Lady Chiefs Are Chasing a Title
Meade Seiy invented a new position for her Carlisle field hockey team, but she doesn't quite know how to define it.
It's sort of a midfielder, but also sort of a forward. "A mid-forward-person," Seiy said.
Or, as her players call it, a "midward."
It's a special position for what could be a very special team.
The Lady Chiefs graduated just one senior from the team that lost in the state semifinals last season. So, there is no question that the state championship is the goal for this year's team - something Carlisle last accomplished in 2009.
"These girls could be on the same caliber as the 2009 state championship team," Seiy said.
That team, which Seiy called the best she's ever coached, went undefeated en route to the VISAA Division 2 state title.
The state title "has gotta be the goal with this talent that I've got coming back," Seiy said. "Hopefully we will be there that Saturday in November."
The 2010 Chiefs went 15-3 and made the state semifinals, but lost 2-0 in a hard, contested match to Covenant - the same team that the 2009 Chiefs beat in the state championship.
"I was just so frustrated and so angry, because we weren't on that day," said senior captain Alanna Ferguson of the defeat. "It didn't reflect our season, I didn't feel like."
"It gives me a sense of revenge to get back at 'em," said fellow senior captain Robbi Jensen. "It gives me some fire to play harder."
When the Chiefs return to the postseason, it will be with a new formation - one that Seiy essentially created out of thin air.
In years past, Carlisle played with four forwards, three midfielders and three defenders. This season, the Chiefs will subtract a midfielder while debuting two new positions, both of which Seiy said are her own inventions: The "midward," a midfielder/forward hybrid, and the "diamond," a defender/midfielder hybrid.
The major factors for the new formation are Jensen and Ferguson, who will be the only two true midfielders.
"I feel that Robbi and Alanna can handle that midfield by themselves," Seiy said. "I want to have a little bit more of a scoring threat, so I want to have this new position."
In the new formation, Liza Moore (left wing), Michelle Arroyo (center) and Lori Yeaman (right wing) will start up top, and Emily Morgan will play the new "midward" position.
"I think it definitely helps," Jensen said of the "midward" spot. "Because we just have an extra person in there, either to go in to score, or to stay back to help on D."
Behind Jensen and Ferguson will be a diamond formation on defense, with the designated "diamond" defender above two fullbacks and a sweeper in the back. Caroline Jordan will be at the "diamond" slot, Katie Ryan and Katie Pike will play fullback, and Olivia Evans will start at sweeper. Virginia Zentmeyer will start at goalkeeper for Carlisle (1-0 overall).
"I feel really good about our defense," Seiy said. "That defense back there is solid, and Virginia in the goal, she's phenomenal."
Even with the new formation, the Chiefs emphasized that their basic philosophy hasn't changed.
"We still play the same way," Jensen said.
And their goal hasn't changed either.
"They didn't like to lose that game" in the state tournament last year, Seiy said. "I think the sting is still there. They want to get back there and get it back."