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The past few seasons the North Kingstown field hockey team has managed to stay competitive despite playing with a relatively young roster.
Last fall the Skippers went 10-5-1 in Division I-South and clinched the No. 5 seed in the postseason, but dropped a first-round matchup with East Greenwich 3-0.
Fortunately for NK it only lost four seniors from that team and return this season with a veteran lineup, the majority of whom have been battle tested.
â€śI think the difference between the two years is the kids that have returned this year have that much more experience,â€ť NK coach Julie Maguire says. â€śWeâ€™ve been fairly young the past few years and now those kids are finally upperclassmen.
â€śItâ€™s going well. Itâ€™s tough to say where we are. We were supposed to have our game [Tuesday] but it got cancelled obviously so it was postponed to [Wednesday]. I think [the team is] optimistic that theyâ€™ll do fairly well.â€ť
Given the majority of upperclassmen in the lineup Maguire is optimistic about her teamâ€™s chances as thereâ€™s been a great deal of balances throughout the field.
â€śTheyâ€™re all pretty equal,â€ť she says. â€śVery well balanced so itâ€™s kind of hard to call kids out.â€ť
Starting at forward for North Kingstown will be senior Holly Bobola, junior Olivia Baxter and sophomore Allie Lenox, while senior Amanda Zerbinopoulos, junior Emma Simmons and freshmen Meghan Maguire will man the midfield.
Junior Molly Feid, sophomore Cathy Lenox and Emma Lennon will hold down the back for the Skippers, senior Savannah Martin is set to play sweeper and junior Gabby Caldwell will take over in goal.
North Kingstown kicked off its season Wednesday with a road game at Tiverton (results unavailable at press time) and will have its home opener Friday at 6:30 p.m. against South Kingstown.
It will likely be a few weeks though before the Skippers truly get a feel for what they have this season as their first three games are against three teams that finished at the bottom of the Division I-South standings last season.
â€śEast Greenwich, Moses Brown you play them often enough where you get a feel [for what they have],â€ť Maguire says, â€śbut when you go play Barrington, you see them once per season so typically you donâ€™t know what to expect.â€ť
The Skippers first major challenge will be Thursday, Sept. 12 at 6:30 p.m. when they play at EG. NK will then face defending champ Moses Brown in its next game Tuesday, Sept. 17 at 5:30 p.m. before beginning the crossover portion of its schedule that Thursday against Bay View.