Despite tough competition in the Hockomock League last year the field hockey team fared to be a formidable opponent in 2010, compiling a record of 8-6-6 while also qualifying for the Division 1 South sectionals.
During the state tournament, the Tigers earned a thrilling 2-1 overtime victory over Marshfield in the preliminary round before falling to Walpole – the eventual Div. 1 South Sectional championships – in the first round.
Entering the 2011 campaign, the Tigers are hoping to be right up there as one of the top teams in the Hock and return to the state tournament.
“Canton, Franklin and Mansfield are usually the perennial powers in the league,” said head coach Janice Sundell. “This year we are hoping to be right up with them this year.”
Although OA will have to replace the likes of Theresa Lambert, Kerri Vogler and Sandy Anton, they have a lot going for them in the early part of the season. Despite having a good amount of talent defensively, and a steady amount of upperclassmen – primarly juniors – there are still some spots open on the varsity squad.
“I think we have a tremendous amount of firepower,” said Sundell. “I think we have a tremendous amount of juniors and a tremendous amount of talent in there and I have most of my defense back from last year, which is good.
“Having said that, we’re still working on filling the remaining varsity spots,” Sundell continued. “It’s still pretty wide open.”
Two players who don’t have to worry too much about losing their spots, however, are this year’s captains, goaltender Haley Arnold and defenseman Jacqui Freeman.
Sundell noted that both Freeman and Arnold have adjusted nicely to their leadership roles.
“Both of them are doing a good job,” Sundell said. “They did well during the off-season getting the team organized with summer camps and captains practices in the summer. It will take a little while for them to fill the shoes, but they are doing a good job so far.”
Freeman and Arnold are the focal point on the team’s defense, which gave up only 30 goals in 20 games in 2010.
Offensively, the Lady Tigers seem to be heading in the right direction too as seen in their scrimmage against Bridgewater-Raynham on Wednesday.
“We have some good speed and good stick work on offense,” Sundell said. “We’re looking to capitalize on that and put some in the net.
“Defensively, we’re still looking good as well. There’s some new rule changes this year as far as a penalty corner go and we’re still trying to work that out a little bit. But so far it looks pretty good.”
Although there’s still some work left to be done before OA’s first game in Attleboro on Sept. 8, Sundell is looking forward to coaching this year’s squad.
“We still have to get in better condition,” she said. “But I’m enthusiastic and I’m looking forward to the new season.”
OA Field Hockey Quick Facts
Head Coach: Janice Sundell
2010 Record: 8-6-6
Captains: Haley Arnold, Jacqui Freeman
Key Returnees: Arnold, Freeman, Jackie Healey, Caroline Less
Key Losses: Theresa Lambert, Kerri Vogler, Sandy Anton
- Sept. 8 at Attleboro
- Sept. 12 at Sharon
- Sept. 16 at King Philip
- Sept. 19 vs. Franklin
- Sept. 21 at Mansfield
- Sept. 23 vs. Canton
- Oct. 5 vs. Ursuline Academy
- Oct. 6 vs. King Philip
- Oct. 19 at Canton
- Oct. 28 vs. Attleboro