2016 Season Previews: Part One

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Blue Hen Conference

AI (7-8) - AI DuPont has a new coach this season, Sam Kotowski a 2010 graduate from AI and former goalie for Neumann University.  Kotowski inherits a team that has struggled over the years, usually averaging six to seven wins per season (AI's last winning season was back in 2007).  AI only lost one senior to graduation and returns their leading goal scorer, senior Liz Shields who scored a whopping 88 of the teams 156 goals last year

Appo (6-9) - The Jaguars only graduated two seniors from last year's squad, unfortunately their leading goal scorer, senior Delaney Chrisco (78G, 7A) transferred to Caravel leaving a big hole to fill in the midfield.

Brandywine (4-11) - Brandywine is on their fifth new coach in five years, this year it's Mary Adam taking over the Bulldogs varsity program.  Five seniors graduated, but seniors Cady Burnside (44G, 17A) and Nicole Fontana (20G, 5A) return for one more year. 

Hard to believe that Brandywine was the state runner-up 15 years ago to the 2001 champion Tower Hill (Tower won by a score of 10-8). 

Charter (13-3) - Charter has been very successful under the helm of their head coach Cindy DePrisco, winning three straight Blue Hen titles and was the state runner-up two years ago.  The Force graduated eight players in the off-season, many of which were three and four-year starters.  Senior Christina LaPorte (13G, 7A) returns as the lone attacker, fellow senior Caroline Grasso (6G, 1A) should bring experience to the defense.  The force retains their midfield from the 2015 season with seniors Katherine Chitty (23G, 13A) and Jordan Wood (59G, 15A), along with junior Kendall Adkins (22G, 2A)

The Force opens up their season at home on Tuesday (3/22) vs Caesar Rodney before taking on Tower Hill one week later at home. 

Christiana (1-12) - Aubrey Piechoski takes over the head coaching duties at Christiana this year, after having been the assistant coach for the past several years.  The Vikings are in dire need of rebuilding; over the past ten years the program has only won a total of six games and in 2015 the defense let in 118 more goals than the offense produced.

Concord (8-7) - Concord has had a decent record the past few years, finishing right over the .500 mark in both 2014 and 2015.  Six seniors graduated, including four year varsity starter Sarah Birmingham in goal.  Senior Madeline Marconi (41G, 6A) returns on attack, with junior Caroline Procak (44G, 6A) in the midfield. 

Hodgson (2-13) - The Silver Eagles were pretty young last year, carrying only four seniors on their varsity roster.  Returning in 2016 are their top three goal scorers in junior Kassi Buckworth (20G), Sonia-Evette Cabreja (18G, 1A), and Cecilia Massey (14G).

Middletown (10-6) - Middletown reached the state tournament for the first time since 2012 as the number 9, but ultimately fell in the first round to Ursuline 15-9.  The Cavaliers lost their top three goal scorers to graduation in the Pantazes twins and Lexi Johnston, as well as one attacker, midfielder, and defender.  Junior Emily Saylor (16G, 13A) returns on attack, and Mauri Hainsworth in goal.  The Cavs also have a new coach in 2016 in Amber Harmon.

The fight for Blue Hen is usually between Middletown and Charter - if Middletown wants a piece of the pie this year they'll have rebuild their attack and midfield line.

Mt. Pleasant (9-6) - Head coach Caroline Phillips has done wonders turning around Mount's girl's lacrosse program - in her two years she's brought what was previously a 4-11 team to a combined 16-14 record, including what was the schools first ever winning season in program history in 2015. The Knights will have to make up on attack for the loss of Alyssa More (51G, 24A), Jordan Sisken (18G, 4A), and Sarah Reuther (12G, 4A), as well as needing to replace their goalie as well.  Current senior Kate Walker (52G, 3A - committed to play field hockey at Michigan), a three year starter for Mount is not playing this year for the Knights. Walker's and More's combined 103 goals will be difficult to replace.

Newark (6-9) - The yellowjackets have held a consistent 6-9 record for the past three seasons, but graduated eleven seniors, leaving only three underclassmen from last year's varsity roster in 2016.  The lone senior on the squad, Faith Howard (25G) will carry the attack, finding her supporting cast will be the trick.

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