YORK, PA – The 2013 season will begin a new era for the York College Field Hockey squad. New head coach Carly Zinn brings an exceptional level of enthusiasm and excitement to the Spartan squad. She has jumped in with two feet into crafting her program into a highly competitive program.
Zinn has come in and made a significant impact on the team since her arrival in August.
"I was coming into the job without any expectations of the athletes who are here," says Zinn. "I didn't have any preconceived notions about them as players. I told them that they might be asked to play different positions. I told the kids they all have clean slates with me, and what you do moving forward will determine your own personal path and, in effect, the level of success that we will have this year. The main thing for me is that they work hard and trust me as a coach. I will put them in the best position for the team and I have their best interest in mind."
Zinn will build this year's squad around a small but solid group of returners from last year's 10-8 team. She returns a trio of double-digit scorers as Kailey Brewer (Hartly, Del./Smyrna), Holly Martin (Hanover, Pa./South Western), and Jillian Brezgel (Herndon, Pa./Line Mountain) will lead the Spartan attack. Brewer finished last year with 19 points on eight goals and three assists en route to earning second team All-Capital Athletic Conference honors. Martin recorded 11 points on four goals and three assists while Brezgel contributed ten points on four goals and two assists.
"I feel good about our ability to score led by Kailey," said Zinn. "She is an experienced player who has proven she can find the back of the cage."
The midfield is an area where Zinn is still looking for the right combinations during the early stages of the season. Junior Katie Petrillo (Howell, N.J./Freehold Township) headlines a very small group of returning midfielders for the Spartans. Petrillo tallied seven points on two goals and three assists last year.
"The midfield is the one area where we are continuing to move players around to find the right combinations. I am confident we have the players on the roster to implement what we want to do."
"I feel good about where we are defensively but we very well could move some people around to find that right combination. They do a good job of communicating and playing together."
The goaltending will be handled by sophomore Abby Baker (Baltimore, Md./Mercy). Baker started her freshman year in a reserve role but earned the starting role midway through the year and blossomed for the Green and White. She started ten games, played 694 minutes as she allowed just 14 goals for a 1.41 goals against average. She boasted a .818 save percentage and went 5-4 with three shutouts.
"Abby has been very good in the preseason. She communicates with her teammates and isn't afraid to take charge," says Zinn.
The adjustment to being a head coach has gone smoothly for the one-time Dickinson assistant.
"It's been a good transition. I feel that I was extremely well prepared by my former head coach Caitlin Williams (Dickinson College Head Coach). I talked to her every night of preseason for about an hour. She is a great mentor. She helped walk me through a number of different scenarios with my team. She has helped me stay focus with the team and has really helped prepare me for all the things I am now facing as a head coach."
Zinn has been happy with the leadership on the team. It's a leadership that helped ease the transition to the new coaching staff.
"The leadership on this team speaks for itself," states the first year head coach. "We didn't need to spend any time on team building or bonding. It is already a close group of kids. That says a lot about our leadership. All of our seniors have given us good leadership in their own different ways. I am starting to see the juniors emerge a little bit more and that is a great sign for us."
Zinn's expectation for the Spartans in 2013 is actually pretty simple.
"I want us to prepare to win each and every day. I want us to work hard, to mentally prepare ourselves and have an expectation of success in all that we do. I promised the players that I will do my best to prepare them for each game and that preparation will pay off in us winning some close games that we may have lost in the past."
The Spartans open up on Friday, August 30 when they host Randolph-Macon College in a non-conference contest. Game time is set for 4:00 pm in York.