2016 Season Previews: Part Three

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Independent Conference

Friends (11-6) - Friends is coming off of two of their best seasons ever in school history, going 22-10 in the last two seasons combined. If 2014's team was strong, then 2015's team came back even stronger thanks in large part to a strong senior cast that helped lead the Quakers to their first tournament appearance since 2009.

Friends will have a very different appearance in 2016 after losing six seniors to graduation, four of which were responsible for 175 of the 226 goals the team scored last year: Brooke Winfield (51G, 8A), Molly Harper (24G, 8A), Margo Tschantz (44G, 14A), Jane Yeatman (2G, 1A), Martha O'Brien, and Meryl Gatti (54G, 19A) have all moved on. Friends could have some rebuilding to do this year with only two attackers remaining from last year's tournament team in juniors Blair Atkins (23G, 3A) and Simone Veale (18G, 9A) as well as a new goalie in the cage in junior Lydia Yeatman.

Friends started off their 2016 season with a win at Middletown last Tuesday (3/29), before dropping a 15-12 loss to Archmere on Thursday (3/31).  The Quakers return to Mellor Field next on this coming Tuesday when they face St. Andrew's on their home turf. 

Sanford (3-12) - Unlike field hockey or basketball, girl's lacrosse is just not Sanford's playground. The Warriors play a brutal schedule: in addition to the eight independent conference games Sanford plays Archmere, Caravel, and St. Mark's - all big names in their own right in girls lacrosse. 

Returning for the 2016 season is the team's leading goal scorer from last season, senior Mesha Mosley (46G, 1A), along with junior Kimberly Riordan (18G) and freshmen Jordan Baerga (13G, 2A).  Sanford also has a new goalie in the cage this year in senior Laura Davies. 

Sanford won their opening game against Brandywine on Saturday, April 2nd and returns to the field again when they take on conference rival Tatnall on Tuesday, April 5th. 

St. Andrew's (6-9) - Once the Independent Conference power, St. Andrew's has been a distant third to Tower Hill in recent years. Before Cape Henlopen was the perennial powerhouse in Delaware, it was St. Andrew's with the Cardinals being the previous record holder with six state titles and appearing in 12 state finals between 1998 and 2012. The Cardinals seem to have lost their sense of flight however, going 13-16 over the last two years - compare that to their previous three seasons when they went a combined 38-14.

Ten seniors graduated from last year's flock - Elizabeth Wainwright (42G, 19 A) who is now playing at Swarthmore, Caroline Priester (24G, 5A) and Carter Douglas (21G, 2A) will be especially missed.  Seniors Louisa Belk (28G, 11A) and Neely Egan (20G, 3A) along with sophomores Cindy Lay (20G, 3A) and Hanna Soulati (14G) will help score the goals, senior Neva Richardson will bring leadership to the defense.

The Cardinals kick off their season today, Sunday April 3rd against out-of-state opponent Lawrenceville School (NJ).

Tatnall (5-10) - Tatnall has stumbled the past two seasons, achieving a combined 11-19 record - a stark contrast to the 24-21 record they achieved between 2011 and 2013.  Four of Tatnall's nine losses were within a five goal differential - despite that, Tatnall' goals scored dropped from 151 in 2014 to 142 in 2015 while their goals allowed increased to 215.

Midfielder Margaret Crivelli (71G, 9A) will be the most difficult to replace - Crivelli alone scored more than half of the team's goals last year!  Returnees include senior Mirthe Berends (15G, 1A), junior Katie Mariner (9G, 9A), and sophomores Jessica Principe (15G, 3A) and Claire Crivelli (1G).  Senior Michaella Moore should take over the starting goalkeeping duties for this year.

Tatnall kicks off their season at home on Tuesday, April 5th against Sanford.

Tower Hill (12-4) - the 2015 season saw the return of the Tower Hill teams from seasons past after an uncharacteristic 2014 season for the Hillers, thanks in large part to a reload of upperclassmen.  Six seniors graduated in the off-season from the Hill however that together produced 106 of the teams 192 goals last year - the quartet of attackers and mids in Sawyer Chilton (34G, 17A), Emma Lynch (25G, 7A), Blakeley Simpler (20G, 2A), Madeline Schwartz (24G, 16A) will be especially missed. 

Returning in 2016 are the duo of high-scoring seniors in Abby Manning (40G, 17A) and Kiva Walsh (28G, 12A), who combined to score 79 percent of the remaining 86 goals for the Hillers last season.  Other key seniors include Sophie Peipher (6G, 5A) in the midfield and Gretchen Zungailia on defense (1G), with senior Ellie Wakefield returning for her second season in the cage. 

Tower Hill faced a tough season opener last Tuesday (3/29) when they lost 9-10 at Charter before falling to Worcester Prep on Friday (4/1).  In the past 11 years Tower Hill has never started their season 0-2 - they'll look to get back into the win column on Tuesday when they play Caravel on their home turf.

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