With 15 healthy and experienced seniors, Mahopac, a field hockey team that limped home from the sectional semifinals last fall, felled first by injury, then by perennial powerhouse Mamaroneck, seems positioned to flex some power itself this season.
The speedy and stick-talented Sara Quarto, one of several Indians who should draw college scouts’ attention, is expected to be a leading scorer for the Indians.
But during practice Wednesday, Quarto, a four-year varsity member, emphasized Mahopac’s emphasis on team play.
Mikaela DiBello, left, drives against a defender during the Mahopac varsity field hockey team work out Aug. 20, 2014 at Mahopac Falls Elementary School.
“We don’t want a one-man team,” said Quarto, who plays attack. “We have to travel in packs. There’s not one go-to girl.”
Mahopac graduated four players, three being starters. But that leaves a wealth of talent. Back for a final season are center forward Mikaela DiBello and right midfielder Jane Kasparian.
Kasparian noted she and most of her fellow seniors are beginning their third season on varsity. That experience means “we feel more connected and trust each other,” DiBello said.
Coach Dona DiMaggio points to Quarto, DiBello, Kasparian and Sarah Lilley as Mahopac’s core, saying, “Those four will really be a big part of our heart and soul this year.”
No one’s predicting specific win totals but DiMaggio thinks her squad is comparable to the best in the section.
Her players seem to agree.
“I’m expecting big things,” Quarto said. “We have a lot of talent.”