MONROE, CT — With almost the entire starting lineup back and coming off a strong season, the Masuk High field hockey team has plenty of reasons for optimism and hopes for success.
“We are looking forward to a wonderful season starting today with our opener,” said Coach Kathleen Foley, adding that the varsity squad went unbeaten in preseason, defeating Shelton, Amity and Weston, and playing Ridgefield to a scoreless tie.
The four captains include a trio of forwards — Molly Halliday and Amelia Logan, both of whom were captains a year ago as well, along with Ella Bunovsky — and midfielder Izzy Viglione.
“Valerie Vilca in goal is someone to watch this year as is Sophie Clark at center D and Ellie DeGeorge at midfield. Emma Cusa on attack and Samantha Henry at midfield support a strong offense while Ava Moretti provides key strategy and support to Sophie and Val on defense,” said Foley, noting that each of these players is a junior with exception of Morettti, a sophomore.
The Panthers have some unfinished South-West Conference playoff business they would like to take care this fall.
“Last year, losing 1-0 to Newtown in overtime of the SWC semifinals was tough. With most of our team returning and having more depth in upcoming sophomores and freshman, we are focused on advancing past that semifinal result,” Foley said.
“We are all very positive and hopeful about the success of the season. A key component to this team’s growth and success is the unity and camaraderie of the players,” the coach added. “It has been a joy to watch it develop, and watch experienced players support and help develop and welcome newer athletes.”
Masuk will open the season Thursday, Sept. 8, with an out-of-conference game as Hamden visits at 6:30 p.m. After visiting Shelton Saturday, Sept. 10, at 11 a.m., the Panthers have their first SWC game as Bethel comes to town Monday, Sept. 12, at 6:45. Then come back to back games with Newtown, Sept. 14 at home at 6:45 and Sept. 17 on the road at 4:30 p.m.