Coach: Vince Aceto (eighth year, 22-65-13 overall record)
2014 record: 3-9-3 (Lost, 4-1, to Kennebunk in Western A preliminary round)
Top returners: Summer Bourque (Senior), Jordan Carr (Senior), Chelsea Rairdon (Senior), Maddie Beaulieu (Junior)
Pivotal games: Sept. 4 GORHAM, Sept. 12 @ Deering, Sept. 23 SCARBOROUGH, Oct. 3 WINDHAM, Oct. 16 @ TA, Oct. 20 @ Cheverus
Coach’s comment: “Our team is very diverse in terms of ages. We will try to coordinate the lack of varsity level experience with gals who have played in this league and at this level for the past three or four years. I have no doubts that their work ethic and attitude will produce positive results while gaining valuable experience as a student-athletes.”
The Forecaster’s forecast: A year ago, McAuley reached the playoffs for the first time since 2010, but the Lions lost several key players (including reigning Fall Athlete of the Year, Ayla Tartre) and will have some holes to fill this autumn.
McAuley has the good fortune of being able to rely on two strong goalkeepers. Rairdon (a second-team league all-star in 2014) led the league in saves in 2014 and Carr wound up seventh. They’ll split time. Freshman Emma Ranello is a top defender to watch. Beaulieu anchors the midfield with help from freshman Alessia Toohey. Both girls will look to score their share of goals. Bourque is the striker. She’s joined up top by Ruby Fulham-Fitzgerald, a promising sophomore.
McAuley hopes for its first back-to-back trip to the playoffs since it went every year between 1998-2003. The Lions will have a tough time with the league’s elite teams, but should be able to contend with everyone else. If they can spring a surprise or two during the regular season, another trip to the postseason could be in store.
Coach: Stacey Sevelowitz (first year)
2014 record: 0-14 (no postseason)
Top returning players: Emma Spies (Junior), Samantha Witkowski (Junior), Elena Woods (Junior), Molly Barr (Sophomore), Gabrielle Begos (Sophomore)
Pivotal games: Sept. 8 SACOPEE, Sept. 10 NYA, Sept. 24 @ Sacopee, Sept. 28 @ NYA, Oct. 2 @ Greely, Oct. 8 LAKE REGION
Coach’s comment: “Our strength is in our numbers. Because we’ve combined two teams, we now have options for who will play in games. We’ve seen a lot of real talent during preseason. The girls are working hard and are already getting to know each other and are bonding as a team. My hope for the season is that we’re competitive in our league, that we communicate a lot and we learn and grow together. We’re working on building trust and with that trust, we can become a strong opponent for any team we play.”
The Forecaster’s forecast: McAuley field hockey has a new look this fall. After going 0-14 (for the third year in a row) and being outscored, 115-1, a year ago, a lack of players forced the school to form a co-op team with Waynflete. The CMW (Catherine McAuley Waynflete) Flying Lions will compete in Southern Class B this season and the operative word is compete, as this group hopes to win some games. Sevelowitz, a former Waynflete, Brunswick and Berwick Academy assistant, has some promising players to work with.
Barr, Begos and Woods will all look to score. Spies will help the defense. Witkowski returns in goal and was vying with Waynflete’s Kiera MacWhinnie for the starting spot at press time. Freshman forward Isabella Edwards is a key newcomer.
Look for the co-op team to hang close in most of its games and for the McAuley contingent to perform well. This group has nowhere to go but up and it could spring some surprises along the way.
Coach: Tim Donovan (13th year)
2014 results: Did not qualify for state meet (9th @ Western C regionals)
Top returners: Batoul Berro (Senior), Emma Downey (Senior), Megan French (Junior), Kiera Kenneally (Sophomore), Madison Lagassey (Sophomore), Maggie Murray (Sophomore)
Top foes: Scarborough, Westbrook
Coach’s comment: “We’ve added a few new girls even though the numbers in the school look have gone down. The kids that were added were underclassmen which will only help us down the line. I see it as a small but good bunch of kids. No superstars but some solid kids. I am looking forward to the season to see just what we might have.”
The Forecaster’s forecast: McAuley has the numbers to compete in the league and hopefully turn some heads in October.
Kenneally, an honorable mention league all-star in 2014, was last year’s top runner. She placed 28th at the regional meet. Laggassey also ran at the regional meet. Berro, Downey and French all have experience and Murray is hoping to play a bigger role. That group is bolstered by the addition of sophomores Catherine Cornell, Chloe Cott and Sanni Hackett and freshman Grace Downey.
McAuley should feature a solid pack which will keep it competitive throughout. If the Lions are running at their best at regionals, they could manage to qualify for states for the first time since 2010. Regardless, the core is young and the future is bright for the program.
Senior Summer Bourque will pace McAuley’s offense this fall as the Lions seek to return to the postseason.