Shady Side Academy, Fox Chapel field hockey standouts pick up all-star honors

Saturday, November 19, 2022 | 11:01 AM

Even though Shady Side Academy’s streak of four consecutive WPIAL field hockey titles came to an end, the Bulldogs, along with neighboring Fox Chapel, were well represented on the coaches association’s all-star teams.

Shady Side (4-12, 2-4) placed five on the Class A all-star team. The Foxes (10-8-1, 4-3-1) had four in Class 2A plus two honorable mentions.

“This was a young team we had this year and working to rebuild around key returning players,” said Bulldogs coach Betsy Gorse. “Throughout the season, we dealt with ongoing injuries and illnesses that continued to derail our program.”

Leading the way for Shady Side was senior goalkeeper Thea Conomikes, senior midfielder Kate Nury, junior midfielder Alexa Karet, sophomore forward Mary Boyd Barker and freshman defender Clarke Wickland.

“It was great to see five of our players recognized for season,” Gorse said. “They stepped up in so many ways.”

Fox Chapel was represented by senior midfielders Anna Drum and Aly Solomon, senior defender Caroline Bonidy and sophomore goalkeeper Gina Fitzsimmons.

“We are unbelievably proud of everyone’s efforts this season,” said Foxes coach Emily Humiston. “We are most proud of Fitzsimmons, a first-year goalie, for being selected because it acknowledges all the hard work and dedication she put it to learn an entirely new position in just a few months.”

Fox Chapel was eliminated in the opening playoff round by Latrobe, 2-1 in overtime.

Making honorable mention in Class 2A were junior forward Analese Bartolacci and junior defender Mira Busch.

Said Humiston: “Although we didn’t finish the way we would’ve liked, there were still so many achievements like scoring more than double the number of goals we scored last season, beating some teams we haven’t beaten in four years and having four all-stars and two honorable mentions.”

Shady Side dropped a 2-1 decision to Aquinas Academy to open the postseason.

“We also started our season with a heavy load of big schools,” Gorse said. “At the start of October, we declared it a new season and wins started to happen. Some teams might have thrown in the towel, but we continued to work hard through more injuries.”

Shady Side will again be a Class A field hockey school next year while Fox Chapel will maintain its Class 2A status.

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