North Point field hockey focused on 2017 season
A season ago, the North Point field hockey team proved they were among the top teams in the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference’s Potomac Division.
However standing in its path was its Charles County nemesis La Plata, which took the division matchup over the Eagles in a 2-1 result and finished as the eventual division champions with a 6-0 record.
With the 2017 season vastly approaching, North Point is hungry to get back in prime position to contend for a division title once again when the regular season begins Sept. 5 at Northern.
“The girls have been working hard and we want to take it this season,” said North Point head coach Sandra Fair, whose team finished 6-8 overall, 5-1 in division play in 2016. “Last year all we needed to do is beat La Plata in that game [last Sept. 27]. So our goal is to win the Potomac Division title and be more competitive against the St. Mary’s and Calvert County teams in SMAC.”
Despite losing several key seniors to graduation, North Point brings back seven starters from last season’s team.
North Point’s Olivia Bell, one of seven seniors on this year’s roster, will be
in the cage. Bell was the backup goalie last season behind starter Juliana Rosasaco, who graduated, and hopes to bring that same aggressiveness and leadership as the last line of defense.
“We’ve been practicing for the last [three] weeks and I’m so excited that the season is about to start,” Bell said. “The first half of our schedule is a little hard, we play some of the difficult teams. But we have some young talent and players that are ready to learn. The seniors are going to take the leadership role and as long as we do that the season should go pretty well. Our team is extremely close. Friendships are already formed and we bring in on to the field and have great chemistry.”
On some of the stiff competition that the Eagles will face this season, Bell said: “La Plata always gives us a run for our money within the county and in SMAC, Northern and Leonardtown are always tough. It is going to come down to executing. We are going to give those teams the best fight we can and it comes down to playing together.”
North Point senior forward Ayanna Bell was one of the team’s top scorers and offensive weapons from a season ago and has high expectations for 2017.
“Right now are working on understanding each other’s strengths and weaknesses and getting along and growing as a team,” she said. “Some of my responsibilities is that I have to communicate with the midfield, look to score and make sure everyone is in the right spots on the field so that we can be effective.”
After a long summer break, Bell said that she and the team are getting back into the swing of things with a few weeks of practice under their belts.
“When we first started practice it was a bit of a culture shock because of being off for the summer break,” said Bell, who will be a two-year starter also. “Now that we are back it I’m having a great time and I love the team. There are a lot of great people here and we are starting to make friends. That is what gets me through it and getting up in the morning for practice. I like that it is a family like atmosphere.”
Fair spoke highly of her key seniors.
“Olivia is almost like a second coach. She steps in and knows my mind, and if I don’t say it, she says it,” Fair said. “Ayanna is the quiet strong one and is the backbone of our team, everyone on the team loves her. Katie [Klahr] is another one of our skilled players and doesn’t say much, controls the situation and when she needs to put in her input she does it.”
Fair added that Sydney Beall and Olivia Simmons will be other players to watch for the upcoming season.
“Sydney can be one of our top scorers this year and Olivia will take the role and being our center [midfielder] and the quarterback of the field,” Fair said.
North Point senior forwards Katie Klahr, left and Ayanna Bell battle for the ball in a drill at a recent practice. Klahr and Bell will be key leaders for the Eagles in the upcoming 2017 season.
North Point senior Olivia Bell, the starting goalie for the varsity field hockey team, will be one of the key leaders for the Eagles for the upcoming 2017 season.