Cocalico field hockey geared up for start of season
It certainly didn’t take first-year Cocalico field hockey coach Brynn Adams long to become immersed into the Cocalico-Ephrata rivalry, even if the former Warwick and West Chester star doesn’t quite understand it.
Adams’ Lady Eagles actually open the season Friday at Wilson (10 a.m.), but the big one comes Saturday morning at 10 a.m. in Ephrata as Cocalico and the host Lady Mounts square off in their lone meeting of the year. Ephrata, which also has a new coach in former assistant Joy Rice, broke Cocalico’s string of five-straight Section Two titles with its own championship in 2013.
The Lady Mounts have since moved to Section One, but that doesn’t take away the incentive to seek revenge for Cocalico.
“They are hungry for it, I’ll tell you,” Adams said of the pending match-up. “I don’t think I quite understand the rivalry, coming from Warwick…we never really had that with anybody. I don’t know if I quite get it, but as long as they are ready to go, I’m OK with it.”
Cocalico comes into the season after going 7-10 a year ago and missing the playoffs. Adams, who played on a national championship squad at West Chester, said her team has had a great two weeks of practice and the players have bought into the styles and ideas of the new regime.
“It’s going really well,” she said. “I feel like the girls have come a long way. They were really open in the beginning to a lot of new drills and philosophies coming from the new coaching staff. But they really took it in stride. Our goal for them is just to come out 110 percent and give us that every day, and they kind of just take whatever we throw at them. I think they’ve made a lot of progress. They are picking things up quickly and are definitely just working very hard and I’m excited to see where we go from here.”
Adams said her team’s strength is on the defensive side with Dana DeBalko, Taylor Keeney and Chloe Lucky taking charge in the middle of the field in front of not one but two goalies (Emily Stauffer and Kayla Mellinger) who have both shined in the Cocalico cage in recent seasons.
As for the potential of this club, Adams said she’ll get a better feel for it once they have a few games under their belts.
“For me it’s hard because I’m still kind of feeling out Section Two,” Adams said. “I’m more familiar with Section One but when we went to the Hempfield play day we played Governor Mifflin and Hempfield those two days, and we’ll see them later in the season, but that was a really good gauge for us.”
“I definitely think Manheim and E-town will be good competition, but any day can be anybody’s game so I’d like to say we’d be a top contender. I don’t know where that is yet…I think a couple games in we’ll have a more clear picture of that, but I don’t see any reason why we can’t make the playoffs.”
That journey begins this weekend.