Warriors came close to a state tournament berth a year ago
Published in the September 6, 2016 edition.
By DAN MARGARITA
WAKEFIELD — With the beginning of the new school year comes the resumption of high school school sports. The Wakefield Memorial High field hockey is preparing for another season under the helm of coach Cara Luca.
The Warriors will seeking to improve on the 7-10-1 overall and 5-10-1 in the Middlesex League division record from a year ago. Wakefield was three points away from a state tournament berth and was in contention until the last several games of the season.
The overall numbers are down this year and there will be no freshman program. But between the varsity and JV squads, there are 40 kids involved in the program.
The team’s had three preseason scrimmages, going 2-1 in the process. The wins came against Saugus and Revere with the lone defeat coming at the hands of Lynnfield.
“It’s the beginning of the year and we have some things we need to work on. Right I’ve got to build the kids’ confidence level. They’re all very talented,” said Luca in her fifth year as head coach.
Wakefield will be led by senior captains Molly Leech, Meg Horrigan and Elena Mouradian. Leach returns in goal, while Horrigan and Mouradian will play in the midfield.
Vanessa Kaddaras, Olivia Cameron and Jenna Mello will be up front. Kaddaras and Cameron are juniors, while Mello is a senior.
In addition to Horrigan and Mouradian in the midfield and Briana Cieniewicz, a senior.
In the backfield are senior Julianne D’Ambrosio and newcomer Bernadette Mylan with the other halfback position to be determined. At the sweeper position, returning from last year is Kim Padilla-Oquendo, a senior.
Wakefield does have to fill the shoes of graduated seniors Julianne Bourque, Danielle Benedetto, Jillian Cataldo, Meaghan Hudson, Meaghan Kerrigan, Leigh O’Brien, Kaylyn Stewart and Rachel Tammaro.
When asked who might be the powerhouse teams in the league, Luca immediately named Watertown which has a 160 game unbeaten streak and hasn’t lost a game since the 2008 season. The Red Raiders are in Wakefield’s division and the Warriors will have to play them twice.
Also likely to be strong are Winchester and Belmont, two teams that play in the M.L. Liberty division.
“My forward line is very strong as long as they’re working together and doing the give-and-go. That will carry us down the field this year,” said Luca.
The Warriors open up the regular season on Friday afternoon at 3:45 p.m. when they host Reading at the Shaun Beasley Field complex in a crossover game against a M.L. Liberty division foe. Wakefield has crossover games against Reading on Monday, Sept. 12 and Arlington on Wednesday, Sept. 14 before it begins play in the M.L. Freedom division on Friday, Sept. 16 at Stoneham.