Here are FANs final five that we think could win either their respective District or state championship games.
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Attack penalty corners. Unbreakable goalies.
The final five Pennsylvania high schools that round out the 10 teams included in FAN’s early preseason predictions of winning districts or states boast both.
Creativity plays a large part in attack penalty corners. Being able to execute plays seamlessly, despite possible defensive interference, is what sets apart winning teams from tough competitors. The following teams have both talents offensively and defensively that placed their squad on a path to the 2022 postseason.
FAN picked these five teams based upon their deep rosters, rankings by MAX Field Hockey, and game observations. We continue our early preseason picks next week as we take a look at the teams in the Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association.
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Corners. That’s one of the main reasons why FAN thinks you’ll see Palmyra position itself in a 2023 postseason championship bracket. The Cougars notched over 300 attack penalty corners last season. They play with a staple few and then make deviations to them, which always keeps the other team’s defense alert. Palmyra graduated nine strong seniors. But, several returners were part of helping those leaders to claim the 2022 Class 2A District 3 championship and finish as 2022 PIAA Class 2A finalists. Payton Kane (committed to play Division II at Slippery Rock), Alyssa Dugan (committed to play Division II at Millersville), Keely Bowers (committed to play Division I at Monmouth and ranked as a top 50 field hockey athlete nationally by MAX Field Hockey), Addie Sholly (committed to play Division I at Lehigh), Hadley Hoffsmith (ranked top 100 by MAX Field Hockey Class of 2025), and Jovie Weaver (ranked top 100 nationally in the Class of 2026) are just a few of those athletes. The Cougars finished the 2022 season 21-3-2, as well as ranked the No. 4 team in Pennsylvania and No. 10 team nationally by MAX Field Hockey.
It takes a lot of work to win the Lancaster-Lebanon League, which is what the Comets did last season. Penn Manor parlayed that success into then claiming fourth place in the 2022 District 3 Class 3A tournament. In their first PIAA Class 3A contest, the Comets faced a polished Conestoga team and didn’t make it beyond the first round. The 2023 team is set to be anchored by a swift kicker, Adeline Arkhurst, who is committed to playing Division I at Towson. On the field is playmaker Tristan Groff, who is committed to play Division I at Saint Joseph’s. Groff is solid down the middle but also excellent at looking to distribute to the outside lanes. Their final record of 17-6-0 made them No. 20 on MAX Field Hockey’s final rankings of the 2022 season.
One of the most prolific high school goalies in the state is Maddie Stevens. She helped her team to hang on during the 2022 postseason for as long as they could. MAX Field Hockey ranked her among the top 50 nationally in the Class of 2024. FAN predicts that the Liberty University commit will lead a strong defensive line, as well as field of 10 players. Her positivity and mental toughness could be the spark needed to make it farther than last season’s ending. Twin Valley finished fourth in District 3 Class 2A and lost to Palmyra in the 2022 PIAA Class 2A quarterfinals.
Wilson’s fight for gold didn’t go unnoticed. While the Bulldogs were unable to topple Lower Dauphin in both the District 3 Class 3A and PIAA Class 3A championship games, they did take down Emmaus en route to a medal round. Wilson focuses on the details – rebounds, jabs, and when appropriate penalty strokes. They finished last year’s season 24-3-1. Two of several players to keep an eye on are Caroline Horace (MAX Field Hockey’s top 100 nationally in the Class of 2025), and Catherine Wolf (MAX Field Hockey’s Class of 2025 watch list). The Bulldogs were ranked the No. 5 team in Pennsylvania and No. 11 nationally by MAX Field Hockey.
The Warriors were hustlers on defensive penalty corners in 2022. It’s one thing to have to defend the cage over and over again; it’s another thing to defend the cage and get the ball out of the circle. Wyoming Area did the latter. Their strategies protected post and space that gave them time to send the ball down the field. A few returners to watch out for: Alyvia Yatsko (committed to play Division II at East Stroudsburg), Nina Angeli (committed to play Division I at Michigan State), Lyla Rehill (MAX Field Hockey’s top 50 nationally list Class of 2025), and Lucia Campenni (MAX Field Hockey’s top 100 nationally list Class of 2026). The Warriors won the 2022 District 2 Class 1A championship and went to the PIAA finale in Class 1A for the first time in school history. They finished as finalists with a record of 20-3-0. They’ll want to resume where they left off at the start of the 2023 season.