Girls rallied to playoffs
With another season tucked away until the sweltering days of 2014 when fall sports get under way, the Zephyr field hockey team can look back on another successful campaign.
The Zephs finished 12-8 overall, 7-7 in the Lehigh Valley Conference. They made it to the District XI 3A playoffs, winning an overtime thriller against William Allen High School in the pigtail round, before succumbing to eventual state finalist Emmaus High School in the quarterfinals.
The season began with their younger players adapting to varsity competition, and finished with that group gaining valuable experience as they look forward to next season.
As the book closes on 2013, the Zephs graduate a number of talented players including Sarah Schannauer, Erin Everett, Katelin Bush, Kristy Lu and Britanny Pantoni.
They will miss the strong leadership of those players and will look to their returning upperclassmen to help them achieve next year's goals.
Head coach Emily Repsher said it was an up and down season. They got off to a rough start before finding their footing midway through the season. Once they settled into a groove, they reeled off eight consecutive wins en route to a postseason berth.
The ability to weather that rough patch demonstrated their character, said Repsher.
"The girls had a lot of heart and played that way all season," she said.
The Zephs also relied on a young defense that will largely stay intact as they prepare for next season.
Returning are a number of players who played integral parts in their rendezvous with the postseason. Leading scorer Kourtney Cunningham will be back, as will veterans Taylor George, Jill Rex, Tianna Rivers, Natalie Reitz and Myrissa Sitko.
Out of that group, Kourtney Cunningham made first team all-LVC, and George was an Honorable Mention. Additionally, senior Erin Everett also earned an Honorable Mention at halfback.
Defender Decontee Krayee returns as does sophomore-to-be Rachel Schannauer who had an impact on the back line as a freshman. Both goalkeepers also return as Kayla Nailor and Gabriell Henninger will look to build on a positive season.
Nailor, who saw a lot of action between the posts, now has a full season under her belt and that should help stabilize their defense. Repsher said that Nailor will be using this offseason to work on her game.
"Hopefully, she works hard in the offseason and is ready for next season," said Repsher.
The Zephs also have a strong supply of returning sophomores who will bolster their line-up including, Rachel Hibshman, Jaycie Hricak, Taylor Kosmon, Victoria Marks and Sarissa Rohrer.
This season freshman made a big impact with the aforementioned Rachel Schannauer, along with Cara Bonshak, Ashly Chteh, Sophie Cramsey, Kylee Cunningham, Samantha Grim, Jaida Marks, Brianna Peacock, Hayley Yandrasitz and Taylor Zsigovits, all of whom made contributions.
Repsher believes that next year will provide avenues for leadership for a number of players, and that will also help them get through arguably the toughest conference in scholastic field hockey in the state.
Repsher also said it's imperative to keep them working in the offseason, working on their skills and keeping them pointed toward next season.
"We have a strong core group [coming back], and I look forward to seeing them play together next year," said Repsher. All in all, they played really hard and I look forward to returning to coaching them next year."
Assistant coaches this year were Jennifer Callahan who also served as the interim head coach, Kate James and Gina Basile. Middle School Coaches – Brandi Stettler and Laura Goldfeder.