In her second season at the helm of Palmer Ridge field hockey, with a senior group she’d coached all four years, Mallory Cuccio honed her tools. With the help of some in-depth statistics and mental and written notes, she’s able to keep track of what worked and what didn’t, and why.
“Looking back, there’s always things we can work on,” the Gazette Preps field hockey coach of the year said. “That’s the beauty of sports — they’re ever-changing.”
The Bears finished 8-4-4 but fell in the state quarterfinals for a second straight year. They were undefeated at home (8-0-3) and haven’t lost at home in two seasons.
There was no standout goal-scorer like Jordyn Isner this season. Everyone had to get in on the action.
“We had 18 field players and 12 different goal-scorers,” Cuccio said. “Just knowing that we have that depth in our back pocket is really great.”
Cuccio is encouraged by the young players she sees who are less willing to wait their turn. For instance, freshman Natalie Jansky appeared in 12 games, scoring once.
“They’re not settling for just being on the sideline. They’re not going to sit there and take what they get,” Cuccio said. “It brings the whole level of play for the team up as well.”