state field hockey

File, The Gazette

AURORA -- Palmer Ridge senior Hannah Hermann was often called “Abby” at school, but curiously not at field hockey practice, even though she played the position recently vacated by her older sister.

“I stepped right into her shoes,” Hermann said.

The two-time team captain has made her own mark on the Bears program the past three seasons.

Bears coach Mallory Cuccio guided Hermann when she herself was in high school and the now-senior center back was figuring out the game. Hermann impressed as an incoming freshman and has started every game since, leading the team in scoring as a sophomore.

“She just always had this nice, poised, composed presence about her,” Cuccio said. “Ever since she was a freshman, she’s been our anchor and she’s someone we can always rely on.”

Hermann steadied the Bears (3-1-1) at times as they took on Regis Jesuit on the road Thursday, falling 2-0 to the defending state champions.

Ellie Johnson and Emily Bradac were credited with Regis Jesuit’s goals. Goalie Lauren Halenkamp saw the ball dribble safely away from her, but the Raiders turned around and scored. The hosts added an insurance tally less than five minutes later.

Regis Jesuit (4-0) hasn’t been scored on yet this season. The Bears had a goal disallowed about six minutes into the game.

“We got in our heads a little bit,” Cuccio said.

“We came back in the fourth quarter. We did give more pressure, we just couldn’t come back. We’d kind of dug out hole a little bit.”

The Bears planned to use the loss as study material before taking on Arapahoe on Tuesday.

“We learn more from a loss than we do from a win,” Hermann said. “It helps us become a better team in the long run.”

Hannah hopes to follow Abby to the Air Force Academy, her plan since elementary school. First comes one more promising season at Palmer Ridge.

“We can’t keep this weight on our shoulders,” Hermann said of Thursday’s first loss of the season. “We have to let it go.”

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