GOOD START: Hun Mia Chiodo School Field Hockey, left, tackles the ball during a game last season. Last Thursday, senior star Chiodo scored a goal to help Hun beat Hopewell Valley 4-0. The Raiders, who improved to 2-0 with the victory, play Princeton Day School on September 22, Mercersburg Academy (Pennsylvania) on September 24 and Robbinsville on September 27. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
By Bill Alden
Mia Chiodo got the Hun School field hockey team off to a flying start as she hosted Hopewell Valley last Thursday.
Within the first minute of the match, senior co-captain and striker Chiodo stuck his nose in a traffic jam in the circle and pushed the ball into the cage to give Hun a 1-0 lead.
Chiodo acknowledged that his tally was not a thing of beauty.
“It was really busy in the goal and I snuck in there,” Chiodo said with a smile.
The goal set the tone as Hun took a 3-0 lead after 12 minutes and never looked back on the way to a 4-0 win over the Bulldogs.
“We kind of clicked, we got our three forwards together,” said Chiodo, who played on a forward line with fellow senior Logan Frith and junior Alexa Cavalli.
“We’ve never really played together before, we’re in a rotation. The three forwards we started worked really well together, that’s why she puts us first.
Chiodo was heartened to see the Raiders move to 2-0 as they built on their 6-0 win over Morristown Friends in the season opener on September 12.
“It was really exciting because last year we didn’t win that much,” Chiodo said.
” It’s a big problem. We have some new players and we are starting to work together much better this year.
After failing to score in the second and third quarters against HoVal, the Raiders dominated possession in the fourth period, generating a number of penalty corners with Abby O’Brien converting one of them for the game’s final goal. .
“We started really strong and we went down a bit,” said Chiodo, who handles inserts for Hun in the corners.
“Confidence settled there in the fourth quarter. I inserted since I came here. It’s been a great part, it’s really fun with everyone.
The fun started for the Raiders over the summer when they worked harder to prepare for the season.
“We had small groups that would come into the field and work together,” Chiodo said.
“We were able to connect even before the start of the season with the new players.”
Assessing the team’s hot start, Chiodo attributes it to bonding on and off the pitch.
“I think the connection in general,” Chiodo said. “During pre-season we were able to connect really well. I think having no negativity in the squad and all the positivity has been a help.
Hun head coach Tracey Arndt liked how his team came out of the gate against HoVal.
“We have set goals for the season, we have some longer term and some shorter term,” Arndt said.
“One of them is to win the first quarter. If you can win the first quarter, you have set a precedent. Anything can happen, but if you can win the first quarter, I hope that you will set the tone for the game. When we play our game and don’t adapt to anyone else, we can truly play as a team. Who has
really been a goal in the first quarter – going out with a presence.
The trio of Chiodo, Frith and Cavalli showed presence with their aggressive play in the circle.
“We have a good number of attackers, so we ask them to have a very high work rate when they are there,” Arndt said.
“Right now we have Logan and Alexa with Mia trying to find the best connection. We can extend the field, we want them to do those runs. What they notice is that the longer runs don’t maybe not give them the ball, but it gives the ball to someone else who can score. We used to be wide with our movements, now we try to stretch it.
Junior transfer Ana Dios helped shake things up for the Raiders with her superb midfield play.
“Ana had been great for us, she scored three goals in her first game for us and scored another here,” said Arndt, who also got a goal from second Phoebe Thielmann against the Bulldogs.
“She’s a very good team player, she has very good skills but doesn’t need to be flashy with it. That’s what we need. Ana has been a great addition to the school and to the team. She just works very hard, that’s all we want.
On defense, senior O’Brien gives Hun a good job. “Abby’s been just a really good teammate for us, she’s been a great leader for us,” said Arndt of O’Brien, who also plays lacrosse and is committed to the process. admission to Stevens Institute of Technology to play for its women’s team. lax program.
“We rely on her so much in the back, but she really has the fire to be the best she can be. That hand-eye coordination of the lacrosse has really paid off for her.
Senior Sammy Kandel has teamed up with O’Brien to bolster the Huns back line.
“Sammy is our only senior to be here for four years, so she’s really seen the progression for us, whether it’s through COVID or just winning your games in the first season,” Arndt said.
“His views and his leadership have been good. She knows what we are doing. She saw the hard work that got us here, so I think she helps the younger kids understand that it doesn’t just come without hard work. She trusts her skills.
Arndt likes the confidence she sees on the attacking side. “I’m happy that we’re bonding and happy that we’re working hard and playing our game,” Arndt said.
“Finishing was a struggle for us in the past. If you want to play in attack and you want to win a game, you have to be a finisher, you have to be hungry for the goal. We are focused on 1-0, 1-0, 1-0 and not on winning all of September or all of our games. It may not be conceivable, but we can win the quarter.
With Hun playing at Princeton Day School on Sept. 22, Mercersburg Academy (Pennsylvania) on Sept. 24 and Robbinsville on Sept. 27, Arndt believes the Raiders need to maintain an all-out team effort to stay on track.
“We have a lot of different markers and that’s really great,” Arndt said.
“As the game progresses, everyone has to rely on him to do his job. Once they can do their job and feel even more confident, everything will be fine. I know this team with hard work and connectivity can compete with anyone. Who knows what will happen. They worked hard in the offseason, they did the right things, so I just want them to trust each other. I see what they can do and I just want them to see it too.
Chiodo, for his part, is looking to come out on top in his latest campaign for Hun.
“I came here in second grade, my mother knew Coach Arndt,” Chiodo said.
“The junior year was really fun, I met some good people. In the final year, we arrived and we want to make it the best year possible. I think we will go far this year.