Sewickley Academy field hockey aims for successful season

Monday, September 18, 2017 | 11:00 PM

The Sewickley Academy field hockey team is a study in contrasts.

The Panthers have one player so advanced, she spent a week this summer playing in Europe. Others never picked up a stick before joining the team this season.

“Our team has a wide variety of skill sets,” senior co-captain Claire Meakem said. “I hope to see (us) continue to work together and grow as a whole.”

Sophomore Caroline Cox, the Panthers leading goal scorer in 2016, was part of the Sport EuroTour Dutch Training Tour from Aug. 2-9.

Sport EuroTour owner Bob Whitcher said Cox was one of close to 35 players. The team, he said, included high school athletes from all over the U.S., as well as South Africa and Hong Kong.

Cox, a forward, said she gained confidence.

“(After) Amsterdam, I can say that everything about me has improved immensely,” she said. “I played with lots of girls who were older and more advanced in some ways.

“I learned so much from them.”

Panthers coach Cheryl Ann Lassen said Cox has outstanding skills.

Meakem, senior co-captain Mikayla Mucci and sophomores Maggie Goebel, Corrine Vanella and Ysaline Godin are other top players for the Panthers.

Sophomore Sarah Phillips, a goalie, shows promise in her first year on the squad.

“If we can all remain healthy, I foresee this team having a successful season,” Lassen said.

Senior co-captain Leila Wynnyckyj is impressed by how fast new players have caught on.

“We recruited amazing people (who) have integrated into our team nicely,” she said.

The Panthers (2-2 in WPIAL Class A) are one win away from their total last season.

Mucci said she would love to cap her high school career by making the playoffs.

The Panthers, a two-time WPIAL champion, last played in the postseason in 2014.

Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.


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