Barker field hockey team has youthful lineup

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 17 August 2018 at 7:41 am

Photo by Mike Wertman – Anchoring the lineup for the Barker field hockey team this season will be this group of returning regulars. In front are Paige Sandolfini, Ciara Gregoire and Madison Gancasz. In back are Erin Costello, Lena Fazzolari, Rachel Hurtgam and Katrina Clare.

Underclassmen dominate the lineup for the Barker varsity field hockey team as the Lady Raiders prepare to defend their Niagara-Orleans League co-championship.

Barker, which shared the N-O crown with Akron last fall at 11-1, has only two seniors on the squad – Erin Costello (defender) and Paige Sandolfini (goalie).

The Lady Raiders group of returning regulars also includes junior attackers Katrina Clare, Ciara Gregoire and Rachel Hurtgam along with sophomores Lena Fazzolari (attack) and Madison Gancasz (midfield).

Clare earned first team N-O All-League honors last season while Gregoire was a second team selection. Gancasz and Fazzolario both received Honorable Mention.

Also returning with some varsity experience are juniors Ella Fox (midfield), Emily Wagner (attack) and Brianna Bachman (defender); sophomores Natalie Bruning (defender), Ella Gooding (attack), Courtney Hillman (goalie), Megan Hotaling (goalie) and freshman Kaedynce Schumacher (midfield).

“Our goal scorers are back but we have to do some retooling at midfield on defense and in goal,” said Coach Jeff Costello. “We need all of our players to contribute.”

The Lady Raiders graduation losses included Casey A’Hearn (midfield) and Natalie Menz (forward) who both earned first team N-O All-League honors along with Jillian Moeller (midfield) and Cara Fox (goalie) who were both second team honorees. In addition, junior Haleigh Mason (defender) has switched to cross-country.

Barker will open the N-O season at home against Medina  on August 30.  In the key match ups between defending co-champs the Lady Raiders will visit Akron on September 11 and then host the Lady Tigers on October  4. Last year the teams split a pair of league meetings by the identical score of 2-1 to share the N-O crown. Akron then nipped Baker by that same 2-1 margin in the Section VI Class C championship game.

The Lady Raiders season will also be highlighted by a late September weekend trip to Pennsylvania to face Mt. Lebanon and Upper St. Clair.

August: 30 – Medina, 4:45 p.m.
September: 4 – at Nichols, 4:30 p.m.; 6 – Wilson, 4:45 p.m.; 11 – at Akron, 4:45 p.m.; 13 – at Kenmore, 4:45 p.m.; 18 – Newfane, 4:45 p.m.; 20 – at Roy-Hart, 4:45 p.m.; 25 – at Medina, 4:45 p.m.; 28 – at Mt. Lebanon, 6 p.m.; 29 – at Upper St. Clair, 11 a.n.
October: 2 – at Wilson, 4:45 p.m.; 4 – Akron, 4:45 p.m.; 9 – Kenmore, 5 p.m.; 11 – at Newfane, 4:45 p.m.; 13 – Sacred Heart, 12 p.m.; Roy-Hart, 4:45 p.m.