Bringing a special commitment to the 2022 season, Hun Field Hockey aims to improve every day

OH WOW: Hun School field hockey player Ava Olender (#5) celebrates after a goal last season. The Raiders started their 2022 season with a bang, beating Morristown Friends 6-0 last Monday as Olender scored a goal. Hun hosts Hopewell Valley on September 15, then plays at the Academy of New Church (Pennsylvania) on September 20. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Tracy Arndt sensed something special about her Hun School field hockey team from day one of preseason training in August.

“The girls came in and they did the extra work they needed over the summer,” said Hun head coach Arndt, who guided the Raiders to an 8-8-1 record and a place in the quarterfinals of the Mercer County Tournament. “Our base is a little stronger than in years past, which is a good thing. We don’t have to start from scratch. »

The commitment displayed by her players allowed Arndt to focus on tactics rather than fundamentals.

“We have kids who want to do the job in the offseason, they call each other to train in the summer,” Arndt added. “You only need a few and you can spark a lot of energy in the group. When kids are empowered and help and hold each other accountable, then the coach can focus on the hockey.

Hun boasts an energetic offensive line in senior Logan Frith (3 goals, 1 assist in 2021), senior Mia Chiodo (3 goals, 1 assist), junior Ali Ieva (1 goal), junior Alexa Cavalli, junior Avery Barrett and rookie Addi McNally.

“We’re shooting about six kids, which has been nice; we tried it during pre-season and it worked,” said Arndt, whose side opened their 2022 campaign by beating Moorestown Friends 6-0 last Monday as Ana Dios scored three goals with Phoebe Thielmann , Ava Olender and Frith scoring one each.

“It’s not that they’re getting taken off because they’re not playing well. They’re in their time and they know they can go as hard as they can. They’ve connected pretty well. We “We have good depth, the seniors show us the way. Everyone contributes and once everyone understands our racing habits, they start to see the terrain a little better.

Junior star Olender (4 goals, 3 assists) figures as the catalyst in midfield.

“Ava is such a great athlete, we have her mostly in the midline right now,” Arndt said. “She’s an incredible athlete and
competitor. She brings a lot of athleticism to the midline.

Hun’s midfield line will also include sophomore Thielmann (3 goals, 1 assist), junior Maya Zahlan (1 assist), junior Dios and junior Elina Csapo.

“Phoebe is also very consistent and strong for us in midfield; she’s a good distributor,” Arndt said. “Maya plays in that kind of central midfield and centre-back role. She was there last year and played behind Ashley [Jones]. They worked pretty well together. She now sees the pitch without Ashley, which is a good thing. Ana is from Spain and has a great hockey background. It’s her first year with us, she’s connected really well with the midfielders. She plays a bit of a different style, this role is also good for our girls. Elena has been a hard worker for us, honing her skills and her ability to see the terrain.

Along the back line, Abby O’Brien (1 goal, 1 assist) will spearhead the defense.

“Abby’s back there,” Arndt said, noting that O’Brien, also a lacrosse star, got into the Stevens Institute of Technology admissions process for laxity. “She’s just really solid and consistent there, so it’s been great.”

Senior Sammy Kandel, junior Ave Che and junior Lauren Larkin will fill the backfield with O’Brien.

“We have Sammy who has been playing since his freshman year,” Arndt said. “She’s stable there for us and her softball background has been really helpful. Ave played on our left wing last year. Lauren is not new to Hun, but new to the university program. The four of them have pretty good back experience, which is nice.

As a goaltender, junior Norah Kempson gained valuable experience last fall when she became a star for the Raiders.

“Norah is an incredible athlete and an incredible teammate,” Arndt said. “She wants to improve for her team and in doing so she is really striving to be the best she can be. Her save percentage was really off the charts last year. She is honing her skills and with the comebacks in defense, they have that structure in place. It’s just a matter of working on the nuances of communication and keeping the structure. She’s been great.

Kempson exemplifies the team’s day-to-day approach to business.

“The mantra is the same as what I said last year – get better every day,” said Arndt, whose team host Hopewell Valley on Sept. 15 and then play at the Academy of New Church ( Pennsylvania) on September 20.

“We are able to come to a better base. We have goals that we have set ourselves in order to perform with the demanding teams on our schedule. We only focus on what works for us and how we can improve the next day. One of our big goals is to increase the intensity in training. We want practices to be so hard that games slow down for us.

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