring to the team on the field?
LM: We definitely have some speed out of the forwards – Kyla, Sarah and Morgan, which I think is a strength. Jillian is just a very solid all-around player and really gives 120 percent all the time on the field and really has done a lot in the off-season. Her stick skills are really strong. She definitely shoots good, strong shots on goal.
BM: Who are the other girls in the midfield?
LM: (Sophomore) Hannah Simon is in the midfield also. She’s going to be a real strong player there. (Senior) Erin Jury is playing a deep midfielder and she’s really done well there, kinda distributing the ball and helping to manage the play from a direction standpoint. (Senior) Tayler Piper is going to be very strong for us in the backfield, just kinda holding down our defense.
BM: Do you have a center mid that is kinda quarterbacking in your 3-4-3-1 system, or will you have two mids working together?
LM: Jillian and Erin will both be involved in that role.
BM: Are there any other backs that you want to mention?
LM: Kirsten Myer is a sophomore and she’s kinda stepped into that role this year and is really doing a real nice job learning the defensive structure.
BM: Do you feel like you have balance up and down the field for the most part?
LM: Yes, I think we’ve been working through that pretty well and the girls are definitely starting to take shape in the new system and the new positions that some of them have been asked to hold. I’m very pleased with how hard they’ve worked in the last two weeks.
BM: With taking over a team that suffered heavy graduation losses, is it easier for a new coach since you don’t have a lot of girls that might be kinda set in the old system?
LM: I hadn’t really thought about it that way, but it may have been a little easier for the girls because many of these girls didn’t start last year and didn’t play significant time. So they didn’t have to necessarily really break habits from what they were doing differently. So that may have been a positive. But I just really wanted them to be open to new instruction and attention to detail. I think I’ve really been kinda working with them on attention to detail – trapping, passing and doing that well and really being focused on that. They’ve been very open to that.
BM: What are your goals for this team?
LM: I want them to really play to their potential, to really believe in themselves and to really look at themselves as a team as a whole and to set a goal and to work toward that goal. I think that this is a team that definitely can be a strong contender in Section Two.
BM: They’re obviously a young team in terms of experience. Do they have to win some games early on and get some confidence that way?
LM: Yes. I think that will definitely help. I think that they have to become a strong mental team too – continue to be patient even in tough situations and not to panic when another team might be pressing on them hard. Just continue to play out the game plan that we set and continue to do that calmly and confidently.
BM: Coming from coaching with a Section One team, do you feel like you still have to learn the teams a little bit in Section Two or do you have an idea of who the teams are to beat there?
LM: I think I have a little bit of an idea of who the teams are to beat. Cocalico’s been Section Two champions for the last six or maybe seven years or something like that, so obviously they’re going to be very strong. I know Ephrata continually has a very strong team. I think E-town is another team that is going to be very strong in the Section. With other teams like L-S and Garden Spot, I’m not as familiar with some of those teams and some of the players. Ephrata and Cocalico and E-town, I’ve met them in the past in League playoffs, so I know a little bit more about those teams.
BM: But you feel like you can contend with those teams for a playoff spot?
LM: I think if we keep working yard, yes. I think they definitely have the potential to do that.
BM: Are the seven seniors on the team (Tory Flick, Garber, Jury, Angela Kauffman, Logan, Jess Lutz and Piper) providing good leadership for the younger girls on the team?
LM: Yes, I think they’re doing a good job of that too.
BM: If you could give me one word to describe this team, what would it be?
LM: I think resilient.
BM: In terms of what?
LM: They have been through a lot, they’ve had four coaches in four years and they’re still working hard, they still have a goal and they want to be challenged and I think that’s really a positive for them.
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