Monarch Field Hockey Building Non-Conference Confidence
The King’s College Field Hockey team’s very young core only features three seniors in their starting lineups. And that’s not a problem yet.
The same young core is coached by Cheryl Ish, who is in her 20th season as King’s head coach, figures to be gaining stride in the fight to be competitive in the Freedom Conference this year.
Yet, due to their young core it was no surprise that the Lady Monarchs were selected to finish seventh out of eight teams by the coaches of the Freedom Conference. But, that number does not faze Coach Ish who said they are playing a very tough non-conference schedule so they are prepared for the competition in the Freedom Conference.
“We schedule tough teams like Muhlenberg because we want to play the best competition possible that gets us ready for the league,” said Ish, the 2012 Freedom Conference Coach of the Year.
The Monarchs are 4-4 overall this season with wins over Cedar Crest, Ramapo, Keystone, and Marywood, while the losses have been to Alvernia, Susquehanna, York and Muhlenberg.
Though their youth everywhere could be seen as a crutch, the Monarchs return steady experience in First Team All-Freedom Conference selection and leading scorer from a year ago, junior Alyssa Monaghan. Monaghan finished seventh in the Freedom Conference in points last year with 34. She is again leading the way for the Monarchs this year in goals with seven and points with seventeen.
Besides Monaghan, King’s returns three more key players from last year’s team that finished 8-8 last season. Junior Courtney Schaffer, who was fourth on the team in points last year, senior Meghan Lermond who was fifth in points, and senior Alexandra Bolinski who was sixth in points a year ago.
Additionally, the Monarchs have seen contributions from several underclassmen this season as well. Junior defender Haley Waslasky leads the team in minutes played, playing 433 of the 490 minutes this year. Not far behind are senior Kristi Katra and sophomore Nicole Sott, who have played 431 and 421 minutes, respectively.
There is added offense behind Alyssa Monaghan from sophomore Selina Malacari with six, freshman Brianna DiMaggio with five, and senior Meghan Lermond who has four goals. The young players, who lead the offense like Malacari and DiMaggio, are what has Coach Ish excited about not only this year’s development, but the team in the future as well.
“I am very excited about the young group of players that are contributing to our team,” Ish said. “We only have three seniors, it is important we have contributions from the underclassmen,”
With only two games left until conference play begins, Coach Ish seems to like how the team has come together.
“In this part of the season,” Ish said. “We have worked hard and are playing as one.”