Lawrence High School produced a good field hockey team in 2018.
But in 2019, Lawrence could have a great field hockey team.
All 11 starters are back from last year’s club, which went 10-9 and reached the quarterfinals of the NJSIAA Central Jersey, Group 2 sectional tournament, losing to Ocean Township High School, 2-1.
And those 11 starters are a very talented group, starting with sophomore Talia Schenck, who scored a program-record 39 goals last fall. That was a Lawrence record for both a single season and a career.
“Which is insane,” said Lawrence coach Megan Errico.
The Cardinals will open their 2019 regular season on Sept. 5 at Steinert High School. The opening face off is set for 4 p.m.
“We have a lot of talent,” said Errico. “I could list my entire roster and say that they are all phenomenal.”
“We’re very, very lucky,” she added.
It starts with Schenck up front, who came in and just dominated a year ago, scoring her way into Division 1 collegiate attention…with three years still to go in her high school career. Only one player in the entire state of New Jersey scored more goals than Schenck did in 2018. She is the kind of player who can carry a high school team deep into the postseason.
“She’s going to be huge for us,” Errico said.
But Schenck might not have to carry the Cardinals in 2019. She is hardly the team’s only marquee player.
Senior goaltender Madison Wingerter made 100 saves as a junior last fall, more than five per game. Senior midfielders Ola Kwasniwski and Jenna Cahill helped the Cards control possessions, leading to a lot of Schenck’s goals.
Senior Nicole Seeburger and junior Olivia Szela were “incredible” defensive anchors in 2018, Errico said.
Even Lawrence’s three other top scorers, the junior trio of Haley Adamczak, Brooke Roslon and Ashley Belgrave, who all recorded at least three goals or three assists last year, are all back for the 2019 campaign.
Errico said the chemistry was a little awkward last fall, as the Cards needed time to get to know each other. But now they are clicking in practices, and even having breakfasts and pasta parties together off the field.
Talent plus chemistry often leads to great success.
“We didn’t have any senior leadership last year and our juniors were quiet,” Errico said. “So the leadership wasn’t there.”
“This year I’m seeing the leadership from the seniors,” she added. “But I’m also seeing my juniors and sophomores help with that.”
The program even has depth this year. Lawrence usually has between 25 and 35 players in its field hockey program, and the ’19 Cardinals have 33 players, enough for full varsity and junior varsity rosters.
Errico didn’t name names among the varsity bench players and the JV players, but she did say they have talent. The coach is confident that, if they have to, the less experienced players can step in and make an impact in varsity games.
She has subbed a lot during Lawrence’s scrimmages this summer, and the Cardinals have won their last two scrimmages.
The expectations are high going into the regular season.
“We’d like to win the (Colonial Valley Conference’s Valley) Division,” Errico said.
“But as corny as it sounds, I hope it’s just a fun season for the players,” the coach concluded.