Field hockey preview: Staples begins new season with new faces
Updated 12:49 pm, Thursday, September 3, 2015
The 2015 Staples field hockey team will look completely different from the 2014 and 2013 editions, with massive changes on the sideline and on the field.
Ian Tapsall — a lifelong player of the sport in England who heads club team FC United out of Darien — will be the new coach for the Wreckers this fall, taking over for Ashley Del Vecchio. Tapsall still plays the sport at the Masters level for the United States.
“The field we have here; everything at Staples is amazing,” Tapsall said. “It’s like a small college; this is one of the best fields we can play at.”
The departure of 10 seniors — including All-FCIAC first teamers Elizabeth Bennewitz and Meg Fay —creates an opportunity for many new players on the field. Tapsall has installed a brand new system which may take weeks to sink into his players, but he hopes that his younger players will catch on.
“It should be good future,” Tapsall said. “I’m not expecting great things this year; I’d hope we’d compete as well as they did last year, but they are going to have to buy into a new system that they’re going to have to learn.”
Staples went 13-5-0-1 in 2014, — a six win improvement on the year before — reached the FCIAC semifinals and the Class L quarters.
“One of our goals is fitness,” Rozynek said. “Ian empathizes that fitness is the key to winning and accomplishing your goals; we’re work our plays and our teamwork off our fitness.”
Captain Jodie Baris is back for her fourth season in the cage for Staples. Tapsall stressed the importance of having a dependable goalie in his system.
“It’s important to have a great goalie; she plays club hockey and I think getting good looks from colleges too,” Tapsall said. “I think if she can dominate and control back there sort people out, it’s invaluable; especially if we get to playoffs.”