Hudson Valley Sports Report


Todd McDonough

Ketcham Field Hockey Wins Dutchess County Regional Title

By Rich Thomaselli
HVSR Staff

WAPPINGERS FALLS – In a season unlike any other, the Roy C. Ketcham High School field hockey team was hoping – praying, really – that it could get to the finish line of a truncated schedule that didn’t even start until mid-October.

To finish, and to finish with a championship, made it all the more special.

“We’re celebrating the championship but we’re also celebrating getting the entire season in,” Ketcham star Violeta Francese said after helping the Indians to a 3-0 win over Arlington on a cold Wednesday afternoon that netted RCK the Dutchess County Regional title.

“We were told the first day of the season ‘Don’t be surprised if we only play one or two weeks then get shut down,’” Francese said. “To make it all the way to November is just as good as winning the championship. I feel great for the seniors.”

Francese, Abby Froehlich and Lexi Barlanti all scored for the Indians in the newly created tournament, which because of the COVID-19 outbreak was implemented instead of a weeks-long traditional Section 1 tournament.

“Once we heard there was going to be a postseason, we definitely had a goal to get to the finals and win it all,” Ketcham defender/midfielder Mia Dowd said. “We knew we were capable of it and that’s what we did.”

RCK coach Abby Seward said the Indians began to think ‘championship’ after the first three or four games.

“I’ll say about two weeks in. Since March we’ve all been living our lives two weeks at a time so I think once we got past those first two weeks we kind of felt like we might have some sort of championship to play for at the end,” she said.

Ketcham and Arlington played two hard-fought games during the regular season. The first ended in a 3-3 tie and the second went to the Indians by the score of 5-1. But the Admirals were coming off a clutch performance in a semifinal win over John Jay and had a virtual stone wall at goalie in Amanda Cirillo.

“They have an amazing goalie and to dominate the half and go in to halftime only up 1-0 was nerve-wracking,” Francese said.

Added Dowd: “Today was obviously a big game for us. We knew Arlington was going to come out strong so we knew we had to come out even stronger. We knew we were capable of beating them if we all played our game and worked hard, but we also know they were capable of keeping up with us.”

The season ends here, of course. The state tournament for all fall sports was canceled early on, so the Indians knew the finish line was also the end of the line.

But they walk away with a championship. The plaque is already theirs; the jackets will likely come next.

“With it being such a challenging season and the environment of life these days, we look at it as every bit a championship,” Seward said. “We have a good group this year. These girls have been working together for a while. We felt like this was our year.”


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