The 2015 field hockey season at Cinnaminson High School provided plenty of excitement, especially in the playoffs.
The Pirates finished the year 10-6-3 overall and 5-4-1 in the Patriot Division, one of the strongest divisions in the county.
Cinnaminson hosted Gloucester in the second round, after a first round bye, in what was easily the most exciting game of the season for the team.
The Pirates took down the Lions on penalty strokes after 80 minutes of regulation and two overtime periods resulted in a 1-1 draw.
It took seven rounds of strokes to complete the game.
Head coach Gina Quaranta hopes that the experience gained by her young team in 2015 pays off in 2016.
“Our older girls, who saw a lot of time last year, have been really doing well and stepping up into leadership roles. We’ve been trying to continue what I’ve been expecting from them (the veterans) and newcomers to the program.”
There are 29 players in the program this year, 13 of them freshmen. There are four goalkeepers, one from each grade level.
“We’re trying to do bigger and better things than last year,” Quaranta said. “We know that our goals will come with hard work. What we did last year isn’t going to matter this year. We need to keep working harder and continue getting better as a team.”
Quaranta is excited to see what the freshmen class brings to the table.
“They have all been playing together for a while. Most of them started much earlier than a lot of our former players. A lot of these girls are coming through the township program starting in maybe second or third grade. That’s really helping us a lot.”
The psychological aspect of the game has been a major teaching point since the pre-season began.
“I’ve tried to explain to them that a lot of the battle is in their head; trying to stay positive for a full 60 minute game is really hard,” Quaranta said.
“It’s a tough sport to be successful. It takes a lot of attitude to stay in it. When your body wants to quit, your mind needs to be stronger.”
The Pirates open the 2016 campaign on Thursday, September 8 at Delran for an early division contest.
“We’re always excited for the first game, no matter what,” Quaranta said. “Scrimmages are scrimmages, we treat them like games, but there’s nothing like the first game in your uniform.”
“We are even more excited that we open with Delran. It’s always a good game because some of these girls know each other from playing in club or growing up together. It doesn’t matter if it’s the first game or the middle of the season, it’ll be a good game for us.”
Cinnaminson has won 10 or more games for two straight seasons and advanced to the playoffs four straight years coming into 2016.
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