Friday, October 23, 2020 | 7:36 PM
Penn Trafford’s Delaney Shusko plays against Fox Chapel on Oct. 15.
If the seeds hold, WPIAL field hockey will see repeat champions across the board when the playoffs begin next week.
The defending champs — Pine-Richland in Class AAA, Penn-Trafford in Class AA and Shady Side Academy in Class A — received top seeds when postseason pairings were announced Friday.
In Wednesday’s Class AAA semifinals, Pine-Richland, which has won two of the last three championships, will host Mt. Lebanon, and North Allegheny will visit Peters Township, the 2018 champs.
Penn-Trafford, which finished the regular season 13-0, has won four straight Class AA titles. On Tuesday, the Warriors will host Upper St. Clair, and Latrobe will visit Fox Chapel.
Shady Side Academy, the two-time defending champ in Class A, will host Winchester Thurston in Wednesday’s semifinals. Aquinas Academy will visit Ellis School.
The finals will be played at Fox Chapel: Class AA and A on Monday, Nov. 2, and Class AAA on Wednesday, Nov. 4.
Mt. Lebanon Field Hockey Youth Program Return-to-Play
COVID-19 Healthy and Safety Guidelines
General considerations: Youth players returning to the field in the Green Phase will be grouped into small, static groups and will remain with the same small group daily. Hand hygiene and social distancing will be maintained and enforced by coaches. Equipment sharing will be limited and shared equipment will be sanitized daily. Illness monitoring as well as communication standards will be established and followed.
The following practices are based on the most current guidance by the CDC, PA Dept. of Health, and USA Field Hockey.
Part 1 – Reducing Spread
• Coaches and players will be asked to stay home if they have tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 14 days, have been exposed to anyone who has tested positive within the last 14 days, or are experiencing any COVD-19 symptoms.
o The CDC defines possible COVID-19 symptoms as:
▪ Fever (defined as temperature above 100.4 F) or chills
▪ Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
▪ Muscle or body aches
▪ New loss of taste or smell
▪ Sore throat
▪ Congestion or runny nose
▪ Nausea or vomiting
o Parents will be asked to provide temperature checks and assess their children for symptoms prior to practices and games. Any players with fevers (temp over 100.4 F) or symptoms will be asked to remain at home.
o Coaches will be asked to check their own temperatures and monitor symptoms prior to practices and games. Any coaches with fevers (temp over 100.4 F) or symptoms will be asked to stay home.
o Coaches will continue to monitor players and themselves for symptoms while at practice or games.
o Players and coaches will be asked to self-report symptoms should they begin to experience them during camp.
o Flexible attendance policies will be adopted for both players and coaches to encourage staying home in the event of illness or symptoms.
• Hand Hygiene
o Players and coaches will be asked to used hand sanitizer (containing at least 60% alcohol) provided by
the Field Hockey Association at arrival, departure, during water breaks, and after using restroom
o Hand hygiene standards will be encouraged and enforced by coaching staff.
• Avoidance of Unnecessary Contact/Saliva Exposure
o Hand-shaking, fist bumps and high-fives as well as other unnecessary physical contact with coaches,
teammates, other athletes, officials and spectators before during, and after games is to be avoided.
o Activities that increase the risk of exposure to saliva (such as chewing gum, spitting, licking fingers,
eating sunflower seeds, etc.) will not be permitted.
• Mask Usage
o Masks will be required for coaches and volunteers.
o Masks will be required for players on the sidelines and where social-distancing is difficult unless engaged in active play.
o Masks will be made available by the Field Hockey Association for players and/or coaches for those who do not have their own.
Part 2 – Maintaining a Healthy Environment
• All games and practices will occur outside.
• Coaches and volunteers will encourage and enforce 6-ft. social distancing guidelines both on the field and on
the sidelines whenever feasible.
• Shared Equipment/Cleaning Protocols
o Players will be asked to bring their own clearly labeled sticks, water bottles, and protective equipment.
▪ Any loaned sticks will be sanitized after return.
▪ Personal affects will be placed in a separate area for each player rather than grouped together.
o Shared equipment including cones, balls, and goals will be handled only by coaches where possible and sanitized following play daily.
o Goalie equipment will only be used by one player per day and will be sanitized after each session.
o In the event that multiple games will be held at the same facility, adequate time will be scheduled between contests to allow for facilities to be cleaned and disinfected and to minimize contact
Part 3 – Maintaining Healthy Operations
• Dropoff and pickup procedures will be modified to encourage social distancing.
o Players will be asked to wait in their cars until it is time for practices or games to begin.
o Players will go directly to their cars at the end of each practice and game.
• Parents will be asked to remain in their cars and not gather or spectate practices at this time. In the event that a parent should need to approach camp, they will be asked to maintain social distancing guidelines including mask-wearing.
• Designated Points of Contact
o The President of the Association will be designated as the COVID-19 Point of Contact for the organization. Any questions about the Association’s practices as they relate to COVID-19 can be directed to this individual
o Coaches will be responsible for monitoring daily adherence to standards during camp.
• Communication Procedures
o New COVID-19 standards and practices will be communicated to all coaches, volunteers, players, and parents prior to the start of camp.
o An Emergency Contact List including at least two emergency numbers for each player will be provided to all coaches prior to the start of the season.
o Coach and administrator contact information will be provided to each family prior to the start of the season.
Part 4 – When Someone Gets Sick
• In the event that a player develops COVID-19 symptoms during a practice or game, the player will be isolated in a separate area of the field.
o A coach who needs to be in contact with the affected player will wear a mask, and gloves provided by the Association.
o The affected player will also be asked to wear a mask.
o A parent will be contacted to pick up the player immediately.
• In the event that a coach develops COVID-19 symptoms during a practice or game, the coach will leave the premises immediately.
• Any areas known to have been used by the affected player or coach will be closed immediately.
• Any objects known to have been used by the affected player or coach will be isolated and sanitized after 24 hours or as long as possible.
• In the event of a subsequent positive or presumed positive case of COVID-19, local health officials will be notified, as will any players or coaches who are known to have been in close contact with the affected individual.
For questions regarding these procedures, please contact:
President, Mt. Lebanon Field Hockey Association
By: Ray Fisher
Tuesday, October 22, 2019 | 6:08 PM
Mt. Lebanon field hockey players, from left, Annika Ohrman (11), Georgia Eson (15) and Emilia Krakora (21) compete during a 2019 match.
The directional arrow for the Mt. Lebanon field hockey team pointed skyward this season.
A top-four finish in Division I is the goal the team has been poised to reach for its program.
The Blue Devils finally broke down that barrier thanks to a 15-2-1 regular-season record and 8-1 section mark.
The top four seeds for the WPIAL AAA playoffs are Pine-Richland, Mt. Lebanon, Peters Township and North Allegheny.
In first-round action Wednesday night at Pine-Richland, Mt. Lebanon squares off with Peters Township at 6 p.m. and the host Rams take on North Allegheny at 7:30. The winners will meet Monday in the championship game at Fox Chapel.
“Over the past few seasons, we’ve been very close to making it into the top four in order to make it to playoffs,” coach Julie Buschman said. “In fact, last year we were simply one goal short of that with an end-of-season 1-0 loss to Norwin.
“From the beginning, I’ve felt confident this team would be capable of doing so, which has been our goal, to break into that top four. We’ve worked hard to take (it) one game at a time, knowing that making it to the postseason and competing for a WPIAL championship is the direction we wanted to go.”
Mt. Lebanon owns wins over Peters Township and North Allegheny this season, as well as victories over Division I foes Fox Chapel, Allderdice, Hempfield, Upper St. Clair, Norwin and Penn-Trafford. Both Blue Devils losses were to Pine-Richland, by scores of 1-0 and 2-1.
“Both were competitive games,” Buschman said.
On the season, Mt. Lebanon, which posted a 10-5-3 record a year ago, has outscored the opposition by a lopsided 81-12 margin with 11 shutouts.
Mt. Lebanon’s top point-producers are senior midfielders Pfeifer Hill and Emilia Krakora and senior forward Georgia Eson. Hill and Krakora are team captains. Both were named to the All-WPIAL squad in Division I in 2018.
Other starters/key reserves include junior Delfina Szigethy and seniors Annika Orhman and Maddie Reisinger at forward; junior Hope Husak, senior Cara Lynch and sophomore Lauren Ghil at midfield; seniors Caroline Zappone and Katie Karstens and junior Ally Schuler on defense; and senior Katie Pituch in goal.
“This is a hard-working group of girls who have focused all season on attacking and defending as a team,” Buschman said. “They work to make connections up the field, and we are growing in our ability to defend as a unit. We have focused on team effort, both offensively and defensively, and are really proud of our team effort.”
“I am excited to break into the top four and have the opportunity to continue to compete in the postseason.”
Buschman is in her fifth year as Mt. Lebanon’s field boss. She coached the JV team in 2014. Next spring, she will be in her 11th year as coach of the Mt. Lebo girls lacrosse team.
Prior to her tenure at Mt. Lebanon, she coached lacrosse for one season at her alma mater, Annandale (Va.), where she competed in field hockey and lacrosse for four years.
After high school, Buschman continued her lacrosse career at James Madison.
“My goal as a coach is to create a positive environment in which the girls can learn, grow and compete as players and as people,” Buschman said
They combined for impressive totals of 54 goals and 26 assists this season.
The top three point-producers on the WPIAL playoff-bound Mt. Lebanon field hockey team consist of Hill, a midfielder who led the squad with 22 goals and 11 assists, Eson, a forward with 21 goals and seven assists, and Krakora, a midfielder with 11 goals and eight assists. All three are seniors.
Hill and Krakora are co-captains. Both plan to continue their athletic careers in college, Hill at Rochester for field hockey and Krakora at Bowdoin for lacrosse. Both also are cerebral competitors. Krakora has a 4.8 GPA, and Hill’s is 4.7.
“I think this year we came out hungry to build off what we accomplished last year,” Hill said. “We had a lot of returning players who are passionate about the sport and want to see the team be a major competitor in the conference. I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished.
“The number of all-around athletes we have is amazing. When my teammates step on the field, I know I can trust them to give 100%. Our goal coming into the season was to make the semis, but now we’re eager to earn a spot in the WPIAL finals. I think we’re especially driven to continue our momentum.”
Hill has competed in field hockey since the sixth grade. She also is a distance runner in the Mt. Lebanon girls track program.
“(Field hockey) has been such a substantial part of my life that I can’t imagine where I’d be without it,” she said. “Of course, I love learning the tactical skills and getting a beautiful shot off, but the team aspect is what sticks with me the most. The connections I’ve made with my teammates make playing our games even more exciting.”
Turning a page
Krakora kicked off her field hockey career in the eighth grade. She has positive vibes about the Blue Devils’ playoff chances.
“I’m really proud of how we have developed and worked together this season,” she said. “We’re excited to be in the playoffs, and hopeful that Mt. Lebanon will be turning a page in terms of heading to the playoffs in the future.
“Our strengths are our hustle and speed, as well as our connections and defensive transitions. We expect to hustle to every ball, play as a unit and play to the whistle.”
Krakora, who plays the piano, is a volunteer at Animal Friends, and is involved in her church youth group, Greek dance and swing dance.
“I started playing field hockey because it requires stick skills and running, like lacrosse,” she said.
Eson, meanwhile, said this year’s team has been highly motivated to advance to the playoffs. Eson is committed to the University of New England to continue for field hockey, which she began playing just a few years ago.
“Our team has made some great improvements from last season,” she said. “I think our loss against Norwin last year and not making the playoffs really made us grow a lot from then to now. We have become a really smart team. We’ve always been a fast team, but now I think we are a smart team, too.
“We’ve really connected the pieces on how to play as a unit, and use the field to our advantage. With the returning players from last season, we already had a good chemistry with each other. But that motivation from last season’s loss has really made us click to have a greater chemistry and work ethic. We’ve grown and matured a lot since last season.
“We are a fast team. We have always had that trait. But this year’s team really knows how to pass and not just rely on speed.”
Eson owns a 3.9 GPA, is a Furiends Club member and also competes in lacrosse. During the winter months, she competes in indoor field hockey for the Pittsburgh Venom.
“What draws me to field hockey is the shear competitiveness and team mentality,” she said. “Being able to have teammates always having your back is what really got me to like this sport.
“For someone like me who enjoys being competitive, I really love the competition we see in this division.”
By: Michael Love
Thursday, November 7, 2019 | 5:16 PM
Shady Side Academy goalkeeper Thea Conomikes celebrates with Kate Nury (right) and Marnie McCormick after defeating The Ellis School in the WPIAL Class A field hockey final Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019, at Fox Chapel High School. SSA won, 1-0.
The WPIAL wrapped up the 2019 field hockey season Thursday with the release of its Division I and II all-star lists.
North Allegheny and Mt. Lebanon, WPIAL Class AAA playoff qualifiers, led the way with three Division I first-team selections apiece, while champion Pine-Richland and runner-up Peters Township each had two selected to the first team.
WPIAL Class A champion Shady Side Academy, runner-up Ellis School and Aquinas Academy each placed three on the Division II first team, while Sewickley Academy and Oakland Catholic had two first-team selections.
Maya DeNoma, North Allegheny, Sr., Defender
Georgia Eson, Mt. Lebanon, Sr., Forward
Andie Hardin, Allderdice, Sr., Goalkeeper
Marisa Hess, North Allegheny, Jr., Midfield
Pfeifer Hill, Mt. Lebanon, Sr., Midfield
Cassidy King, Peters Township, Jr., Midfield
Emelia Krakora, Mt. Lebanon, Sr., Midfield
Ava Loskoch, Pine-Richland, Sr., Midfield
Rachel Lundie, Hempfield, Sr., Forward
Karlie Pavlic, Norwin, Jr., Forward
Sloan Rost, Fox Chapel, Sr., Forward
Ella Rottinghaus, Pine-Richland, Jr., Midfield
Nica Schratz, Peters Township, Sr., Forward
Madeline Takos, Upper St. Clair, Sr., Forward
Hailey Wachowiak, North Allegheny, Sr., Forward
Abby Baratka, Pine-Richland, Sr., Goalkeeper
Ally Barcaskey, North Allegheny, Sr., Defender
Elaina Camino, Pine-Richland, Jr., Defender
Allyson Doran, Penn-Trafford, Jr., Forward
Teresa Dube, Hempfield, Sr., Midfield
Bailee Kelly, Norwin, Sr., Goalkeeper
Keegan Kline, Pine-Richland, Sr., Defender
Emma Little, Penn-Trafford, Jr., Midfield
Ellie Markel, Fox Chapel, Sr., Forward
Emma Mazur, Norwin, Jr., Forward
Katie Pituch, Mt. Lebanon, Sr., Goalkeeper
Alexa Sharron, Pine-Richland, Sr., Midfield
Caroline Zappone, Mt. Lebanon, Sr., Defender
Anika Sinha, Upper St. Clair, Sr., Defender
Heidi Van Dyk, Pine-Richland, Sr., Midfield
Zoe Zeff, Allderdice, Sr., Defender
Ilona Bender, Ellis School, Fr., Defender
Laura Childs, Winchester Thurston, Jr., Midfield
Zoe Conomikes, Shady Side Academy, Sr., Forward
Sophie Freuhauf, Sewickley Academy, Sr., Defender
Jessica Huwar, Oakland Catholic, Sr., Midfield
Lauren Jones, Latrobe, Jr., Forward
Emi Kartsonas, Aquinas Academy, Soph., Defender
Kat Kicinski, Oakland Catholic, Sr., Defender
Annabel Kuhn, Shady Side Academy, Jr., Forward
Gina Liguori, Aquinas Academy, Sr., Goalkeeper
Tegan Poerio, Ellis School, Jr., Midfield
Emma Queen, Aquinas Academy, Soph., Midfield
Annie Trimbur, Ellis School, Sr., Defender
Jenny Woodings, Shady Side Academy, Soph., Midfield
Ellie Zack, Sewickley Academy, Jr., Forward
Aira Bazaz, Ellis School, Sr., Defender
Claudia Brelsford, Winchester Thurston, Soph., Midfield
Cecelia Messner, Shady Side Academy, Soph., Midfield
Sarah Phillips, Sewickley Academy, Sr., Goalkeeper
Hannah Rust, Ellis School, Jr., Forward
Katie Slaymaker, Winchester Thurston, Sr., Defender
Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .
By: HSSN Staff
Wednesday, December 5, 2018 | 6:57 PM
The Peters Township, Penn-Trafford and Shady Side Academy field hockey teams captured WPIAL championships in 2018, and all three were well represented on the All-WPIAL Division I and II squads released recently.
Jessie Kolesar, Norwin
Emelia Krakora, Mt. Lebanon
Veronica Schratz, Peters Township
Greta Schratz, Peters Township
Ella Rottinghaus, Pine-Richland
Kayley Cooper, North Allegheny
Madeline Takos, Upper St. Clair
Bridget Russell, North Allegheny
Ellie Markel, Fox Chapel
Ava Loskoch, Pine-Richland
Falon Murray, Penn-Trafford
Pfeifer Hill, Mt. Lebanon
Megan Casciola, Peters Township
Hailey Wachowiak, North Allegheny
Alexis Birkland, Norwin
Elaina Camino, Pine-Richland
Maura Farinelli, Peters Township
Maura Columbus, Norwin
Fay Sahinidis, Mt. Lebanon
Heidi Van Dyk, Pine-Richland
Alexa Sharron, Pine-Richland
Sloan Rost, Fox Chapel
Brianna Gutierrez, Hempfield
Marissa Hardiman, Fox Chapel
Noel Awad, Mt. Lebanon
Lauren Kelly, Penn-Trafford
Rebecca Klaas, Fox Chapel
Lauren Wholey, Upper St. Clair
Alora Sharron, Pine-Richland
Macy Levick, Allderdice
Katie Donofrio, Norwin
Leah Ewers, Ellis School
Caroline Cox, Sewickly Academy
Abby Todd, Shady Side Academy
Tegan Poerio, Ellis School
Erica Davis, Ellis School
Jessica Huwar, Oakland Catholic
Annabel Kuhn, Shady Side Academy
Laura Childs, Winchester Thurston
Kathryn Kicinski, Oakland Catholic
Clara McCormick, Shady Side Academy
Katie Jones, Sewickley Academy
Megan Bulova, Winchester Thurston
Alyssa Dempsey, Greater Latrobe
Gina Liguori, Aquinas Academy
Natalie Hyrzca, Aquinas Academy
Max McMichael, Greater Latrobe
Zoe Conomikes, Shady Side Academy
Genna Barge, Ellis School
Polly Farnsworth, Oakland Catholic
Annabel Everett, Shady Side Academy
Emma Queen, Aquinas Academy
Lauren Mroch, Aquinas Academy
Sarah Phillips, Sewickley Academy
Maggie Goebel, Sewickley Academy
Nadine Oury, Winchester Thurston
Katie Slaymaker, Winchester Thurston
Michael Love is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Michael at email@example.com or via Twitter @MLove_Trib.