Kenyon ladies’ field hockey team looks to ride wave of momentum

Fourth-year head coach Jacque DeMarco has spent to last three seasons with the Kenyon College field hockey team building a wave of success. From an 8-10 record in the 2012 season to a 19-3 record in 2014, DeMarco has the Ladies in prime position for yet another exciting season.

The upcoming 2015 season, which starts Tuesday, September 1 at Ohio Wesleyan University, has the Ladies looking to ride that wave of momentum from a remarkable 2014 season in which the Purple and White set a program record for wins (19), captured both the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) regular-season and tournament titles, and got to the NCAA Division III Tournament for the first time since 2007. To cap off the campaign, DeMarco, who now owns an overall 40-20 record at Kenyon, was voted the 2015 NCAC Coach of the Year.

DeMarco wasn’t the only one who received postseason accolades. Maddie Breschi, a midfielder who enters the 2015 season as a senior, was a 2014 National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) First-Team All-American and was named the NCAC Defensive Player of the Year. On the offensive end, if Breschi continues at the same pace she has for the previous three seasons, she’s poised to smash just about every career record in the Kenyon books. In 2014, she ranked first on the team in goals scored (14), second in points (34), and third in assists (6). Needless to say, she plays a big role in the team’s success wherever she is on the field.

The future also looks bright for starting sophomore goalkeeper Sarah Speroff, who capped off her initial collegiate campaign with a First-Team NFHCA All-Region award and the Newcomer of the Year award from the NCAC. She pitched five shutouts in 2014, made 89 saves and racked up a tidy 1.18 goals against average.

The Ladies did lose quite a bit to graduation, especially on the offensive front. Rachel Hall, Julie Freedman and Cecilia Depman were among the team’s top-five offensive players and combined for 26 goals and 21 assists last season. Along with Breschi, current sophomore Shannon Hart and senior Christine Bloom might just be the frontrunners to carry the offensive load in 2015. Hart registered 11 goals and five assists as a freshman one year ago and Bloom has 16 career goals to her name. Additionally, DeMarco’s freshman class of nine contains a combined total of seven forwards and midfielders looking to make an immediate impact.

Back on the defensive side, it appears that seniors Morgen Barroso and Emmy Weiner will lead the way. Barroso started all but one game last season and Weiner, who started every game in 2012 and 2013 returns to the field after missing last season due to injury. Sophomores Paige Beyer and Kelsey Trulik, who both started every game last season, could also play significant roles in a defense that has plenty of depth.

Another sophomore, Weezie Foster, will figure to regain her starting spot in the midfield and senior Hannah Drake will figure into offensive mix, as well. Foster recorded five goals last season and Drake came off the bench to notch one goal and two assists.