CHESTERTOWN, Md. — To say that head coach Anne Kietzman's first year at the helm of the Washington College field hockey team was a success would be an understatement. The Shorewomen returned to the Centennial Conference Tournament for the first time in three years and either defeated or played to within one goal every single conference opponent on their schedule. With eight returning starters - including all five of last year's leading scorers - back in the fold this fall, the 2018 season could be another breakthrough campaign for the Shorewomen.
Sophomore forward Kailyn Brandt (White Hall, Md./Hereford) had an outstanding freshman season a year ago, starting 17 of 18 games and leading the team in goals (10), assists (six), points (26), and shots (56). Her point and assist totals were the highest marks by and freshman in program history and she was named the Centennial Conference Rookie of Year, landing on the All-Centennial first team and All-South Region second team.
Brandt is one of three current Shorewomen to have earned All-Centennial honors during her career. Senior midfielder Nicole Schroyer (Stevensville, Md./Kent Island) was named an All-Centennial honorable mention last year while scoring four goals and assisting on three others in 17 games, 16 of them starts. Senior goalkeeper Morgan Domanico (Bel Air, Md./Bel Air) was named an All-Centennial honorable mention two years ago and was named the team's MVP last year after turning in a career-best .774 save percentage last year while starting all 18 games.
Senior forward Emily Pantazes (Middletown, Del./Middletown) started 17 of 18 games last season and was the team's second-leading point-getter with seven goals and two assists. Senior midfielder Maggie Cancelmo (Berwyn, Pa./Bishop Shanahan) made 16 starts in 18 games, tallied two assists, and notched a defensive save. Sophomore forward Grace Steele (Marmora, N.J./Ocean City) scored seven goals as a freshman while making 14 starts in 18 games played. Senior forward Clare Ingersoll (Chestertown, Md./Gunston School) made 14 starts in 18 games played, scoring three goals and assisting on another. Senior midfielder Olivia Auer (Forest Hill, Md./Bel Air), meanwhile, scored four goals and added two assists while making 12 starts in 18 games.
With nine starts in 17 games played last season, junior midfielder Sophie Grabiec (Newport, Pa./Newport) finished just outside the top 11 on the team in starts, but is also among the team's top returners after scoring one goal and adding a defensive save last season. Senior defender Sabrina Jenkins (Annapolis, Md./Annapolis) saw time in 17 games and made five starts, while senior forward Alison Pantazes (Middletown, Md./Middletown) chalked up one goal and two assists in 15 games played, three of them starts. Junior defender Kylie Weiss (Warminster, Pa./William Tennet) was named the team's Most Improved Player a year ago after making one start in 10 games played.
Junior defender Abigail McGowan (Wilmington, Del./Padua Academy), junior midfielder/defender Jessie Willey (Salisbury, Md./Parkside), sophomore forward/midfielder Catherine Keirn (White Hall, Md./Hereford), sophomore midfielder Megan Ritchey (Lancaster, Pa./Penn Manor), sophomore midfielder/defender Parker Wolf (Reisterstown, Md./McDonogh School), and sophomore goalkeeper Kayla Zapcic (Lancaster, Pa./Manheim Township) round out the Shorewomen's list of returners from last season. Ritchey was used primarily as a penalty-stroke specialist last season and found the back of the cage on all three attempts. Zapcic appeared in three games as Domanico's back-up without allowing a goal.
Returning to the team this season after a one-year absence is forward Molly Johnston (Norwell, Mass./Norwell). Johnston scored one goal in 10 games played as a freshman in 2016. Five freshmen join the team this fall - defender Logan Albrecht (Hamburg, Pa./Hamburg Area), forward Maddie Knight (Parkton, Md./Hereford), forward Alyssa McGinnis (Middletown, Del./St. Georges Tech), midfielder Khloe Nutwell (Tracys Landing, Md./Southern), and defender Madison Parker (Seaford, Del./Sussex Tech).
Kietzman will be joined on the sideline this year by returning volunteer assistant Amanda Bramble and new assistant coach Cody Hunsicker, an All-Patriot League student-athlete at Lafayatte. The coaching staff will look to build upon last season, which saw the Shorewomen finish 9-9 overall and 6-4 in conference play, good enough for the fourth seed in the conference tournament.
Total Games: 18 (11 home and seven away)
Away and Season Opener: August 31 at Wesley (4:00 p.m.)
Home Opener: September 1 versus Mary Washington (7:00 p.m.)
Centennial Home Opener: September 20 versus Bryn Mawr (7:00 p.m.)
Centennial Away Opener: September 15 at Gettysburg (1:00 p.m.)
Centennial Home Opponents: Bryn Mawr, McDaniel (9/29), Dickinson (10/6), Haverford (10/10), Muhlenberg (10/27)
Centennial Road Opponents: Gettysburg, Johns Hopkins (9/22), Swarthmore (10/3), Franklin & Marshall (10/13), Ursinus (10/24)
Non-Conference Home Opponents: Mary Washington, Stevenson (9/8), Salisbury (9/12), St. Mary's (Md.) (9/26), Centre (10/14), Gwynedd Mercy (10/20)
Non-Conference Road Opponents: Wesley, York (Pa.) (9/16)