Returning starters key for Golden Elks
Special to the Whig
Renee Dunn takes over as the third head coach in three years for an Elkton High School field hockey team that finished 7-5 overall and 5-2 in the Susquehanna Division in 2015. Dunn — a 2013 graduate and 2012 All-County selection (and two time honorable mention) herself — returns seven starters from last year’s squad.
Among the returners is three-time All County selection Erin DePaul, who tallied nine goals, and four assists in 2015. Leading scorer Vanessa Dunn, a two-time AllCounty selection and Renee’s younger sister, is also back in the fold after racking up 11 goals and six assists in her sophomore campaign.
“Vanessa and Erin are definitely our two big workhorses,” coach Dunn said. “They work so hard. They are the kind of players that give 110 percent, no matter what I ask of them in practice.”
Other key returners include senior Julia Matsen, junior Nicole Baldino, senior Maddie Rzucidlo, sophomore Hannah Moore and senior Savelle Brown. Both Brown and Rzucidlo have earned honorable mention All-County nods in the past.
Junior goalkeeper Fallon Katz is also back to mind the cage.
Freshmen Riley Esterling and Brooklynn Rau have also impressed in the early practices, and should be contributors to the Golden Elks success this season. Dunn credits the inclusive team culture with helping some of the younger players get up to speed so quickly.
“That’s the one good thing about this team, we are a very tight-knit group,” she said. “We don’t have a JV, so the varsity really is our entire team — they all just treat each other amazing, and they are all great girls.”
All-in-all, Dunn believes that Elkton has the firepower to push for the lower division crown, and be competitive in every contest.
“We hope to take the new drills and stickwork and skills that we have been working on and just apply them to the game,” she said. “We will give it everything we have, that’s for sure. This team does not give up. Our goal is to be in every game, and hopefully take some wins.”
Three-time All-County selection Erin DePaul, right, is one of seven returning starters for the Elkton field hockey team.
Goalie Kaitlyn Stewart, right, is one of eight returning starters for North East.