Defending champion Lady Raiders return veteran laden field hockey squad

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 21 August 2019 at 4:27 pm

Photo by Mike Wertman – Anchoring the lineup for defending league champion Barker are these veteran players who earned spots on the Niagara-Orleans All-League squad. In front are Lena Fazzolari, Madison Gancasz and Ciara Gregori. In back are Katrina Clare, Kaedynce Schumacher, Natalie Bruning, Emily Wagner and Rachel Hurtgam.

Returning a large contingent of 15 players, Barker is prepping to defend its Niagara-Orleans League and Section VI Class C field hockey titles.

Senior attackers Katrina Clare and Ciara Gregorie, along with junior midfielder Madison Gancasz, who all earned first team N-O All-League honors head that veteran group which also includes second team All-League honorees senior attacker Rachel Hurtgam, junior midfielder Lena Fazzolari and sophomore midfielder Kaedynce Schumacher and Honorable Mention selections senior attacker Emily Wagner and junior attacker Natalie Bruning.

Clare scored 30 goals last season and Hurtgam 12.

The Lady Raiders large returning group also includes senior defenders Brianna Bachman and Ella Fox, junior goalie/defenders Courtney Hillman and Megan Hotaling, junior defender Ella Gooding and freshmen defender/midfielders Ashlin Cole and Aaliyah Wheat.

Barker’s only graduation losses were goalie Paige Sandolfini and defender Erin Costello.

“All of our offense is back and I’m most excited about that and hopefully that translates into some success,” said Coach Jeff Costello. “We hope to build on what we did last year but you certainly can’t rest on what you did last year. We were young on defense and at midfield last year and they gained valuable experience so hopefully those parts of our game will be shored up this year.”

Barker went 11-1 in capturing the N-O title and finished with a 17-4 overall record after winning both the Section VI and Far West Regional Class C titles before bowing in the state semis.

The Lady Raiders will open their N-O title defense at Medina on September 3. The early eason schedule will also be highlighted by their annual trip to Pennsylvania to take on large schools Lebanon and Upper St. Claire.

September: 3 – at Medina, 7 p.m.; 7 – at Mt. Lebanon, Pa., 12 p.m.; 8 – at Upper St. Claire, Pa., 11 a.m.; 10 – at Wilson, 4:45 p.m.; 12 – Akron, 4:45 p.m.; 17 – Kenmore, 5 p.m.; 19 – at Newfane, 4:45 p.m.; 20 – at Clarence, 4:45 p.m.; 24 – Roy-Hart, 4:45 p.m.; 26 – Medina, 4:45 p.m.; 27 – Sacred Heart, 6:30 p.m.
October: 3 – Wilson, 4:45 p.m.; 8 – at Akron, 4:45 p.m.; 10 – at Kenmore, 6:30 p.m.; 15 – Newfane, 4:45 p.m.; 17 – at Roy-Hart, 4:45 p.m.