Mount hockey seeks a return to state tournament
Mount St. Joseph’s Academy’s 2009 field hockey season ended with an unfortunate footnote: a 1-0 loss to Radnor High School in a PIAA play-in game, which meant that the Magic would not take part in the Class AAA state tournament for the first time since 2002.
The Magic graduated seven members of its 2009 franchise, which reached the semifinals in the Athletic Association of Catholic Academies and finished with an overall record of 14-7. The most notable departure was that of Boston College recruit Nicole Schuster, a forward who was a four-year starter for the Mount and also participated in the U.S. Junior National Team program.
Two of this year’s upperclassmen have already made verbal commitments to play Division I collegiate hockey; forward Natalie Tacka has picked Lehigh University and midfielder Jenna Seybert plans to be nearby at Lafayette College.
Defensive midfielder Mary Jo Horgan is a four-year varsity player, and her classmates on the squad include Bridget Brady (mid/back), Mary Kate Pascalli (back), and Stevie Wells (mid), who all appeared on the varsity roster last fall. Fellow senior Katie O’Brien is moving up to the first team and should play mid or back.
The eighth returning senior this year is veteran goalkeeper Kat Matchett, whose understudies include sophomores Kelsey Jones and Meg Mutzel.
The Sabia sisters, Allie (forward) and Brooke (forward/mid) are back as juniors this season, but for the first time in many years they’ll be playing without their former Norwood Fontbonne Academy classmate, back Ali Stever. Stever started for the Mount as a freshman and sophomore, but her family has moved out of state, necessitating a transfer.
Three other 11th graders are joining the varsity roll call; Katie Gozdon (mid/back) Maddie Haas (back), and Laura Pacheco (forward/mid).
Among the sophomores are three players who earned varsity status as freshmen last fall; mid/forward Emilie Ehret and two forwards out of Norwood Fontbonne, Anne Burgoyne and Julia Mustin. In addition to goalie candidates Mutzel and Jones (Jones may also play on the field), the tenth-grade group includes forward Allison Waters.
Head Coach Lois Weber, now entering her ninth season with the Magic, is pleased with the depth and experience of the 2010 squad, and expects a stronger scoring punch from the front row this fall.
“Last year our offensive line was pretty inexperienced with the exception of Nicole Schuster,” she noted. “This season we have most of those girls back with a year of varsity competition behind them.”
Sharna Shuford is back for her fourth season as MSJ assistant coach, and Mount alumna Jess Mulhern will be helping out, as well. Mulhern started at wing for the Magic, then moved on to the University of Delaware, where she graduated earlier this year.