Pennsylvania high school field hockey teams FAN predicts could win districts, states in 2023

It's a new season. Here's what we think could happen.

Fall sport athletes are about to be handed a clean slate for the 2023 season.

What they choose to do with it, that’s up to them.

Pennsylvania is just shy of having 270 high schools that offer field hockey. Of those 270 programs, about 6 percent of them will make it all the way to the postseason.

Female Athlete News is taking an early look at who we think will make it all the way to the end. What we always hope for is that each athlete has a healthy, memorable season, and that a few teams shock us.

That’s why a majority of us are drawn to watch sports. It’s the unknowns that keep us sitting on the edge of our seats following storylines and sub-storylines.

Central Pennsylvania’s Mid-Penn Conference had a strong showing in 2022, claiming all three state titles in Class 1A, 2A, and 3A.

This is Part 1 of the teams we think will go far in the postseason. The following five teams are in alphabetical order. Next week, we will publish Part 2.

* is undergoing a website update. All new content published throughout the next two weeks will be free.*

Boiling Springs

If you’re a high school field hockey fan, then you know. The Bubblers had exceptional regular and post-seasons. Boiling Springs won the Mid-Penn Conference Capital Division, and the school’s first District 3 Class 1A title. They then advanced to their destiny of becoming the 2022 PIAA Class 1A champions, another first for the program’s history. The Bubblers only allowed four goals scored against them and had 22 shutouts. MAX Field Hockey, a stats-based website, ranked them No. 15 nationally and No. 8 in Pennsylvania. At the end of the season, the team’s head coach and her two assistant coaches made a very tough decision to resign (for personal reasons). Turning the page, the Bubblers have newly installed head coach Bayley Leonard ready to lead. Leonard told FAN earlier this year, “There’s a slight intimidation factor knowing that they literally had the perfect season last year.” But, Leonard emphasized the 2023 roster has 10 varsity returners. Alex Bandura, Reese Hays, Tess Naylor, Kylie Rife, and Lexi Boyle, are just a few of those players. Bandura is committed to play Division I at Old Dominion and was a key playmaker in 2022; as well as Reese Hays, who is committed to play Division II at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.


The Green Hornets are District 11 and PIAA Class 3A postseason tournament regulars. Head coach Sue Butz-Stavins, the winningest high school field hockey coach in the nation, has a knack for maximizing her players’ strengths. Here’s how they finished in 2022: 25-1-0, District 11 Class 3A champions, and PIAA Class 3A state semifinalists. They were ranked No. 12 nationally and No. 6 in Pennsylvania. While Emmaus’ roster is consistently laden with elite talent, (for example, Melea Weber, a Class of 2024 Division I University of North Carolina commit; and, Autum Kernechel, a Class of 2025 MAX Field Hockey player to watch) this year’s squad will be missing one. Hailey Cook, in her junior year, was diagnosed with leukemia during the team’s 2022 state postseason. She recently lost her battle to cancer, according to the Morning Call. Emmaus will have heart-wrenching motivation to claim or reclaim any medals in Cook’s honor. FAN expresses its deepest sympathy to Emmaus and to the Cook family.


The Trojans accomplished what they set out to do in 2022. They were District 3 Class 2A finalists, and PIAA Class 2A quarterfinalists. They boasted a 17-4-1 record, which included two wins over backyard rival Lower Dauphin. A lot of mental preparedness went into last season, which is more than likely to carry over into the 2023 season. Anne Gardner (committed to play Division II field hockey at Shippensburg), Riley Welsch (committed to play Division I at Liberty), and Cara Cronin (committed to play Division I at Harvard), will help to set the tone. They will also support and be supported by players like Joyce Tao and Ampi Marzari. If Hershey finds its motivator, the 2023 team could breakthrough anything that’s held them back in recent years – learning to channel their speed on breakaways, using the entire field when maintaining possession, and winning the small game.

Lower Dauphin

Whether the Falcons are going through short-term growing pains or they are settled in for a season, Lower Dauphin always comes out swinging. Lower Dauphin went 21-3-1 in 2022 and took home gold at both the District 3 Class 3A and PIAA Class 3A tournaments. The victories were a wonderful sendoff for long-standing head coach Linda Kreiser. Kreiser announced her retirement in March. After 45 years of coaching, Kreiser passed the baton to new head coach Erin Catalfano. Catalfano and Kreiser will swap roles, as Kreiser is going to help assistant coach when she can. Catalfano is undeniably supported by the LD field hockey community. And, her 2023 roster is packed with talent per usual. This year’s squad, however, will miss Avery Pollock’s on-field leadership. Pollock, a standout rockstar committed to play Division I field hockey at Liberty, is rehabilitating an injury she sustained in a girls lacrosse game. Pollock told FAN earlier this year, “I’m really, really hoping to be back by postseason; the beginning of November. That’s my goal. And, it’s not impossible. It could happen.” Expect standouts like Falcons Katelyn Strawser, committed to Penn State, and Vic Kutz, committed to Ohio State, as well as MAX Field Hockey Class of 2025 top 100 nationally to watch, Dani Murphy, and Brenna Killian (goalie) to be well prepped for game time.


They did it. The Wildcats made it all the way to the top and took home state gold for the first time in school history. Mechanicsburg took bronze in the District 3 Class 2A tournament, and defeated Palmyra 1-0 in overtime to become PIAA Class 2A state champs. The ‘Cats Class of 2022 had something special – friendship, goals, and one of the best passing games in the state. MAX Field Hockey ranked them No. 9 nationally and No. 3 in Pennsylvania. Will they be able to produce the same quality of play in 2023? That remains to be seen, but there is something to be said for the players they had to practice against. Mechanicsburg graduated a senior-heavy program last year. The 2023 season will be a rebuilding year, and a year to try to copy what was handed down. Alana Shimp, committed to play Division I field hockey at Queens University, will provide the most insight to her team.

Share the Post:

Related Posts