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Fall Sports Preview
David Darling '16 Associate Editor
September 10, 2014

Girls Varsity Soccer
Deerfield’s girls varsity soccer team ended the 2013-14 season with a record of 7-7-1, barely missing out on the New England Prep School Athletic Conference (NEPSAC) Class A Girls Soccer Tournament. Having come so close last season, the team is eager to take the field again, and head coach Heidi Valk is optimistic about this year’s upperclassmen-heavy team. Team captains are seniors Caroline Coppinger ’15, Allie Hrabchak ’15 and Julia Fissore- Oleary ’15. Coach Valk expects the most challenging aspect of the coming season will be “to play consistently and train/utilize new, young, athletic players.”

Girls Varsity Field Hockey
Despite losing head coach Kristen Veiga for the year while she pursues a master’s degree, the 2013-14 varsity field hockey team is firmly focused on the season ahead. Last season’s assistant coach Katie Calhoun will be taking up head coaching duties. Ms. Calhoun paid homage to Ms. Veiga, saying, “Coach Veiga has taught the girls what it means to work hard and to work for one another, and I hope we will be able to start where we left off last year.” Co-captains Lucy Lytle ’15 and Molly Murphy ’15 will lead this year’s team after the loss of talented graduated captains Maggie Shilling ’14 and Julia Hamilton ’14.

Boys Varsity Water Polo
The boys varsity water polo team finished the 2013-14 season in third place at the NEPSAC Boys Water Polo Championships, after a close loss in overtime to Phillips Exeter Academy (7-8, though with a 16-11 consolation finals win over Brunswick). This season the team will be led by co-captains Hugo Marsans ’15 and Conor Sullivan ’15, supported by returning starters Ballard Brown ’16, Alan Lam ’15 and Stepan Severov ’15. When head coach Mark Scandling was asked about changes he would like to see, he responded, “We want to play team defense more relentlessly from the start.” Mr. Scandling also placed emphasis on being “prepared to be at our best when the stakes are highest and avoiding focusing too much on near-term success.”

Boys Varsity Soccer
Last season’s boys varsity soccer team finished the 2013-14 season with a disappointing record of 0 wins, 12 losses and 4 ties. Yet, as any informed fan will tell you, every game was hard fought until the final minutes, and often only one goal separated winner from loser. Head coach Jan Flaska noted the losses of graduated captains Stephen Baisch ’14, Xavier Salvador ’14 and Cole Horton ’14, saying, “We will have a different style of play, given roster changes and a newfound maturity of returning players.” Of these returning players, Max McEvoy ’15 and Ben Garfinkel ’15 will lead the team as co-captains. Other faces to look out for include returning seniors Max Chesky, Jackson Watson, Ian Kagame, Oliver Hill and Tommy Cleary, as well as post-graduates Dutch Buckley, Will Crass and Fikayo Ajayi. One challenge Mr. Flaska foresees is “the ability to play confidently early in the season.”

Boys Varsity Football
Although the 2013-14 varsity football season was full of milestones and achievements, such as head coach Mike Silipo’s 200th win, it ended with a disheartening record of 3 wins and 5 losses. This season, co-captains Liam Morris ’15 and J.C. Pardo ’15 are hoping to lead the team to greater success. “I believe we will have more size this year,” Mr. Silipo said. “With the added size we also have a very mobile quarterback, and we hope to take advantage of his skills on offense.” The first opponent will be Cushing, and Mr. Silipo is trusting that the outcome will “change the culture from a losing mentality to a winning one.”

Boys Varsity Cross-Country
The 2013 boys varsity cross- country season was stricken with constant injuries and challenged by a relatively young and inexperienced team. Captains Gene Thagard ‘15, Bryce Klehm ‘15 and Henry Sanford ‘15 will lead this year’s team. Head coach Michael Schloat had high praise for the group, saying, “Our three captains are outstanding leaders and will provide much-needed experience.” When asked about his predictions, Mr. Schloat expressed optimism: “More experience and cohesion,” with “more challenging training earlier on, and more focused attention to flexibility and mobility exercises to reduce the potential for injuries.” Overall the team’s goals include “improving our finish at New Englands and competing with as few injuries as possible.”

Girls Varsity Cross-Country
The Deerfield girls cross-country team is arguably one of the strongest in New England, having captured one bronze, one silver and two gold medals at the NEPSAC Cross Country Championship in the past four years. With the team in “rebuilding mode,”headcoachDennisCullinane commented, “We lost a lot of top talent at graduation and took a hit in admissions, so we’re not really replacing any losses.” Nonetheless, the team will be kept focused by tri-captains Nahla Achi ’15, Phoebe Morss ’15 and Samantha Morse ’15.

Girls Varsity Volleyball
Led by talented co-captains Claire Collins ’15 and Catherine Fleming ‘15, the varsity volleyball team is gearing up for a competitive and more successful season than last year’s 7 wins and 10 losses. “I expect that we will be very competitive this year and that we will qualify for the tournament,” said head coach Jonathan Pineo.