Lions again should be tough foe, in playoff mix
Belfast — The following is a synopsis of the 2014 Belfast Area High School field hockey team:
Coach/years coached current team: Jan Holmes-Jackson, second year.
Last year's record/playoff information: 7-7, No. 5 seed in Eastern Class B. The Lions pulled the mild upset over No. 4 Oceanside of Rockland/Thomaston 2-1 in overtime in the quarterfinals and lost to No. 1 Nokomis of Newport 4-0 in the semifinals.
Roster: Seniors Britt Littlefield (midfield), Madison Littlefield (goalie), Simone Pelletier (corner mid), Casey Thayer (center back), Katie Young (back), Madison Pickering (back, midfield) and Tierra Stevens (forward); juniors Alicia Gaiero (forward, midfield), Lindsey Blood (back, midfield) and Kelci Faulkingham (wing, forward); sophomores Kylie Nelson (forward), Anna Baiungo (forward) and Morgan Fernald (goalie); and freshman Kelsey Mehuren (midfield).
Known graduation losses: Maddy Cummings, Savana Wood, Hannah Bailey, Kristine Mehuren and Dakota Ward.
Significant impact players: Nelson, Faulkingham, Madison Littlefield, Pelletier, Thayer and Britt Littlefield.
Team strength: Passing.
Team goal: To secure at least one home game in the Eastern Class B playoffs.
Top league opponents: Camden Hills of Rockport, Mount View of Thorndike and Oceanside of Rockland/Thomaston.
Outlook: Losing Cummings, who scored 49 goals during her four years at Belfast, will admittedly be a tough pill to swallow, but Holmes-Jackson said she is “hoping Kylie and Kelci help fill that void.”
The coach said said Nelson, who scored 10 goals as a freshman last year, figures to be a “scoring machine” this fall for the Lions and Nelson and Faulkingham “play up the right side very nice together.”
Overall, Holmes-Jackson is encouraged by what she has seen in the preseason and feels her team will be in the postseason hunt come October.
“We need to have our people do well,” she said. “As long as we stay healthy, we're going to be in the playoffs. We're going to get there. And we're going to try to work harder so we can be home in the playoffs and not be on the road.”
As with any athletic team, there always is room for improvement, Holmes-Jackson said.
“Our defensive transition, we are still a little off, so we need to work on that," the coach said.
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