CHESTERTOWN — Washington rallied from a goal down in the fourth quarter Saturday to overtake Albright, 3-2, in a full 60-minute scrimmage, another indication that the field hockey program here is on the rise.
During the spring exhibition season — three games and a 7-on-7 tournament — Washington defeated conference rivals Franklin and Marshall and Dickinson.
F&M was the 2019 NCAA Division III runner-up.
There was no season in 2020 due to the pandemic.
Annie Kietzman, who is entering her fifth year as the Shore ladies’ head coach, is eager to return to a full fall season and excited about her 2021 squad.
“We have a passionate team that is tremendously committed to their own learning and to each other,” she said in a news release. “I am really proud of the environment that these athletes have created, especially considering the challenges of this past year.”
Kietzman said she can’t wait to see the Shore ladies “turn heads in the Centennial Conference this fall.”
The locals’ first conference game is Sept. 29 at McDaniel.
Washington opens its 17-game schedule 4 p.m. Thursday at home against Hood. Kent County High School graduate Tanae Johnson is a sophomore forward for the Blazers.
The game was pushed back a day due to Tropical Storm Ida.
Washington has nine returnees, who were freshmen and sophomores in the four-win campaign of 2019. They are juniors and seniors now.
There also are 11 who will be playing their first full season of collegiate hockey for Washington.
The seniors are forward Maddie Knight (Parkton, Hereford High School), defender Madison Parker (Seaford, Del., Sussex Tech) and midfielder Cristen Quillen (Pocomoke City, Pocomoke).
Knight, who appeared in 14 games in 2019 with 12 starts, scored her first career goal in the season finale at Muhlenberg.
Parker played in all 16 games in 2019. In this spring’s exhibition season, she scored in the 2-1 win over Dickinson.
Quillen was the team’s most improved player in 2019, when she appeared in six games.
The juniors are forward/midfielder Jillian Brejnik (Virginia Beach, Va.), forward/midfielder Anna Harrington (Milton, Del., Cape Henlopen), midfielder/forward Kyra Heap (York, Pa.), defender Jo Robson (Leesburg, Va.), midfielder/defender Tatum Schatt (Pasadena, Chesapeake), forward Julianna Sterling (Salisbury, James Bennett) and forward/midfielder Marah Vain-Callahan (Pasadena, Severn School).
Parker, Harrington and Schatt are the captains.
Heap (3 goals) is the team’s leading returning scorer; she appeared in 14 games with seven starts in 2019.
Sterling (2 goals, 1 assist) appeared in 16 games with three starts in 2019. This spring, she scored the only goal in a 1-0 upset of F&M.
Harrington (2 goals) and Schatt each started all 16 games for 4-12 Washington in 2019. Schatt was part of the unit that registered four shutouts.
Brejnik appeared in 14 games with five starts.
Robson transferred here last year after playing as a freshman at Washington and Jefferson in Pennsylvania.
There are six sophomores, listed alphabetically: defender Ellie Bossi (Phoenix, Garrison Forest), defender Gab Crysler (Marlton, N.J.), goalie Sasha Dennis (Joppa, Notre Dame Prep), defender/midfielder Katie Gromacki (Forest Hill, John Carroll), goalie Ava Rivera (Simsbury, Conn.) and forward Alexis Tackney (Annapolis, St. Mary’s).
The true newcomers are the freshmen: defender Aly Campbell (Huntingdon Valley, Pa.), forward Kat Esposito (Severna Park, Severna Park) and midfielders Zoe Shevitz (Arnold, Broadneck) and Emily Ulizio (Townsend, Del., MOT Charter).
Esposito scored all three Washington goals in Saturday’s scrimmage, all in the fourth quarter.
Also new to the program are assistant coaches Maddie Taylor and Simone Vagnoni.
Taylor, the paid assistant, grew up in Worton and was a triple-threat athlete at Kent County High School. She is a 2021 graduate of Susquehanna University, served as a captain on the field hockey team as a senior and helped the River Hawks reach the NCAA Tournament in 2018.
Vagnoni is a 2017 graduate of Michigan State University, where she earned All-Big Ten honors in her junior and senior years.