Field hockey preview: Wilton looks to defend title

Coming off its first state title since 2006, the Wilton High field hockey team opened the season on Tuesday with a 7-0 rout over visiting Trumbull.

While the Warriors graduated six key players from a year ago, the team will look much the same as last year — 14 of the 16 players on the roster are returning players.

“I’m pleased with where they are,” said head coach Deirdre Hynes. “It’s just a matter of this team now finding its own team chemistry.”

Wilton must make up for the loss of midfielder Clare Detrick-Yee, a second-team All-American last year, along with defenders Nicole Roman-Johnston and Charlotte Saxe, and front-line players Christie Roberts, Hannah Riney and Sarah Leffel.

But with six returning seniors and seven returning juniors, there is plenty of experience and talent to go around.

And move around. Hynes said players this year will be expected to play a multiple of positions, and that she envisions a team where any player can step into any spot on the field.

It’s one reason she’s kept the roster small, with only 16 players.

“The beauty of the 16 is everybody’s learning everything. Everybody’s constantly rotating,” she said. “They’ve gotten more opportunities for game experience. I’m expecting more development throughout the season.”

The returning seniors are Valentina Tudisco, Joanne Nazareth (All-FCIAC East), Annie Lynch, Caroline DeAngelis, Julia Muirhead and Megan Ward, while returning juniors are Madison Hendry (first-team All-FCIAC), Jill Detrick-Yee, Annie Cornbrooks, Kailey Zengo, Emmie Arrix, Kylie Cafiero and Lizette Roman-Johnston, last year’s goalie. Also back is sophomore Megan Cunnningham.

The two newcomers this year are sophomore Caroline Taverna and junior Maggie Mendola.

Notes: Ward scored two goals in Tuesday’s season opener, with other goals by Arrix, Cunningham, Hendry, Lynch and DeAngelis. Hendry also had an assist, as did Nazareth.