High expectations for Warwick

By on August 27, 2014
 Senior members of the Warwick field hockey team are (front row, left to right) Kailynne Reinoehl, Liz Wolfe, Casie Stief, Jaycie St. John and Marleise Emrhein; (back row, l-r) Tahira Gilbert, Noelle Kephart, Lauren Bollinger, Jamie Martin and Becky Kauffman. (Photo by Mike Shull)

Senior members of the Warwick field hockey team are (front row, left to right) Kailynne Reinoehl, Liz Wolfe, Casie Stief, Jaycie St. John and Marleise Emrhein; (back row, l-r) Tahira Gilbert, Noelle Kephart, Lauren Bollinger, Jamie Martin and Becky Kauffman. (Photo by Mike Shull)

The 2013 season for Warwick’s field hockey team didn’t end until it had reached the elite eight in the State Triple-A playoffs.

Since then, the Lady Warriors said good-bye to three talented seniors &tstr; Gaby Spatz, Courtney Weaver and Liz Wenger. But they bring back a strong nucleus of players, including 10 seniors, who are hoping to make this season a memorable one.

In the pre-season, the Warwick girls have been slowed by injuries to several key athletes &tstr; Jess Cochis, Noelle Kephart, Jamie Martin, Kailynne Reinoehl and Liz Wolfe, to name a few.

But the team is looking forward to getting the season underway this Friday and Saturday with back-to-back non-league tests against Oley Valley and Crestwood.

Recently, Warwick head coach Bob Derr sat down with Record Express sports editor Bruce Morgan to discuss the upcoming season. The following is a transcript of their conversation.

Bruce Morgan: With the returning kids that you have back, how excited are you for the 2014 season?

Bob Derr: We have a lot of quality back. We’re excited that we have talented kids, but right now we’re struggling putting the puzzle together. Losing Courtney and Liz in the middle created more of a void than anticipated, mainly because of their speed. They were the two fastest players on our team and we don’t have two people who were as fast as they were to fill that. So we’re working on that. We’re making progress. It’s just a matter of, we have to play a different kind of a game than what we played last year where we could rely on our speed and our recovery and stuff of that nature. We’re going to probably have to play more of a cushioned-type defense where the backs are going to have to hold space more and not step up as much on the ball because of the fact that we may have a little struggle recovering on defense, especially if we meet against someone that has speed. We’ve got all kinds of injuries which is presenting problems too trying to get people in. A lot of our main players are hurt … We’ve got 32 players on the team, including goalkeepers and (Tuesday) we were practicing with 23. Once we get healthy, I think we’ll be alright. But right now, it’s slowing down the progress to get where we need to be. The effort is there and the girls are working hard. It’s just a matter of us putting the puzzle together and getting everybody back healthy again so that we can be strong.

BM: Can you go through your lineup and tell me who you’re looking at by position?

BD: Forwards are Lucy Reed, Marleise Emrhein, Mia Fucci, Lauren Sammet, Delaney Ryan, and Lauren Bollinger.

BM: Who do you have in the midfield?

BD: We have a multitude of kids there &tstr; Madalyn Christen, Liz Wolfe, Noelle Kephart, Hannah Bollinger, Jamie Martin when she gets healthy, and Becky Kauffman. We’re also taking a look at some younger kids who are looking pretty good too. Madeline Lutz is looking pretty good and Logan Kempinski. They’re both sophomores. As far as the backs, I’m going to repeat a bunch of people because it could go either way. Liz Wolfe, Hannah Weidman, Casie Stief, Jaycie St. John, and Abby Minnich. We also have Madalyn Christen and Noelle Kephart, we’re looking at her possibly playing defense too. We just don’t know how we have to put the puzzle together with Jamie being out at least for the first two games.

BM: Who will play goal until Reinoehl is back from injury?

BD: She’s partially back. It’s between her and Megan Bomba, but Megan has really improved. So we’ve got two solid goalkeepers. We’re in good shape there. I’m going to do the best we can to try to give both of them as much playing time as possible because they’re both good goalies. We’ll let them rotate between the varsity and the JV. We don’t have a third goalkeeper.

BM: What are the strengths of your team?

BD: I think our strength is our defense right now. We have the capability of scoring, but we’ve got to get inside that circle and finish. The scrimmages that we’ve had so far have not been high-scoring. Just this past weekend, we played five different teams and we scored five goals. You’re looking at one goal per game, but it turned out that two of the games were 0-0. We won one game 3-0 and finished 3-0-2. The good news about the scrimmage is that there were no goals scored against.

BM: Is goal-scoring a concern?

BD: Well, you’ve got to be able to score against teams that are good. Our schedule is perfect for us. We find out right away because Friday, we play Oley Valley and then Saturday we play Crestwood. Those are two powerhouses in Double-A and we’re definitely going to play two different styles of a game, but they’re going to be very competitive and very talented and very skilled. So we’re going to have to come in strong against two very competitive teams. We’ll see how we do there. That’s definitely going to give us a good idea of how we can do, especially without Jamie in the lineup. Hopefully, we can hold through and not get anybody else injured and stay healthy for those two games. It’d be different if we were playing two weak teams and you blow them out and that doesn’t tell you anything. This will definitely give us the chance to see how good we really are.

BM: How good can this team be? What are your goals for this team?

BD: We didn’t talk about goals yet. We have two more days to address that and we may have to put that off until after Labor Day too. We’ve been working on a lot of other different stuff. I think the expectations are very high for this team. I think this team has the potential and capability of going deep into the post-season. But you’ve got to take care of business. And with some injuries, if you lose too many games in the early season, you may put yourself in position that you’re going to be in a tough bracket in the District Tournament, which has happened to us several times in the past six, eight years. But the expectation is definitely high. We’re excited as a coaching staff and I think the kids are. I think they’re anxious to get playing. We had a great effort (Tuesday) in practice.

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