Field hockey team looks to new leaders for continued success

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Glastonbury - posted Wed., Sep. 5, 2012
Senior co-captain Jess Rihm is one of the key players for the Tomahawks' field hockey team this season. Photos by Steve Smith.
Senior co-captain Jess Rihm is one of the key players for the Tomahawks' field hockey team this season. Photos by Steve Smith.

Keeping the Glastonbury High School varsity field hockey team's level of performance consistent may prove a little more tricky this year, after losing two regional All-American attackers (Ashleigh Allen and Leah Zavalick) and a three-year midfielder (Liz Caporale) to graduation, but a group that has been waiting in the wings, including seniors Shea Clark, Courtney Peterson, Jess Rihm, along with All-State goalie Dana Dhami, will take the field this season with an 'it's our turn' approach.

“It's going to be a group effort,” said coach Maureen Perkins. “I don't think that, with the quality of players that we graduated, they can be replaced. We haven't singled out one person who is going to be able to take their place. We're getting everybody ready.”

Perkins said that while the team will have a lot of upperclassmen, many of them have been in supporting roles for years, and are starting now. “That's the exciting part,” she said, “to see who is going to step up and who is going to do what. These guys get their opportunity now to get their moment and play their part. These kids have been aching for the opportunity.”

While the players have changed, the style of play will not. Perkins said that she and her coaching staff feel that their systems works well, and the team's overall speed is the same as or better than last year. “I think we have the attributes we need to be successful, playing the way that we play,” she said. “We've just got to get the pieces all set.”

The team just missed a trip to the finals with an overtime loss to Norwalk in the semis last season. That follows a state co-championship in 2010. Perkins said that while this year's seniors know what it's like to be there, they also feel it's important to make their own mark.

The key to getting back to a deep tourney run will be the team finding that new identity, and Rihm, Peterson, Dhami and Clark will be a big part of that. “They give us experience at forward, middie, and defense,” Perkins said. “It gives us veterans at each level of the field who can guide some of the younger kids. They were here two years ago and they know what it takes to get back to where we want to be.”

Glastonbury starts the season vs. Windsor on Sept. 11 at home and then visits Southington on Sept. 14.

For a complete schedule, visit

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