Thursday, October 25, 2012

HWS field hockey: 'Cats, Vikes set for title clash

Who: High Point Wildcats vs. Voorhees Vikings.

What: Fourth annual Hunterdon-Warren-Sussex Tournament.

When: Saturday, 4 p.m.

Where: Hackettstown High School.

TV: Service Electric Cable (Sparta) Channel 10 (tape delayed).

Records: High Point 16-1-1; Voorhees 11-4-1.

Coaches: Bev Keur (22nd season, 327-114-5 in three stints); Taylor Webb (2nd season, 25-8-1).

Series history: Voorhees posted a 1-0 victory in the only meeting between the schools in the 2010 Hunterdon-Warren-Sussex semifinals.

Previous Champions: Newton/Warren Hills co-champs in 2009 (final was never played); Voorhees in 2010; Warren Hills in 2011.

Note: Here's a closer look at both teams with probable starting lineups:

High Point Wildcats

How they got here: Beat Belvidere, 1-0, in first round; South Hunterdon, 2-1, in quarterfinals; Hunterdon Central, 1-0, in semifinals.

Previous tournament history: Beat Hunterdon Central, 2-1, in 2009 first round, Lost to Warren Hills, 4-0 in 2009 quarterfinals;  Beat South Hunterdon, 5-0, in 2010 first round, Beat Phillipsburg, 3-0, in 2010 quarterfinals, Lost to Voorhees, 1-0, in 2010 semifinals; Beat North Hunterdon, 3-1, in 2011 first round, Beat South Hunterdon, 2-0, in 2011 quarterfinals, Beat Belvidere, 5-1, in 2011 semifinals, Lost to Warren Hills, 3-1, in 2011 championship game. Overall HWS record: 9-3.

Probable starting lineup: Sr. F Darby Smith (26 goals-11 assists-63 points); So. F Alexis Ambrosino (11-4-26); Jr. F Carly Satter (4-10-18); Sr. F Maureen Gill (3-6-12); Jr. MF Brittany DeLima (9-2-20); So. MF Rachel Orr (3-6-12); Sr. D Michaela Macken (0-0-0); So. D Kristen English (0-0-0); Jr. D Annelise Malgieri (0-0-0); Jr. D Michaela O'Hern (0-0-0); Sr. GK Erin Williams (68 saves, 10 1/2 shutouts, .872 save percentage, 0.56 goals against).

Voorhees Vikings

How they got here: Beat Kittatinny, 2-0, in first round; Wallkill Valley, 3-0, in quarterfinals; Warren Hills, 2-0, in semifinals.

Previous tournament history: Beat Kittatinny, 3-0, in 2009 first round, Beat Hackettstown, 3-0, in 2009 quarterfinals, Lost to Newton, 2-1 in double OT in 2009 semifinals; Beat Delaware Valley, 3-0, in 2010 first round, Beat North Hunterdon, 1-0, in 2010 quarterfinals, Beat High Point, 1-0, in 2010 semifinals, Beat Warren Hills, 1-0, in 2010 championship game; Beat Kittatinny, 2-0, in 2011 first round, Lost to Wallkill Valley, 1-0, in 2011 quarterfinals. Overall HWS record: 10-2.

Probable starting lineup: Jr. F Ashley Kerekgyarto (7 goals-1 assist-15 points); Sr. F Sara Diacik (4-4-12); Sr. F Rachel Lewis (1-4-6); Jr. F Tori Crans (2-2-6); Sr. F Kelsey Fischer (0-1-1); Fr. MF Kathryn Roncoroni (11-3-25); Jr. D Alex Barish (0-0-0); Sr. D Angie D'Armiento (0-0-0); Sr. D Anna McLees (0-0-0); Sr. D Michelle Gaykowski (0-1-1); So. GK Lauren Pianucci (30 saves, 4 1/2 shutouts, .811 save percentage, 0.44 goals against); Jr. GK Kathryn Boyce (32 saves, 4 1/2 shutouts, .821 save percentage, 0.44 goals against).

Analysis: Two teams that play tough defense and rely on timely offense to win games. Voorhees is coming off the upset of tournament favorite Warren Hills and is playing with a lot of momentum right now. Roncoroni has boosted the offense, which has struggled at time this season. Diacik and Barish are solid players, and the two-headed goalie system has worked nicely with two very talented keepers. High Point leans on Smith, who has the talent to take over a game like she did in the semifinals. Satter's speed will also be a weapon on the turf. Figure this one to be a relatively low-scoring affair.

Pick: Voorhees 2, High Point 1

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