Up and coming: Youth is served at W. Maryland COLLEGE FIELD HOCKEY PREVIEW

September 15, 1994|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,Sun Staff Writer

A glance down the Western Maryland College field hockey roster will show only one senior.

The remainder is dominated by freshmen and sophomores with just a couple of juniors in the mix.

The foundation was set last year by coach Kathy Railey, who made a full commitment to youth in her first season as head coach.

Seven freshmen started on last year's 3-11 squad and nine starters return to the fold this season.

Things weren't as bad as they may have appeared when reflecting on the 1993 campaign. Of the 11 losses, seven were by one goal -- including three 1-0 setbacks -- and two others were 2-0 defeats.

"The trouble we kept running into last season was scoring and that's something we're working very hard on this year," Railey said.

"We've just got to be hungrier. It's something you run into a lot with young players. They did a good job getting into the circle last year, but just weren't hungry enough to pound it in."

Railey will rely on junior returnees Heather Seaburg, A. J. Sheriff and Amy Eggers (North Carroll) to try and solve the scoring problems up front, along with senior Amy Grocki (Westminster). Freshmen Katie Haley and Niki Siegel also have looked promising.

Seaburg played at sweeper her entire high school career and at first in college, but Railey moved her up to forward late last season and she's looked right at home.

"She has incredible speed so we moved her up to forward late in the season and she did a lot of good things," Railey said. "She really kept us in a lot of games late last season."

One of the two concerns for Railey going into this season was finding some young scorers. She thinks she has a couple of answers in Haley and Siegel.

"Katie's starting at center forward and has already scored. She's still young and getting pushed around some, but she's doing a lot of good things in practice that will soon carry over in games," Railey said.

"Niki has already done some wonderful things at link."

The other concern was replacing Sherry Albright in goal to complement a defense that consists of four returning sophomores.

Freshman Ali Forman takes over for Albright and has looked spectacular, Railey said. She is very quick, smart and, perhaps most importantly, confident.

Railey started four freshmen in back last year and they should be a strong unit for quite some time.

Kellie Mitros, an All-Centennial Conference second-team selection, has gifted stickwork and is very smart at sweeper. Mary Beth Francis and Jodi Wagner started all 14 games last year and are joined by Lisha Mummert. Railey expects them to improve even more this season and to be able to dominate next year.

Keeping everything together at center link is sophomore Toni Smith.

"She's very much a leader who's very smart, talented and quick," Railey said.

When Railey took over the program last season she figured it would take three years to get things turned around. This season, she would like to see the Green Terror get over .500.

From the look of things, it will all come down to how much the team improves on offense.

1994 TERROR SCHEDULE

Sept. 15 Washington, 4:30

Sept. 17 Haverford, 1

Sept. 20 at Johns Hopkins, 7

Sept. 24 at Susquehanna, 11

Sept. 29 Frostburg State, 4

Oct. 1 Muhlenburg, 1

Oct. 6 at Gettysburg, 3:30

Oct. 8 Bryn Mawr, 1

Oct. 11 Dickinson, 3:30

Oct. 18 at Elizabethtown, 3:30

Oct. 20 at York, 4

2& Oct. 22 at Franklin & Marshall, 11

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