2012 Field Hockey Season Preview
SWARTHMORE, Pa. – In 2011, the Swarthmore field hockey team challenged for its first playoff berth since 2000 before falling one game short in the season finale. Now, with the perfect balance of veteran leadership and youth, and coming off a 2011 year that saw the Garnet match its conference win total from 2008, 2009 and 2010 combined, Swarthmore is ready to challenge the top of the Centennial Conference in 2012.
The Garnet did not lose a single senior to graduation in 2011 and Lauren Fuchs, beginning her fifth year as Swarthmore's head coach, has built the program's most talented squad since the start of the millennium. Fuchs is just seven wins shy of 150 in her career and brings an incoming class of eight in 2012.
Nia Jones and Sophia Agathis were both named All-Centennial Second Team after the 2011 season and will anchor the forward-line and midfield respectively. Jones led the team with nine goals and was tied with Beth Johnson for the team lead with 21 points. Agathis tied for second on the team in goals with seven and added five assists while leading the team in shots on goal. Agathis has 21 assists in three seasons for the Garnet.
Senior Katie Teleky, who scored seven times last year, and sophomore Maegan Hearney, who tallied four times in her inaugural campaign, will also play featured roles for the Swarthmore attack which scored nearly .5 goals per game more in 2011 than 2010.
A deep midfield, boasting Agathis, senior Catie Meador, who made two critical defensive saves last year, junior Aarti Rao, who scored a thrilling overtime goal against Eastern in 2011, and electrifying sophomores Eileen McHugh and Abby Lauder will only by bolstered by several impact freshmen.
The defensive line is the most senior of the Garnet levels with seniors Allison Ranshous and Julia Tallarcio and junior Anne Rosenblatt starting together in all but two of the team's 18 games last season. Ranshous has started all 55 games in the past three seasons and will again be the keystone in the center of the defense.
Junior goaltender Gabby Capone is poised for a big year after enjoying success in her first season as a starter in 2011. Capone posted a pair of shutouts, including a remarkable six-save performance against McDaniel in a 1-0 win. She also recorded a combined 18 saves in consecutive victories over Eastern and Johns Hopkins midway through the season.
Swarthmore opens 2012 play at Drew's 29th Annual Fall Festival Tournament against Cabrini. The Garnet remains on the road until September 11 when it hosts Arcadia. The home Centennial opener comes on September 22 against Dickinson and the team concludes regular season play against rival Haverford on October 27 at Clothier Field.
Coming Next Week - Field Hockey Video Preview