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Girls varsity hockey team ready for season opener against Manchester-Essex

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By Alex Young

With Ipswich Varsity Field Hockey hosting their opening game on September 7, Head Coach Nikki Pignone has outlined her expectations for the upcoming season.

I am proud of the way the team comes together and does the job every day. I see the determination in every player and that alone gives me high hopes for our team this season. I know there are some consistently great teams in the CAL . to be [Cape Ann League], but I know we can compete with anyone. I expect great things from this team. Each player brings unique skills that go well with their teammates and I think this year will bring a strong squad on the pitch.

Although Pignone didn’t get to experience Ipswichs first-hand last season, she was still busy coaching hockey. When asked about the changes she saw in the game and the rules from last year as a result of COVID-19 restrictions, her response was: I can say that our sport has changed significantly due to the rule changes put in place to keep athletes safe. to keep due to Covid.

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“Playing 7v7 changed the pace of the game and opened up the field a lot more, which had a positive impact, she said.

Despite this comment, Pignone also stated that the decision to eliminate corners took away a huge offensive portion of the game. Those two changes made for a very different sport than we are used to.

The changes can have a huge impact on game planning and make it harder to get used to the evolving playstyle.

Finally, Pignone was asked if she wanted to add anything about the coaches and players.

She turned to the players and said: Everyone will contribute and that makes me so excited. Our three senior captains are goalkeepers Morgan Bodwell, forward Lexi James and midfielder/defender Julia Moseley, who have many years of experience on the varsity team and are able to dominate on all lines of the game.”

“We are also lucky enough to add foreign exchange students Linde Ruitenberg and Ella Vogler, which have added strength to both the offensive and defensive lines. Returnees Ashton Flather, Azza Lestage, Chloe Pszenny, Courtney Stevens and Faith De Boer have all impressed me during this preseason as well. Fans should get used to hearing all their names!

As for the coaches, we are a happy team. Our JV coach Allison Tivnan is back for its fourth season. We are also accompanied by assistant again Lisa Cleverdon who has so much hockey knowledge in all positions, and my sister Sydney Pignone, who has been by my side throughout my hockey career, from playing at Ipswich High School to Lasell College, has joined the squad as our goalkeeping coach. The four of us are able to pay so much attention to each position and have an eye for detail during matches and training. Players and coaches alike, this tiger team is ready!

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