Girls Varsity Field Hockey
Wyoming Area Coach: Erin McGinley 2019: 20-3-1; lost to Wyoming Seminary, 2-0, in the District 2 Class A championship game; lost to Oley Valley, 2-0, in the PIAA semifinals. Players to watch: Senior — Kayla Kiwak, fwd. Juniors — Megan Beppler, def.; Toni Minichello, fwd.; Makenzie Switzer, mid. Coach’s outlook: “We are extremely excited to see all the season has to offer for this team. They’ve really put all the extra work in this summer, training and learning to execute new concepts and skills. We also have more depth than we’ve ever had. It’s very exciting having a lot of underclassmen who are learning and developing, and some of which will be an asset to this year’s current varsity team. We keep telling the kids, ‘Live in the moment,’ because in the current dynamic, we don’t know what the future holds. Allow yourself to shine bright.”
Wyoming Area field hockey coach Erin McGinley has reason to be proud of the recent past and enthused about both the present and future. The Lady Warriors had the most successful season in school history in 2018, then topped that in 2019, advancing a round further, into the state semifinals while losing only to a pair of state finalists. Wyoming Area enters this season with two first-teamers and two second-teamers returning from the Pennsylvania Field Hockey Coaches Association Class A all-state team. Their presence should leave the Lady Warriors positioned to again challenge defending state champions Wyoming Seminary and Wyoming Valley West for Wyoming Valley Conference supremacy. As for the future, the players rising from a successful junior high program, will allow Wyoming Area to play a full junior varsity schedule for the first time in McGinley’s four years as head coach. “We have underclassmen that showed up all summer long,” McGinley said. “They put a ton of work in this summer and this preseason to get ready.” Kayla Kiwak, a senior center forward, is a two-time, first-team, all-state selection. Mackenzie Switzer, a junior defensive center midfielder, joined her on the first team and is heading into her third season as a starter. Right forward Toni Menichello and center back Megan Beppler, two more juniors who have started since their freshman season, were the second-team, all-state picks. They are just some of the returnees from a team that went 11-1-1 in Division 1 of the WVC and 20-3-1 overall. Bianca Pizano, who started as an outside midfielder as a freshman, is ready to move into the attacking center midfielder role for her sophomore season. Sophomore left back Morgan Janeski is another returning starter. Alexys Moore, the first player off the bench at both forward and midfield last season, takes over at left midfield. She is a sophomore. The freshman class includes projected starters Nina Angeli at right forward, Samara Campenni at right midfield and Alyvia Yatsko at right back. With an all-state goalie Ellie Glatz on the varsity, Wyoming Area kept current sophomore Carly Saranchuk on the junior high team last season to gain more experience at the position. She has put in the extra time in the offseason to be ready to take over the position. Once voluntary offseason workouts were approved to start July, McGinley said her team was able to prepare uninterrupted and get more time together than some other programs. She hopes that has the Lady Warriors ready to go for the start of league play Wednesday night at Hazleton Area. The team did go without a head-to-head scrimmage and a multi-team scrimmage because of adjustments for the coronavirus. McGinley said the emphasis has been on adding six non-league games for the full 18-game schedule, if there are not any interruptions. They will meet Hazleton Area and Lake-Lehman, divisional opponents, in an extra game as part of that non-league schedule. “I just think it’s going to be an exciting season because so much is unknown,” McGinley said. “ … The kids are kind of relishing every moment they get to play and be on the field, because it is uncertain. “They’re not taking it lightly.”
Wyoming Area 7, Hazleton Area 0 At Hazleton Area, Toni Minichello led Wyoming Area’s offensive outburst, scoring five of the Warriors’ seven goals. Kayla Kiwak and Bianca Pizano each added a goal and two assists. FIRST QUARTER: Toni Minichello (WA) from Nina Angeli, 12:58; Kayla Kiwak (WA) from Bianca Pizano, 3:47. SECOND QUARTER: Minichello (WA) from Kiwak, 7:06; Minichello (WA) from Kiwak, 5:22. THIRD QUARTER: Minichello (WA) unassisted, 11:19. FOURTH QUARTER: Pizano (WA) from Karamia Marranca, 6:34; Minichello (WA) from Pizano, 1:42. Shots: WA 9, Haz 1. Corners: WA 5, Haz 2. Saves: WA (Carly Saranchuk) 1, Haz (Elaina Ashman) 2.