Aug 27, 2013
WASHINGTON- The Georgetown University field hockey team, led by head coach Tiffany Hubbard in her seventh season, goes into the 2013 season with a young squad featuring eight incoming freshman including two new goalkeepers. Thirteen Hoyas return to the Hilltop this season, eight of whom saw action in at least 13 games. Joining Hubbard on the sidelines is Assistant Head Coach Melissa Vassalotti, who is entering her second year.
“We could not be more excited for the start of our 2013 season,” Hubbard said. “We have a talented and driven group of girls who I believe will raise the bar for Georgetown field hockey.”
The squad opens up its season on Friday afternoon, Aug. 30, by hosting the Davidson Wildcats at the University of Maryland’s Field Hockey Complex in College Park, Md at 1:00 p.m.
FORWARDS: The team of 21 features six available forwards including one of two returning seniors Katie Dempsey and sophomore Sarah Butterfield. Butterfield had one goal and two assists (four points) during her freshman season last year. Junior Molly Denzel played in 13 games at both forward and midfield in 2012. Taylor Ednie (Raleigh, N.C/Ravenscroft School), Molly Thompson (Ann Arbor, Mich./Ann Arbor Pioneer) and Aliyah Graves (Harrisburg, Pa./Harrisburg Academy) join the incoming class of eight as freshmen forwards.
“Our forwards this season are natural attackers,” Hubbard said. “They play an unselfish and aggressive style of hockey that will allow us create many scoring opportunities.”
MIDFIELDERS: Emily Weinberg starts her sophomore campaign as the leading returning scorer for the Hoyas with two goals and one assist (five points) last season when she started 18 of 19 games. Sophomore Meghan Murphy made 18 appearances last season at both midfield and defense with one goal and one assist (three points). Sophomore Taylor Craig and senior Caitlin Samela each appeared in five and three games, respectively, during the 2012 season. Freshman midfielders Maria McDonald (Center Valley, Pa./Southern Lehigh) and Devin Holmes (Fleetville, Pa./Wyoming Seminary) join the Blue & Gray after both serving as team captains during their senior high school seasons.
“The midfield line this season is a great combination of the experience of our returners and new talent from our incoming athletes,” Hubbard said. “We will be able to move many people into different positions giving us a range of versatility and depth in this position on the field.”
BACKS: Sophomore Elizabeth Mueller starts her second season with the Hoyas as the most experienced back making 12 starts last year while appearing in every game her freshman year. Returning 15 game starter, sophomore defensive midfielder Louise Chakejian, had nine shots as she appeared in every game for Georgetown during her freshman season. Brooke Simone and Tori Hideshima both return for their junior campaigns. Sophomore Callie Hiner saw action at defense and midfield last year in seven contests, recording one shot. They will be joined by newcomer Hailey Vann (Yorktown, Va./Tabb) who played every position for her high school squad with the exclusion of goalie.
“Having experience in our backfield will be important for us this season. The returners have worked really hard to show a defensive presence on the field. They will be the backbone of our system,” Hubbard said.
GOALIES: Freshman Rosalie Nolen and Rachel Skonecki come to Georgetown and stand to see quality time behind junior goalkeeper Emma Hamstra, who saw action in five games last year totaling 66 minutes of playing time in her first year at the Hilltop following her transfer from UMASS. Following the departure of Briana Pereira, who started 54 games in goal over the past three seasons, the Hoyas’ three goalies seek to fill the void of the veteran goaltender’s presence.
“Our young goalkeepers have been working hard to jump into a very demanding position on the field. They have a great coach and mentor in Melissa and I believe we will continue to see their level of play rise as the season progresses,” said Hubbard.
Georgetown has forced two of their past five games against Davidson into overtime. This marks the third consecutive year in which the Hoyas play against Davidson on the opening weekend.
“Davidson is always a great competitor for us,” Hubbard said. “They bring a fast paced and physical game, and we are looking forward to meeting them again in our season opener.”
The opening weekend continues with the Hoyas hosting the Rider University Broncs in College Park, Md. at 1:00 p.m.