7 from Kent earn all-star nod in hockey; Wright-Taylor is coach of the year

Susan Wright-Taylor, now in her sixth year as head field hockey coach, is her peers’ choice as coach of the year in the North division of the Bayside Conference.

WORTON — Kent County’s field hockey team was the little team that could, advancing to the region championship game with a roster of only 12 players.

In nearly half of their games, six of the regular-season contests, the Trojans (5-7-1) dressed 11 due to injury.

“We weren’t going to let the lack of substitutes stop us,” said coach Susan Wright-Taylor. “It didn’t give us options, but once we figured out the right configuration, we were fine,” she said.

Kent played a challenging schedule that included Class 2A and 3A opponents and eventual 1A state champion Pocomoke.

After defeating St. Michaels in overtime to open the playoffs, Kent’s bid for a second straight Class 1A East Region title ended Nov. 3 at Southern of Anne Arundel, a Class 2A school that competes at the 1A level for field hockey.

Kent locked into a 1-1 tie on freshman Dakota Denny’s goal with 10 minutes, 3 seconds remaining in the opening period, but Southern (8-6) pulled ahead for good with 2:02 to go in the frame.

The Bulldogs, who dressed 23, had the advantage of fresh legs and ultimately wore out their guests.

The final score was 4-1, with senior Ava Wooster netting a hat trick for the winners.

“I’m incredibly proud of the team,” Wright-Taylor said. “We only had six players with high school experience. We expected a lot from everyone and they did not disappoint. They worked hard and were determined.”

Other coaches on the Shore took notice of what Kent accomplished, with seven players gaining all-star recognition and Wright-Taylor selected coach of the year in the North division of the Bayside Conference.

Senior forward Kendell Ford (5 goals, 5 assists), junior midfielder Delaney Jewell (2 assists) and junior defender Rachel Heldmyer (2 assists) were placed on the elite first team in voting by the division coaches.

Senior midfielder Kiera McColigan (1 goal, 4 assists) and junior defender Sara Moxley landed on the second team.

Senior midfielder Kenzie Clark (3 assists) and freshman forward Kate Cannon (5 goals, 2 assists) received honorable mention.

Jewell further distinguished herself as a member of the All-Eastern Shore team, comprised of seven players each from the conference’s North and South divisions.

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