Win over Woburn kicks off season

Published September 13, 2019


MELROSE—The Melrose High field hockey team is off and running in their 2019 season. Led by coach Erin Parker, now in her third year as coach, Melrose rosters a solid group of upper-class leaders and promising young talent that has already helped them earn their first win of the season. 

Their returning seniors are bound to keep Melrose competitive. That includes Brooke Borstel, Courtney Borstel, Sophie Brennan, Sara Maguire, Taylor Heidebrcht, Nora Daly, Dagny Frankenthaler, Cindy Zhu, Sam Chabot and Emma Munro.

“Our strengths lie in our seniority and leadership,” says coach Parker. “We have ten seniors who have been with me for three years. They have bought into the program and have gone beyond wanting to win, to expecting to win. All the girls worked really hard this offseason. They came in in much better shape, with improved skills, and a desire to be better. They are more powerful and confident with the ball. We need to keep improving how we communicate and work together. We have new people and everyone is a bit different so it takes time.”

They also return some experienced underclassmen who will make a mark on the season including Brianna Stanton, Lizzie Casey, Morgan Maini, Kalina Piasecki and Catherine Mccarran.

THE MELROSE field hockey team opened their season with a win over Woburn. (file photo)

Melrose has a good handle on offense. “Our offense is much improved since last year,” says Parker. “Individuals have been working on their stick handling in the offseason. We have been connecting passes and working on different attack patterns. We are focusing on urgency in the circle for goal scoring. We have different role players. Nora is fast and helps the ball up the sideline. Kalina and Dagny are quick with their touches through defenders. Morgan is more of a finesse player who makes very intentional moves. We have younger players eager to contribute as well.”

Returning to the net is goalie Brianna Stanton. “Bri is a very skilled goalie and a great leader for us,” says the coach. In fact, their defense overall contains many veterans. “Two of our quickest players are actually defenders (Emma and Lizzie). Our defensive unit will be essential for success. Their greatest efforts are going to be putting their individual skills together as a unit.”

Last week, Melrose opened the season with a big 8-2 win over Woburn. Morgan Maini earned a hat trick for Melrose with three goals while Cindy Zhu scored twice and freshman Meghan Maher, Nora Daly, and sophomore Erin Sampson all found the net. Says Parker of the effort, “We focused on possession and working our passing patterns. I was very proud of them. I hope it gives them that taste to score more.”

Melrose is now 1-1 on the season after a 2-0 loss to Arlington, called at halftime due to thunder. “My disappointment is due to the fact that we didn’t get an opportunity to play a full game when we should have,” says Parker. “There was thunder prior to the half but it was ignored by the officials. Once half a game is played, the score stands. It was a learning experience for me.”

Having already picked up a victory over a Middlesex League large opponent, expect this team to be a victorious one. Says their coach,  “I plan every practice with an image of a state trophy in the girls hands. I go to every practice because I love the girls, the game, and the opportunity to battle. So if they believe in themselves as much as I do, compete, and inspire each other to be better, then I sleep easy at night knowing it was time well spent…and then I dream of that trophy.”