YAIAA field hockey preview: Can Gettysburg repeat?
New to the YAIAA, Gettysburg upended Dallastown and Central York on its way to a league title. While the Warriors lost some of their top players, they could be well stocked for a title defense.
Here is a look at the league's field hockey landscape entering this fall:
Preseason top 5
3. Red Lion
4. Central York
5. Bermudian Springs
Players to watch
MACKENZIE FARLEY, BERMUDIAN SPRINGS, SR. >> Longtime standout for the Eagles, Farley recorded 34 goals and 15 assists as a junior for the YAIAA Division III champs.
JAYLA GODFREY, RED LION, SR. >> A Division I all-star, Godfrey led the Lions in scoring as a speedy forward.
KAELYN LONG, NEW OXFORD, JR. >> Also a standout basketball player for the Colonials, Long was a YAIAA Division I field hockey all-star last season. She also won an indoor field hockey national championship with the PA Mavericks club team in Harrisburg.
MAGGIE NOLL, DALLASTOWN, SR. >> This will be Noll's third year starting. The center midfielder is coming off an eight-goal, six-assist season.
GRETA PLAPPERT, CENTRAL YORK, SR. >> With Paige Harrold graduated, the forward will be even more vital for the Panthers. She had 11 goals and 12 assists while helping Central to last year's league title match.
MONTANA UTZ, SOUTH WESTERN, SR. >> A three-year starter for the Mustangs, Utz led them in scoring last season while earning YAIAA Division I all-star honors.
Division I breakdown
DEFENDING CHAMP >> Dallastown
While coach Jeri Myers' squad graduated player of the year Bryna Cook, there is plenty back. Start with Maggie Noll, the All-YAIAA midfielder, and continue with three-year starting forward Lydia Trout. Nine starters are back for Myers, including junior goalkeeper Syd Terroso. Dallastown didn't lose a Division I match last season, but lost to eventual league tournament champion Gettysburg in the semifinals.
ASCENDING >> Red Lion, New Oxford, Spring Grove
While the Lions sported a 9-4-1 league record last season, they have seven starters back. Jayla Godfrey leads the way with a strong defense, anchored by two juniors in Jackie Golden and Emily Gillmen. Goalie Jenna Everett is back in net as a junior, while Kynslee Shepherd is an honorable mention all-league midfielder.
Just 2-14-1 last year, Spring Grove will have added scoring with senior Morgan Hagerman returning from a broken foot. Junior goalie Camille Lecrone also is back for a Rockets squad that returns four starters.
SHOES TO FILL >> Central York, Northeastern, South Western
How do you recover from losing a Division I co-player of the year in Paige Harrold? Harrold is now playing at East Stroudsburg, and graduated all-star Alexis Young is playing at Stevenson. Lori Livingston's Central York squad will ease those losses with seven returning starters. Chief among them is senior captain Greta Plappert and 12-goal scorer Amanda Miller, another senior captain at forward. The defense is anchored by seniors Jordan Hershberger and Jenny Lawson, while Abbie Timperio is back in goal.
The Mustangs graduated four-year starting goalie Hannah Glover from a 7-10 squad. The scoring should be strong, though, with three-year starting senior forward Montana Utz and senior midfielder Bailey Moses. South Western's new goalie or goalie-by-committee will be helped by returning all-league defender Allie Bentley, a junior.
Meanwhile, Northeastern lost two all-league players in Ashley Meyer, who now plays at Stevenson with Central's Young, and Kirstin Josey. The Bobcats bring back Meyer's sister, Kendra, and Ashli Glatfelter.
MATCHUP TO WATCH >> Dallastown vs. Red Lion, Sept. 21 at Dallastown and Oct. 8 at Red Lion.
Division II breakdown
DEFENDING CHAMP >> Gettysburg
Coach Janelle Ebaugh and her squad will be tasked with replacing production from departed captain Maggie Fees and Sydney Tomassini. A captain last year, Fees scored 12 goals and had five assists while picking up Division II player of the year honors. Tomassini set the school scoring record with 25 goals (the old mark was 20).
However, eight starters are back for the Warriors: senior Division II all-stars Katelyn Gormley and Megan Miller, along with senior midfielder Emily Spangler are some of the notables.
ASCENDING >> Eastern York, Kennard-Dale, Susquehannock, West York
After consecutive division titles, West York finished 7-9-1 last year and placed fourth in the six-team division. The Bulldogs graduated all-star Alyssa Howard, but bring back senior midfielder Madison Miller and senior forward Paige Gembe.
Lacrosse standout Emmie Dressel also earned field hockey all-star honors last year in Division II. She is still just a junior.
At Eastern, all starters are back from a 5-13 squad for second-year coach Lauren Ramspacher. That includes top scorer and senior forward Brianna Goodling, junior midfielder and assist leader Tia Judy to go along with senior defender Ashton Evans.
SHOES TO FILL >> Gettysburg
The Warriors must find a new goalkeeper to replace Emma Bahm in addition to Fees and Tomassini, but bring back three defensive starters.
MATCHUP TO WATCH >> Gettysburg vs. Kennard-Dale, Sept. 15 at Gettysburg and Sept. 29 at Kennard-Dale.
Division III breakdown
DEFENDING CHAMP >> Bermudian Springs
The Eagles have won or shared the last eight division titles. Their bid to continue that run is helped by having Farley back for her senior season, plus junior forward Nicole Wolf and senior defender Lindsey Brehm. Bermudian will need a new goalie to step in for the graduated Sarah Crane.
ASCENDING >> Littlestown
Nine starters are back for coach Sara Lawyer, whose squad finished 7-11. Four-year player Shelby Dews, a midfielder and defender, leads the way. But Lawyer has four more three-year players, including forward/midfielder Kelsie Dews, midfielder Hannah Bowers, midfielder/defender Makenzie Ridge and junior forward Lexy Morey.
SHOES TO FILL >> Hanover
Division III all-star goalie Emily Albright had a save percentage of 73 and has graduated. So have four other divisional all-stars for the Nighthawks, including forward Morgan Herrick, who registered 14 goals in 2014.
MATCHUP TO WATCH >> Bermudian Springs vs. Littlestown, Sept. 23 at Littlestown and Oct. 7 at Bermudian.