Five WHS five hockey players commit

By on February 8, 2017
After helping Warwick’s field hockey team advance to the Lancaster-Lebanon League semi-finals and the District Three quarter-finals, seniors Haley Miller, Logan Kempinski, Mia Fucci, Madeline Lutz, and Madalyn Christen signed National Letters of Intent to play in college. Photo by Preston Whitcraft

After helping Warwick’s field hockey team advance to the Lancaster-Lebanon League semi-finals and the District Three quarter-finals, seniors Haley Miller, Logan Kempinski, Mia Fucci, Madeline Lutz, and Madalyn Christen signed National Letters of Intent to play in college. Photo by Preston Whitcraft

Two seasons ago, the Warwick field hockey team had a challenging time on its hands.

Finishing 5-13 overall, the Lady Warriors missed the playoffs for the first time in 22 years.

Fast forward to this past fall and Warwick got back on track, advancing to the L-L League playoff semi-finals and the District Three quarterfinals.

Nine seniors on that squad certainly played a huge role in the turnaround.

And five of those — Madalyn Christen, Mia Fucci, Logan Kempinski, Madeline Lutz, and Haley Miller — were on the front dais in Warwick’s LGI room for National Signing Day last Wednesday.

MADALYN CHRISTEN

The Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference was a popular destination for Warwick’s players, with four of them signing National Letters of Intent to go in-state. Christen selected Indiana University of PA over Kent State, Bloomsburg, East Stroudsburg and West Chester.

The Crimson Hawks are coached by Gary Agard, a native of Trinidad and Tobago.

Asked what the big draw to IUP was, Christen said, “The coach mainly. He’s kinda like (Warwick) coach (Bob) Derr, where he doesn’t have to say much, but gets the respect. He was really nice. And the campus is nice too.”

Kent State was in the mix with IUP for awhile, but in the end, Christen said it was an easy decision.

“Toward the end, everything kinda fell into place,” Christen said, “and that’s just where I wanted to go. Kent State was too big, it’s pretty far from home, and I didn’t like the layout of the campus … I didn’t want to go too far from home, and the PSAC is nice and close.”

A midfielder/defender, Christen scored two goals in 2016, while also contributing to a Warwick defense which yield 2.3 goals per game.

“I think I see the field pretty well,” Christen said. “It helps with generating offense and everything.”

She joins an IUP squad which finished 10-8 overall last fall, ending its season with a 4-1 loss to West Chester in the PSAC Tournament.

Asked where she feels she’d like to improve before playing at the college level, Christen said, “Probably communicating. It’s a big part of the game, so I can always improve on that.”

MIA FUCCI

A forward/midfielder, Fucci selected Old Dominion, coached by Andrew Griffiths, over St. Joseph’s University, Towson and East Stroudsburg.

“Definitely the coach (drew me to ODU),” Fucci said. “He has everything I want in a team. He’s trying to make it more of a team effort because lately, a lot of sports are just (individual) people and he does everything by team. That’s what really drove me in because I like unity in a sport.”

She visited the Norfolk, Va. campus in July prior to her senior campaign, and Fucci quickly knew it would be a good fit.

“As soon as I went down for my unofficial, they totally sold me,” Fucci remarked. “I totally knew I wanted to go there.”

In 2016, the Lady Monarchs finished with a 7-10 season, missing out on the playoffs. Fucci is looking to improve a couple areas of her game in hopes of helping ODU bounce back.

“Definitely my stick skills and keeping the ball and being patient (are key),” Fucci said, “which I’m working on at the Nook this winter.”

She certainly displayed some nice offensive skills while collecting 18 points to tie for Warwick’s scoring lead with Adrienne McGarrigle, getting six goals and a team-high 12 assists in 2016.

“I like to run,” Fucci remarked, “so that makes it a lot better, and I like to pass, I like to have everybody be a unit, as I said, so (playing forward) helps me (be in position) to make those passes and make it a better unity.”

LOGAN KEMPINSKI

Like Fucci with ODU, Kempinski knew as soon as she stepped onto the campus at Bloomsburg in her junior year that she wanted to go there

The campus life at Bloom was a positive factor in the final decision for Kempinski, who will remain a teammate with Miller at the next level.

“I was big on the campus area,” said Kempinski, who was also eyeing York and Dickinson College, “and after I played with the team for awhile, I really felt like I fit in there well … I love the coach (Nikki Rhoads) and everything, so it was good.”

Under Rhoads, the Huskies were 12-7 overall in 2016, dropping a 2-0 loss to Millersville University in the PSAC quarterfinals.

In Kempinski, Bloomsburg will be getting a player who had one goal and two assists for Warwick last fall while playing center and left midfield.

“I love (that spot) because I can play a defensive position, but also play offense,” she said. “So I can score and I can still help my team out (defensively), stuff like that. I think I see the field really well and I’m a fast player, so I can get the ball up and then recover.”

MADELINE LUTZ

A forward/midfielder at Warwick, Lutz was looking at most of the PSAC schools, in addition to Syracuse, Michigan and Temple. In the end, East Stroudsburg proved to be the best fit.

“I just really liked how small the campus was and it just seemed like it was a nice fit for me because it had a good balance between the competitiveness of the PSAC for field hockey and school, because the bottom line is I’m going for school and not sports,” said Lutz, who expects to be a mathematics and education major. “So I just like the balance between the two.”

Lutz was introduced to the ESU campus during a tournament a couple years ago and then things just unfolded from that point.

“I was talking to one of the players there,” Lutz said, “and she said how much she liked it and then I went and visited and did an overnight and that was when I was sold on it.”

With five goals and three assists in 2016, Lutz placed among the Warwick team leaders in scoring.

Lutz admits that she could still improve on reverse hitting and being more decisive on the field, but she will bring a lot of strengths to ESU as well. The Warriors had a solid 15-5 overall record last fall (9-1 conference), advancing to the PSAC semi-finals where they suffered a 1-0 loss to Millersville, and then to the NCAA Division-Two Tournament, dropping a 2-1 first-round loss to eventual national champion Shippensburg.

“For midfield, I just love being able to create a play and being able to play defense and offense because coaches have told me that my (strength) is my transfer from defense to offense, the quickness of it, so that’s pretty much why I like it,” Lutz said.

HALEY MILLER

As with Kempinski, coach Rhoads was a positive factor for Miller in her decision to sign at Bloomsburg University.

Talking about what appealed to her about that school, Miller, who was also considering Kutztown, Towson and East Stroudsburg, said, “Just the overall atmosphere and I love coach Rhoads and Bloomsburg just has a great nursing program and their hockey program is starting to rebuild itself. So I’m looking to hopefully contribute to that.”

Still, it wasn’t an easy decision for Miller.

“I didn’t like Towson, so I crossed that one off,” she said. “But then ESU, they’re obviously coming off an (NCAA Tournament berth), so that was really appealing to me. And I loved the Kutztown coach, but I just felt more at home at Bloomsburg.”

Between the white lines, Miller feels comfortably at home playing defense. Her ability to see the open passes and get them through quickly was an asset.

“I like that I can see everything that’s happening on the field,” she said. “I like being that last line. And I just love all the girls I played with on defense this year — they’re all great and it was a great experience.”

Miller is confident that playing at Bloomsburg will be a quality experience as well.

“Everyone at college is just as good or better,” she said, “so it will be a whole new stepping stone. I definitely think I can learn a lot from them and I think we’ll mesh really well as a team.”

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