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  • Writer's picturetgardner1167

No off-season for Roy-Hart

The High School Field Hockey season only lasts about three months.

But don’t tell that to the Royalton-Hartland Rams.

Roy-Hart participated in several offseason tournaments/leagues including the Winter Epic League, Barker Summer League, The Best Of Buffalo Tournament (third place) and the Sweet Home Friday Night Summer League (second place).

Coach Albee estimated about 97 percent of her players participated in these events or played in some capacity this past offseason.

A few players even attended the College United Summer Camp at SUNY Oneonta.

“Playing together is one of the best things as a team we can do to stay focused,” said Colleen Albee, who enters her 10th season as head coach of the Rams’ Field Hockey program. “The coaches, athletes and parents see the value in working in the offseason and this gives us a leg up.”

It’s that level of commitment that has led the Rams’ success and why most of the senior class – and a couple of juniors – are getting some level of consideration to play Field Hockey in college, according to Albee.

Roy-Hart set their sights on a final four appearance in 2017 and that’s just what they did falling to crosstown rival Barker, 2-1, in the Class C sectional semifinal, giving up a goal with 13 seconds left.

The Rams finished last season with a 9-5 record (8-4 Niagara-Orleans).

“Last year our goal was to get to the top four – this season our goal is to surpass that,” Albee said.

And that goal looks very achievable for a Rams team that returns 10 starters from last season, including fourth-year starting varsity goalie, senior Jamie Bower.

“She has improved every single year,” Albee said of Bower, who had an 88% save percentage last season. “She works extremely hard. She has learned to establish herself in goal. She’s a powerhouse.”

Roy-Hart should be strong up front as they bring back their top three goal scorers in seniors Ashley Hill (eight goals, three assists) and Alexis Lovewell (five goals, seven assists) along with fourth-year varsity player, junior Samantha Choate (five goals, four assists).

“The three of them are very quick,” Albee said. “They have a very keen sense of the game. They know what they need to do and when. They’re very good stick handlers and have hard shots.”

On defense, the Rams are excited to have senior Holly DiMayo back to full strength after dealing with a stress fracture for most of last season. She’ll be joined by classmates Jenna Heiser, Jayden Townsend, and RayLynn Chraston.

Albee is expecting big things from midfielders junior Abby Ander and sophomore Miah Glena, both of whom had strong offseasons.

The Rams are looking for junior Ellory Brown, who is up from the JV, to add to the offense this year.

Roy-Hart loses defenseman Delaney Draper, forward Kate Corra and midfielder Sydney Newton to graduation.

Of their five losses, three came at the hands of Barker. The Rams have not beaten their crosstown rival in over a decade.

That’s something this year’s squad is looking to change.

“It’s been a very long time,” Albee said. “The girls are very hungry to get that win. Coming so close to beating Barker in the semifinal game last year was heartbreaking but it was amazing. The girls are gunning for them.”

After nearly getting to the sectional final last season, the Rams hope that their hard work, determination and most importantly their bond will carry them over the top in 2018.

“We are hoping to continue our success this season and prove that we have what it takes to be on top,” Albee said. “This team works very hard and most have been together since JV. We have the talent and the drive to push each other to be the very best and they work cohesively.”

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