The Sandwich field hockey team returns 17 players who saw regular playing time in a Blue Knights’ run to the Division 2 South semifinals last year.
Though they lost to eventual Division 2 champion and former Atlantic Coast League rival Dennis-Yarmouth, the Knights graduated only one player from that team and welcome back a slew of veteran underclassmen.
“We’re still really young, but a lot of the sophomores have played with me for three years now. And the freshmen, quite a few of them played with me as 8th graders,” Knights head coach Kelsy Beaton said.
With only three seniors—all captains—and three more juniors, the Knights are still young, but experienced. Beaton said the captains will be midfielder Kylie Quinn, back Maddie Lemire and right wing Sophie Esdale. In total, the program boasts 43 players including the junior varsity team, which Beaton said was nearly identical to last year’s numbers.
Offensively, the Knights return sophomores Paige Hawkins, Haley McLaughlin and Lily Tobin as well as junior Maura McIver, whom Beaton said “looks great this year.” And the team’s leading scorer from last year, junior Macey White, may make the shift to midfield as the Knights are top-heavy in the offensive end of the field, though she would still be considered an offensive mid.
“Macey may move to the midfield, but I worry because she’s such a scoring threat,” Beaton said. “We have a lot of offensive players, so she’s one of the girls I’m going to try to move around, but keep her as an offensive mid.”
Protecting the goal, again for the third time in as many years, is sophomore Sarah Currey, accounting for one of the 17 returning varsity players.
“That’s a big number and really helpful,” Beaton said. “They know my style and my drills and energy during practice and games.”
The standings will have a different look in 2019 as Sandwich will join the Cape & Islands League-Large Division. Though D-Y will be following Sandwich to the new league, the Dolphins will not have three of their top players from last year’s state championship team. Despite the loss Beaton expects D-Y to still be a difficult rival like it was in the now-defunct ACL.
In the new Large Division of the Cape & Islands League, Sandwich players will battle against Nauset, Falmouth, Dennis-Yarmouth and Barnstable—all opponents they’d regularly face twice in previous years. For example, the Knights went 4-2-4 in 10 combined games against their new division rivals last year.
As Sandwich readies for its season-opener against non-league opponent Bishop Stang at home on Wednesday, September 4, at 4 PM at DeConto Stadium, the Knights will hold a scrimmage with Falmouth today at 11:15 AM.