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McAuley Lions 2010 Fall Sports Preview

Sports

McAuley Lions 2010 Fall Sports Preview

McAuley's fall teams are primed to improve in 2010. Soccer expects to be in the hunt for a playoff spot. Field hockey is poised to turn some close losses from last year into victories this time around. Cross country always boasts some strong runners and this fall should be no exception.

SOCCER

COACH: Vince Aceto (third year)

2009 Record: 3-8-3 (no postseason)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Allison Bonner (Senior), Maura Esten (Senior), Olivia Crozier (Junior), Hannah Cooke (Sophomore), Molly Miller (Sophomore)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Sept. 3 (H) PORTLAND, Sept. 17 (H) WINDHAM, Sept. 21 @ Gorham, Sept. 29 @ Deering, Oct. 1 (H) SCARBOROUGH, Oct. 6 @ South Portland, Oct. 15 @ Thornton Academy, Oct. 19 (H) CHEVERUS

COACH’S COMMENT: “The girls will compete. Every team can set a goal to win a berth in the playoffs. We set that goal, but we have our eye on the prize. The girls know what they have to do and that is to succeed at achieving their goals. Staying healthy and playing a good brand of soccer will be necessary to compete against schools with three to four times our enrollment. I have confidence that 2010 will be a turning point for our program.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: McAuley is a team to watch in 2010. The Lions were very close to getting over the hump last year, tying three games (including one against rival and traditional contender Cheverus) and losing four others by a goal. This year's team has a nice blend of youth and experience. Miller is a returning league all-star who stopped 85 percent of the shots she faced in 2009. Crozier anchors the defense. The offense features Bonner, Cooke and Esten (last year's leader in assists). A quartet of new sophomores will provide even more depth and talent. Delaney Regan, Sam Schildroth, Sam Sivovlos and Gabby Townsend will soon make their presence felt. Schildroth and Townsend helped revive the softball program last spring. McAuley's challenge is simple. The Lions need to get clutch scoring and win the close games. The athleticism and hunger are in place for a quantum leap in the standings. If all goes well, McAuley could boast its first winning record since 2002 and might make the postseason for the first time since the 2003 campaign. The future is certainly bright. The present might be something special.

FIELD HOCKEY

COACH: Lauren Gillespie (second year)

2009 Record: 1-13 (no postseason)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Autumn Becker (Senior), Nona Gillis (Senior), Michelle Girard (Senior), Mary Macaluso (Senior), Sara Mercier (Senior), Tori Tenenbaum (Senior), Danielle Allen (Junior), Katie Dubois (Junior), Allison Freeman (Junior), Jaime LaCasse (Junior), Cat Snow (Junior), Nicole Traugh (Junior), Liz Houston (Sophomore)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Sept. 3 @ Thornton Academy, Sept. 8 (H) WINDHAM, Sept. 14 (H) DEERING, Sept. 25 (H) SANFORD, Sept. 30 (H) WESTBROOK, Oct. 4 (H) CHEVERUS, Oct. 6 @ Gorham

COACH’S COMMENT “We have a veteran midfield this year. All the newcoming freshman are fit and incredibly coachable. All could see varsity time by the end of the season. We look to improve every day and every game.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Field hockey is another sport in which McAuley is primed to make vast improvement. The Lions must score more goals. They rattled the cage only five times in 2009 and if they'd managed a little more offense easily could have won more games. This time around, Gillespie is confident the scoring will come. Leading the way is Mercier, who was a first-team league all-star last autumn. She'll look to do some damage, while getting help from the likes of Becker, Dubois, Gillis, Girard, Freeman, Houston, Macaluso, Tenenbaum and new sophomores Alla Agren and Colleen Geaumont. Dubois, Girard and Mercier will look to not only score, but control the midfield and deliver on penalty corners. Allen and Snow return on defense and are complemented by new sophomores Alyssa Hodgton and Hana Martinez and freshman Laura Rose. LaCasse was an honorable mention all-star last year and returns in goal. Traugh is the backup. There is no shortage of talent or athleticism on the roster. The Lions simply need some confidence. Early victories could allow this team to break out and become a contender for a playoff spot. While the postseason might still be in the future, McAuley isn't far from becoming a factor. This team will be fun to watch as it climbs the standings in 2010.

CROSS COUNTRY

COACH: Tim Donovan (ninth year)

2009 Results: Did not qualify for state meet (13th @ regionals)

TOP RETURNING RUNNERS: Becca Kaiser (Junior), Kate Liziewski (Junior), Sadie DiPierro (Junior)

TOP FOES: Cheverus ,Scarborough

COACH’S COMMENT: “We at this time are just looking to make states after missing last year for the first time in seven years. We will have a pack of three to four, not sure where they will be. We're looking for a No. 5 runner. I have a very small, young team, but am excited for the season..”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: McAuley has been a consistent contender in cross country, but failed to make the state meet in 2009. Don't expect the Lions to be down for long. Even after losing standout Lauren Fecteau to graduation, they'll be a factor. Top returners from last year include Kaiser (68th at the regional meet a year ago) and Liziewski (101st). DiPierro will also be heard from. Several newcomers are poised to add depth and become runners to watch. That group includes juniors Taxia Arabatzis and Kira Pilger and freshmen Heather Chapman, Lauren Coulombe, Carolyn Liziewski, Catherine Possiel and Mahalia Saenz. For the first time in a long time, McAuley doesn't have a front line standout, but the Lions' pack could prove to be good enough to get the job done. Look for steady improvement from this group and if the newcomers pan out, McAuley's postseason drought might end at one year. This program will only get better in future seasons.