Preseason power rankings: YAIAA field hockey
There are some changes coming to YAIAA field hockey this season, with the league shifting from three divisions to four.
How will that effect which teams are competitive in 2016? It's obviously unclear, but there does appear to be a number a teams poised to build on last year's success. Here are some teams and players to watch this season.
Preseason power rankings
1. Dallastown: Despite going 18-3 and winning the league title last season, the Wildcats enter the fall feeling they have something to prove after missing the state tournament by one game. And with 15 seniors and six returning starters on the roster, Dallastown seems to have the talent and experience to contend once again. Star goalie Syd Terroso is back after helping the Wildcats register 17 shutouts and seven goals allowed last season, and Sophie Beeler and Caroline Doll give the team a strong defense. Abby Kuhn and Molly Lohss will lead a balanced attack on offense. Dallastown has won four straight Divison I titles, and appears to be the favorite once again.
2. New Oxford: The Colonials have a new coach in Tonya Lardarello, be they might be the team with the best shot at dethroning Dallastown in Division I. New Oxford went 13-4-1 and reached the District 3 playoffs last season, and has the luxury of bringing back a number of key players. Leading the way will be senior Kaelyn Long, who is primed for a big season after scoring 22 goals and picking up 20 assists a year ago. Breanne Sauter, Lauren Slonaker and Haley Luckabaugh help form a solid supporting cast around her. After making it to the league tournament for the first time last season, the Colonials should have high expectations.
3. Gettysburg: After winning the league title and losing its two top players following the 2014 season, Gettysburg reloaded last year by going 18-2 and winning Division II. This season, the Warriors will try to do something similar. While they're now in Division III following realignment, the Warriors will once again try to remain competitive despite losing some star players. Megan Miller and Emily Spangler have both graduated, but forward Madi Hirneisen and defender Joanna Suarez are just two returnees who bring experience to the lineup. Gettysburg will also be motivated after getting knocked out by 19th-seeded East Pennsboro in last season's District 3 playoffs.
4. Bermudian Springs: The Eagles are coming off their ninth-straight Division III title, but will have an extra challenge this year with Gettyburg moving into the division. Still, Bermudian Springs looks poised to be dangerous once again. Star scorer Kenzie Farley has moved on to Lock Haven, but Nicki Wolf is back after registering 16 goals and 18 assists as a junior. Olivia Blasone and Allie Wolf will also be two players to watch.
5. Red Lion: The Lions will face tough competition in Division I, but feel confident they can build on last season's 10-7-1 record and District 3 playoff appearance. Returning starting defender Jackie Golden and goalie Jena Everett give Red Lion a solid foundation in the back, while Gillian Orwig will be relied on to replace the production of graduated star Jayla Godfrey. Head coach Carol Gillmen said the team is "looking for more balance" on offense, but has a number of players with potential.