Lake Forest field hockey striving for strong finish to regular season

FELTON – Lake Forest’s varsity field hockey squad struggled early in the 2016 season, winning just one of its first seven games—a Sept. 24 victory over Hodgson Vo-Tech. Over that seven-game span, the Spartans’ offense scored a combined seven goals.

While Lake Forest’s 18-player roster includes 10 seniors and is loaded with talented players, the early season results weren’t quite what the coaches were hoping for. The offense was seeing opportunities to score, but were unable to finish plays and put the ball in the net.

“The first half of the season was difficult,” said Spartans’ assistant coach and head JV coach Dana Kelley. “There was lot of competition, and the goals just weren’t there. But here in the second part of the season we’re feeling hopeful. We definitely have talent on the team it’s just about putting it all together.”

Over the last five games dating back to an Oct. 10 match-up with Woodbridge, however, head coach Michele Tucker has seen her team scoring goals left and right.

The team’s current five-game win streak, which has the Spartans sitting at 6-5-1, includes wins over Woodbridge (3-0), Brandywine (5-2), Sussex Central (9-0), Seaford (10-0) and Indian River (2-1).

The Oct. 10 victory over Seaford saw a hat trick (three goals) from seniors Mya Maddox and Zara Collison, two goals from junior Kaitlyn Stahre, and one goal apiece from senior Caitlin Records and sophomore Julianna Tyndall.

Over the two-game span in which Lake Forest combined to outscore opponents 19-0, Stahre scored seven goals and recorded two assists.

Even though the current roster is filled with seniors, the coaching staff has faith in the leadership and talent of its underclassmen.

“They’re really going to be missed,” coach Kelley said. “Having 10 seniors is a big part of the team, but we’re real excited to see that the program has improved and increased in players. We started three years ago with no JV, and now we have 34 girls on the roster. So, that’s exciting.”

Lake Forest will finish off the 2016 regular season with road match-ups against Polytech (Oct. 27), Laurel (Oct. 28) and Caesar Rodney (Nov. 1).

Sports editor Ben Heck can be reached at bheck@newszap.com

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