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Field Hockey: Five Things to Watch

Written by Sports Town on .

Here are five things to keep an eye on during the 2013 field hockey season.

*Fox Chapel hopes to win its second consecutive WPIAL Class AAA title. Last season, the Foxes split the Section 1 championship with Peters Township and went on to win the WPIAL title after beating North Allegheny, 1-0, in the semifinals, and Penn-Trafford, 1-0, in the championship. The Foxes must replace WPIAL All-Stars Rose Grenen and Kate Hardiman.

*Pine-Richland should be very good. The Rams did not make the playoffs last season, finishing third in Class AAA Section 2 with a 7-3 record. However, they return a pair of WPIAL All-Stars in seniors Aafke Loney and Elita Marchetti, as well as senior Paige Haenig and junior Sage Dowiak.

*Can Peters Township and North Allegheny reload? The No. 1 and 2 seeds in last season's WPIAL Class AAA playoffs both won section titles (Peters Township and Fox Chapel split the Section 1 championship), but many of their top players graduated. Most notably, Peters Township lost Hannah Wilcox and Sam Moore, and North Allegheny lost Emily Humiston and Michelle Murray.

*Shady Side Academy will try to continue their recent dominance in Class AA. The defending WPIAL champions have not lost a section match the past two seasons, going 21-0-1 against section opponents in that period. In last season's WPIAL championship, the Indians edged Sewickley Academy, 2-1, in overtime.

*Junior achievement. Only three non-seniors were selected to the WPIAL Class AA All-Star team. Two of them are now juniors. Shady Side Academy's Gabby Harchelroad might be the best goalkeeper in the WPIAL. Mackenzie Haney, a midfielder, will lead Ellis School.