3 seniors lead field hockey team

STANHOPE. Lenape Valley loses in the first round of the state sectional tournament.

| 04 Nov 2023 | 12:27

The Lenape Valley Regional High School field hockey team has been led by three senior captains, Lindsay Fehir, Ella Gomez and Bethany Mayer, this season.

“I feel that it is very important to give the opportunities for the team to vote for who they feel is deserving of captain,’’ head coach Rachel Orr said. “Having 11 seniors this year made it difficult because we have multiple girls who would make great captains. But giving the power to the team allows them to have a say in the program.

“These three seniors have stepped up from the moment they were named captain. They have become strong supportive leaders for their team and have set the bar high for what captains should be. These three captains have encouraged, supported and led their teammates through the ups and downs of the season. They give good insight during game time and lead with high tempo during practice time.’’

The Patriots compiled an overall record of 8-7-1 and tied for second place in the Freedom division.

The team lost to Mountain Lakes, 5-0, in the first round of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) North Jersey, Group 1 tournament at home Oct. 27.

All three of the captains began their field hockey careers in fourth grade.

Gomez noticed some of her older friends enjoying the sport and looked forward to becoming a player as well.

“As a competitor, my strengths come from my strong stick skills and ability to communicate on the field,’’ she said earlier in the season. “I am still working on improving my stamina and speed. My personal goals for the season are to shoot the ball more and master my reverse chip in game play.”

She said her mother has been a major influence by providing constant support. “Along with that, I would not have the amount of knowledge of the sport that I do now if it wasn’t for my club coaches at Cosmic Storm.’’

The uniqueness and team work aspects of the field hockey initially appealed to Fehir.

“Some of my strengths as a competitor are that I’m extremely passionate, hard-working and competitive,’’ she said. “Some of the aspects of field hockey that I would like to improve on are my emotions. My personal goals for this season are to assist my teammates and to score some goals.”

She credited her parents as major positive influences. “They have supported me since the start and they push me to get better every day.’’

Mayer said determination, leadership abilities and willingness to give 100 percent help her on the field.

“I originally became interested in field hockey when a lot of my friends started joining and I found out that my mom had played when she was younger,’’ she said.

“I’d definitely like to improve upon my skills as well as our ability to work together as a team and connect to a deeper level. For this season, I’d definitely love to improve my relationships with my team, enhance my skills, and focus on my leadership of the team to help make it both a happy and a competitive environment.’’

She said her mother and grandfather have been her biggest positive influences in field hockey. “They have supported me, motivated me, and kept me focused and excited. I’m forever grateful for the ways they’ve shown their love and support for me throughout my career and constantly stood behind me and cheered me on in everything I’ve done.’’

Several student athletes contributed to the team’s success.

“Abby Coppolella, our goalie, has been a dominating force in the cage, recently she celebrated her 200th save,’’ Orr said. “Abby is good communicator on and off the field and seeing the whole field is something she does very well.

“Giada Richards has been solid on defense. Cassidy Truesdell and Kaidyn Gomez have stepped up in their respective positions.

“Having 11 seniors this year has given the underclassman strong leaders to watch and be inspired by. They have had such an impact on the younger players in building their confidence during games and practices,” the coach added.

Senior Night and Play for a Cure Night were Oct. 19. The team also held its third annual Abby Game in memory of a player who never made it on the field on Oct. 9.

These three seniors have stepped up from the moment they were named captain. They have become strong supportive leaders for their team and have set the bar high for what captains should be.”
- Rachel Orr, head field hockey coach, Lenape Valley Regional High School