The Lindbergh Field Hockey Team. Photo by Stephen Glover.
By Stephen Glover
For the Call
As the Lindbergh High School girls’ varsity field hockey team enters its fourth season, the Flyers are off to a fantastic start with a 1-0 win over Alton Marquette.
“Things are going really well,” Lindbergh head coach Andrew Shipp said. “We opened with a really good win against Marquette, and our team has progressed a lot since then.”
The Flyers (1-0) are coming off a 4-16-1 campaign and are hoping that some hard work and persistence translates to a winning season.
“We’re putting in the hard work and the effort,” Shipp said. “They’re doing all the little things that we’re asking them to do, including showing up at 7 a.m. on Saturdays for practice. They want to get better, and they have a desire to do well.”
Senior Erin Clancy will command the midfield position for the Flyers. What sets her apart from a lot of her opponents is the fact that she uses her strong knowledge of soccer to excel in field hockey.
“It’s pretty impressive to see Erin play because the switch has been flipped in her head, and she really gets the game,” Shipp said. “She’s a high-level soccer player that has come over and started to learn field hockey for cross-training purposes. Erin’s become a great midfielder for us.”
Meg Ciaramitaro enters her third season on the varsity squad and is one of the cornerstones of the Flyer defense this season.
“This is her third year on varsity, and she is just tenacious on defense and sees the plays developing and knows how to get into position to stop the offensive pressure,” Shipp said. “She’s really one of our leaders back there on defense.”
At the goalkeeper position this season is senior Anna Davis, who posted her first shutout of the season in the 1-0 win over Alton Marquette.
“This season, the goalkeeper position is all hers,” Shipp said. “She’s doing a great job for us this year.”
Another key component of the Flyer defense this season is senior Payton Froidl.
“Payton is one of our returning defenders who can get out there and stop opponents as our last line of defense,” Shipp said. “She’s a great kid who loves getting after it.”
Senior Dani Murphy will see action up top in the attacker position for the 2018 campaign.
“Dani spent the last three years on defense, but we had a hole in our attack and she’s decided to help us out and step up,” Shipp said.
“She had a couple really good looks in our first game.”
Emily Creek will also roam the midfield this season for Lindbergh and has proven to be an imposing stopgap on the Flyers’ left side.
“Emily’s been with us since we started the program,” Shipp said. “She’s just really solid, and nobody gets by her on our left side. She’s able to step in and take the ball away with solid defensive work.”
Senior Julie Baudendistal starts her first season at midfield this year and celebrated her first career start by giving the Flyers the game-winning goal against Alton Marquette.
“She’s a first-year player, but you would never know it,” Shipp said. “She actually scored our first goal of the year on her first shot ever. She’s a heck of an athlete, and we are really glad to have her out here.”
Senior Hailey Fisher will also play up to for the Flyers as an attacker after taking the 2017 season off.
“Hailey played for us for a year and then took time off and then came back,” Shipp said. “She’s one of the most aggressive kids I’ve seen, who loves getting into the mix. So we put her down on low attack so she can really get after it and get in there.”
One player that brings a ton of experience to the Flyers lineup is junior midfielder Emma Gertwitz.
“Emma’s an outstanding ice hockey player,” Shipp said. “She decided to give this a whirl and has been very, very good for us. She sees the field exceptionally well and can move past anybody with great stick skills.”
The Flyers next play at home against Eureka at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 19.