Future looks bright for Scotia field hockey team

Lisa Snyder believes the Scotia-Glenville varsity field hockey team is going to win championships wi

Lisa Snyder believes the Scotia-Glenville varsity field hockey team is going to win championships with a bunch of 10-, 11- and 12-year-olds.

It’s not a crazy thought. The veteran coach has seen other area teams do it.

“A lot of winning teams have [youth] programs,” Snyder said. “That’s why we started ours. We’ve had it for seven years. We wanted to get sticks in their hands. We wanted to get them playing.

“It’s exciting to watch and see the potential.”

The Tartans are looking to make a move up this season, and make even greater strides in those that follow with a bunch of graduates of Scotia-Glenville Youth Field Hockey. This year’s starting varsity cast includes two graduates — freshmen Molly Malone and Emily McCarthy — who joined the program in its infancy.

“Field hockey is one of the hardest sports to learn. There are so many skills. There are so many rules,” Snyder said. “All of those things have been covered by the time they join a school team, and that’s huge.”

Scotia-Glenville’s modified and junior varsity teams are full of players who learned the ins and outs of the game in the youth program, which is for those in second through sixth grade and led by the high school’s coaching staff.

“They’re fearless. That comes with the youth program,” Scotia-Glenville modified coach Erin Connelly said of her cast of seventh- and eighth-graders. “Give them a stick and tell them to go to the ball when they’re young. It makes a difference.”

Sophomore Jenna Stuart, the offensive star in Scotia-Glenville’s 8-0 season-starting non-league win against Coxsackie-Athens with three goals and two assists, played in the youth league as a sixth-grader.

“Looking back at the players that did youth with me, they have tremendous skills,” Stuart said. “It definitely helps out. It’s way positive.”

Snyder pushes field hockey players in the school district to emerse themselves in the game, and several have joined the USA Field Hockey Futures program and the ADK club based at the University at Albany.

“Look at [former Scotia-Glenville basketball standout] Joe Cremo. He does something basketball-related every day. If you want to be at that level, that’s what it takes,” Snyder said. “Any one of these girls could be that way if they choose.”

Stuart is one of those year-round players, and showed her individual growth in the Tartans’ opener. The center midfielder’s three goals came in the second half and helped them extend on what had been a 2-0 lead.

“I didn’t score at all last year,” Stuart said. “In the first half. I had a couple of shots. In the second half I said, ‘I have to score.’ ”

Snyder thinks her team will be doing a lot more scoring in its quest to improve on last season’s 5-9 Foothills Council and 5-12 overall records. Juliana Geniti notched two goals in the opener, and Emilee Rosenberg set up three goals.

McCarthy was among the goal scorers in a 4-0 league-opening win against Hudson Falls, which followed the Coxsackie-Athens triumph.

“Our offense is going to be better,” Snyder said. “I like the way we are moving the ball, and we’re just going to build on that. We’re going to keep working and working. We’re working on enhancing our skills and using them in the right places.”

Scotia-Glenville’s veteran group includes Foothills Council first-team all-star defender Zoe Purvis and junior goalkeeper Naudia Smith. Smith made 34 saves and Purvis had the goal when the Tartans played Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake tough in a 3-1 Section II Class B quarterfinal loss last fall.

Categories: High School Sports

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