By Andrew Chirico
When the Shorewomen field hockey team steps on the field this season things will be different.
Following last season in November, former Head Coach Rachel Boyle, who spent 17 seasons with the program, announced her departure. It took Washinton College just two months to announce their new head coach, Anne Kietzman.
Kietzman, a 2013 graduate of William Smith, was named to the 2012 National Field Hockey Coaches Association All-America first team. She was selected as an All-American by WomensFieldHockey.com.
In April, Kietzman announced the hiring of current Assistant Coach Taylor Fisher. She will begin her coaching career at WC, after graduating from Shippensburg University where she was a two-time national champion.
With two new faces leading the program, the Shorewomen look to bounce back from a 6-11 record last season.
Senior Courtney Rainey said that the team has prepared well coming into their preseason portion of the year.
“I am super excited for this upcoming season. We had a very young team last season, so we have a lot of room for growth,” she said. “We trained really hard in our spring season with Coach [Jonnie] Jenkins and our new coach, Annie Keitzman.”
Rainey said the young coaching staff has brought a renewed and needed energy on the field.
“Coach Keitzman has a fresh energy and I am very hopeful that she can get us where we need to be before season officially starts,” Rainey said. “As always, our first goal is to make it to Centennial Conference playoffs, and with the connection and hard work effort the 2017 team has, I really believe we have the potential to get there.”
The offense will have to replace its top two leading scorers in Alli Dudley and Elizabeth Davis, who combined for 46 percent of the total number of goals. This season, junior Olivia Auer will look to lead the offense after scoring five goals in her sophomore campaign. Along with Auer comes junior Alison Pantazes, who found the net two times.
Seniors such as Sami Bialozynski, Katie Arnold, Michaela Conners, and Liza Slavin all have large expectations from the WC faithful. In particular, Bialozynski feels the group is ready to go out on a high note.
“Going into the start of senior year season is a surreal feeling. But I am super excited and ready to start,” she said. “I have high hopes for this season and hope as a team we accomplish all that we set out for.”
On the defensive end, fans can expect to see junior Morgan Domanico and freshman Kayla Zapcic see action in the net. Last season Domanico started 14 games while giving up 17 goals. She totaled 51 saves. Buck started two games, gave up 12 goals, and brought in 12 saves.
The Shorewomen will open up their season on Saturday, Sept. 2 versus Lynchburg College at Liberty University for an 11 a.m. start. Following their opener, the team will have a quick turn around when they host Washington and Lee the following day at 2 p.m.