S. ABINGTON TWP. — Abington Heights field hockey head coach Samantha Krut is hopeful that extra work put in by members of the team during the offseason will lead to more success this year.
“The girls played in winter and spring leagues, and went to a summer camp at East Stroudsburg University,” Krut said. “They played so much together that they’re working together and communicating more. They are getting to know their strengths and areas they can work on.”
Senior Arla Davis believes the added time spent together also brought the team closer as a group.
“We did some work together over the summer and I definitely think we’ve bonded even more since last season,” she said.
Davis returns as a midfielder/screen, senior Dani Beamish is back as a forward, senior Nina Kozar returns on defense, junior Caroline Kelly is back as a forward, junior Shaelyn Kobrynich returns in the midfield, junior Erin Albright is back as a midfielder/screen, sophomore Haddy Davis returns on defense, sophomore Claudia Kozar is back as a forward, and sophomore Claire Boyle returns as a midfielder.
According to Krut, Beamish has taken on a leadership role with the new players on the team.
“She has a great attitude and is always showing the younger girls that she’s still learning and there is always room to improve,” Krut said.
Kobrynich feels the team will look to be more assertive on the offensive end of the field this season.
“I think we have a lot more confidence and we’re going to play with more speed and aggression this season,” she said. “Being the underdog of the Wyoming Valley Conference, we’re excited to go out and compete with the better teams.”
Junior Makenna Thorpe is expected to take over as the team’s starting goalkeeper.
Junior Corinne Jacoby is expected to contribute on defense after sitting out last season.
“We’re happy she made the commitment to be a part of the team,” Krut said. “Hopefully, defensively, we’re going to be stronger than we’ve been in the past because we also return two starting defensive back players.”
Sophomore Clarke Kupinski, along with freshmen Elliana Smith and Meghan Van Wert, may contribute as forwards. Sophomore Ava Leach may see time in the midfield and freshman Claire Evans has been working as a midfielder and forward.
“Our team is young; we only have three seniors,” Krut said. “We’re still figuring it out and putting the pieces together.”
Krut, who enters her second year as head coach, took away some positives from last season.
“The girls were getting into our team philosophy and they were really respectful on and off the field,” she said. “They were also working hard in the classroom and on the field.”
Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.