FOXBORO — The new normal in field hockey this season is the old normal, with 11 players on the field, including a goalkeeper and the return of penalty corners.
“We kind of forget that the freshmen and sophomores in the program now haven’t played that game before, this is kind of all new to them,” Mansfield High coach Theresa Nyhan said of the addition of four field players and instead of direct hits, the tactics and strategies of penalty corners once again falls into play.
“For the girls who are juniors and seniors, it’s kind of like riding a bike — you don’t forget,” Foxboro coach Melissa Bordieri said. “Above all though, everyone was so psyched to be out there back again playing and without masks. They were back into their routine.”
The consensus among Hockomock League field hockey coaches is that the league title runs through Franklin. However, senior-laden King Philip and Attleboro may have a say.
Bordieri is revamping the Warrior roster a bit with the exodus of seniors and with the return of four more players on the field from last season.
Coming off of a 7-3-2 season, Foxboro could become a force in the Davenport Division by mid-season if the varsity experience catches up to the talent presented on the field.
“We have a mix of returning players and some new players, we’ve looked good so far,” Bordieri said.
Foxboro scored the second-most goals (42) in the Hockomock League last season and boasts three of the most dynamic attackers in the Hockomock League in senior Kate Collins, junior Mya Waryas and sophomore Mary Collins.
“It’s just that now we’re working on penalty corners again,” Bordieri said. “I was saying to myself, the freshmen and sophomores playing on jayvee had never done them before.”
The Warrior midfield consists of senior Paige Simoneau, junior Mia DiNunzio and sophomore Valerie Beigel. Senior Lilli Jones returns in goal.
“We’ll be competitive,” Bordieri added. “The first few weeks, you’re trying to put players in the right position, to get the right combinations of players.”
That is especially true with four more players on the field.
“I’ve been happy with what we’ve done,” Bordieri said. “We’re finding out a lot about ourselves, to maximize the talent that we have.”