By Don Beideman
INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The Shipley field hockey team continued its dominance of the Friends League this year, rolling to its fourth championship in the five years it has been a member of league. In winning their second straight title, the Gators put the icing on the cake by finishing unbeaten (15-0) for the first time.
“We only graduated three seniors last year — two starters —so we felt we had a good chance of winning again,” coach Katie Whelan said. “Going unbeaten was special.”
Included in the Gators’ record were nonleague wins over Lower Merion, Baldwin, Penncrest, Harriton and Springside.
“We had a strong class of seniors,” Whelan added. “Six of them started.”
The Gators got balanced scoring too. Seniors Jill Keeney and Brooke Truckey registered 10 and 11 goals, respectively, while sophomore Avery Safford led the team with 13. Out of 15 players Whelan carried on the varsity, all but two scored.
“We had hopes of 15-0,” said Keeney, who is considering St. Joseph’s, Villanova and Fairfield to continue playing. “But the schedule wasn’t easy.”
She said that when the record reached 8-0, the players didn’t talking about the winning streak for fear they would jinx themselves.
“It was crazy, but we didn’t talk about it until we got to the semifinals,” Keeney said.
The Gators beat Westtown, 4-2, in the championship game.
“It was an incredible senior season for me,” said Sam Wolfson, who played several positions for the Gators.
Wolfson is looking at Elon and Richmond for next year.
“I might give hockey a try as a walk-on,” she said.