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CHAMBERSBURG >> Chambersburg's field hockey team has been filled with seniors over the last two seasons.

In 2013, the Trojans had 11 seniors on the team and followed that up with six last year. That will not be the case this season.

The Trojans have one lone senior on their roster this year, goalkeeper Colleen Mooney, and will rely on a strong group of juniors in a season that still has plenty of questions.

"We're still a work in progress," said Chambersburg coach Jen Amsley. "We have such a young team, and we're still learning so many things about the game. We have some talented girls; we just have to put it together."

The early part of last season was not kind to the Trojans. After a 2-1 start, they lost five games in a row to fall to 2-6. Chambersburg went 4-6 the rest of the way to finish 6-12 (3-11 Mid Penn Commonwealth Division).

But that was with a group of seniors leading the way. This time around, it will be up to the juniors to take charge.

Madison Schmus and Kaylea Garman are the team captains, and Amsley also expects big contributions from Liza Ernst and Jordan Amsley.

"It's been tough jumping into that leadership role, but us juniors have to step up to the challenge," Garman said. "We have a lot of expectations to fill."

Amsley will have Garman, Schmus, Sydney Kegerreis, Jessa Orwell and Hannah Raines leading the defense. The midfield will be led by Ernst, who tied for the team lead with six goals last year, Jordan Amsley (4 goals) and Rachel Dusman. Meghan Sharpe, Saige Piper and Molly Keefer are also expected to contribute on the offensive side.

"I think our speed will be one of our biggest strengths," Jen Amsley said. "We have a lot of quick players, and we should also be pretty strong on the defensive side. They're going to have to be."

Schmus said, "I think we need to go back to the basics. There are some simple things that we need to work on, but I think that if we can get it and work together, we can do well."

With so many questions this early in the season, Chambersburg isn't sure what to expect, but Amsley always sets the bar high for her players.

"The goal is always to make the playoffs," she said. "Whether that is realistic or not, I don't know, but we want to try to be .500. The biggest thing we can focus on is just getting better day after day."

Garman said, "I don't think we really have a win total in mind, but our biggest goal is just to come to every game with the same high intensity. If we work together as a team, I think we can have some success."

The Trojans will obviously need plenty of young players to step up, but if it happens, they could be in for a surprising season.

Trojans at a glance

Coach: Jen Amsley, 10th season, 76-86-4 (.470).

Last year: 6-12 (3-11 Mid Penn Commonwealth Division).

Returning starters: Liza Ernst (jr., mid), Rachel Dusman (so., mid), Madison Schmus (jr., def), Kaylea Garman (jr., mid), Jordan Amsley (jr., for).

Other top players: Sydney Kegerreis (so., def), Jessa Corwell (jr., def), Hannah Raines (so., mid/def), Meghan Sharpe (so., for), Sage Piper (so., for), Molly Keefer (fr., for), Sydney Runshaw (fr., def), Colleen Mooney (sr., goalkeeper).

Season opener: Thursday at Greencastle-Antrim, 4.

To view all of the area's field hockey previews, visit GameTimePA.com.

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