Lenape Valley field hockey team energized and ready to play

STANHOPE. The Patriots look to build off last year’s strong record of 17-4-1.

| 12 Sep 2022 | 10:04

The 2022 Lenape Valley High School field hockey program is taking nothing for granted. That’s why they worked diligently and smartly during the preseason — and why they will face each opponent with respect and determination during the regular season.

The Patriots are scheduled to host Hackettstown on September 21.

“As a team I’d like to focus on being competitive against our opponents throughout the season,” Lenape Valley head coach Rachel Ferris said. “Winning is great and everyone loves to win but being competitive is more important than a victory. A goal for the team is to be division champs for the third year in a row. Hunterdon/Warren/Sussex and [NJSIAA] states are a focus for the team as well.”

Varsity-tested student athletes returning for Lenape Valley include Ella Gomez (junior, midfield), Katie Guisti (senior, forward), Abby Coppolella (junior, goal tender), Beth Mayer (junior, defense), Lindsay Fehir (junior, defense), Mia Vergano (junior, forward), Emma McElroy (senior, midfield) and Victoria Erlemann (senior, defense).

Ali Church (junior, midfield) and Kylee McCracken (sophomore, defense) are among the top newcomers to the varsity level.

“Katie, Emma and Victoria are our three seniors and three captains and have a lot to offer to the team,” Ferris said. “It happens to work out that one is a forward, one a midfielder and one a defender. My hope is for their leadership to shine on the field with communication from one line to another. Off the field my hope is for them to build the chemistry within the team.”

The Patriots posted a strong overall record of 17-4-1, with a division winning mark of 6-1 in 2021. They advanced to the NJSIAA North Jersey Group 1 Sectional Tournament championship round before losing to Shore Regional.

Lenape Valley defeated Belvidere, Whippany Park and Pompton Lakes in the Sectional Tournament last season.

“I view our team as young, rebuilding, but without a doubt contenders for the top,” Ferris said. “There is so much talent on the team that there is no room to doubt the chemistry or skill.”

The Patriots compete in the Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Freedom Division along with Hackettstown, Wallkill Valley, Newton and Vernon.

“Everyone is a team to beat. Newton and Wallkill were tough teams for us last year, but everyone loses players and gains new ones,” Ferris said. “I feel as though all teams are ones to look out for. Our coaching staff is young, but we are passionate and committed to the team and making these young women better players and people. We have a tribute game for a teammate that never got the opportunity to play in high school [the date is to be determined]. We have our Senior Night/Play Pink game October 13.”