Barker has youthful field hockey squad

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 29 August 2016 at 1:52 pm
082916_MW_Barker field hockey

Photo by Mike Wertman – Getting set to lead Barker into the upcoming field hockey season are these returnees. From left are Natalie Menz, Sarah Mason, Grayce Weller, Lydia Dewart, Emily Annable and Katrina Clare.

Underclassmen and inexperience dot the lineup for perennial Niagara-Orleans League field hockey power Barker heading into the upcoming season.

The senior trio of Grayce Weller (Midfield/Defense), Lydia Dewart (Attack) and Emily Annable (Attack) head Barker’s small veteran contingent which also includes juniors Sarah Mason (Defense/Midfield) and Natalie Menz (Attack) along with freshman Katrina Clare (Attack).

The Lady Raiders are also looking to juniors Cara Fox (Goalie), Abigail Ignatowski (Goalie), Jillian Moeller (Attack), Grace Harris (Defense/Midfield), Haley Brown (Attack/Midfield), Casey A’Hearn (Midfield/Defense) and freshman Ciara Gregoire (Attack).

“Our younger players traditionally have experience at the varsity level but not much this year,” said Coach Jeff Costello. “Our younger players will need to develop quickly and make an impact early in the season for us to give us a boost and some momentum through the league schedule. All players will be expected to contribute minutes and production throughout all areas/positions on the field.”

Barker, which had its nine year N-O title run snapped last fall by Akron, was hit hard by graduation with the loss of 10 players including first team N-O honorees Caitlyn Mason (Goalie) and Erika Moeller (Defense), second team honorees Madison Greenwald (Defense) and Kelsie Engert (Defense) and Honorable Mention picks Erin Greenwald, (Attack) Emma Duffy (Attack) and Rebecca Stoloski (Attack).

“Having lost so many key players on attack, at midfield, on defense and in goal we will need all of our new players to take advantage of their opportunities,” said Costello. “Our theme is ‘Tradition Never Graduates’. We just have to fill the roles with new players and new faces and work hard to be productive and successful. It’s up to this new group of players to step up to the challenges.”

Barker, which went 10-1-1 in N-O competition last fall, opens the season at Newfane on September 6 and then hosts defending champion Akron on September 8.

September: 6 – at Newfane, 4:45 p.m.; 8 – Akron, 4:45 p.m.; 12 – at Nichols, 4:45 p.m.; 13 – at Medina, 4:45 p.m.; 15 – at Roy-Hart, 4:45 p.m.; 20 – at Wilson, 4:45 p.m.; 22 – Kenmore, 5 p.m.; 27 – Nichols, 4:45 p.m.; 29 – Newfane, 4:45 p.m.
October: 4 – at Akron, 4:45 p.m.; 6 – Medina, 4:45 p.m.; 11 – Roy-Hart, 4:45 p.m.; 13 – Wilson, 4:45 p.m.; 18 – at Kenmore, 4:45 p.m.