PIAA Field Hockey: Wyoming Seminary’s Carr A Versatile Team Player
KINGSTON — The Wyoming Seminary coaching staff learned a lesson the hard way back in 2002.
The reigning state champion Blue Knights had somewhat of a clear path back to the title game, when, in the quarterfinal round, they lost a key defender to a broken clavicle.
“We were scrambling and didn’t have that much time,” recalled Sem head coach Karen Klassner.
Klassner and her staff took responsibility for losing the next game in the semifinals, while vowing to never again be unprepared in such a situation.
The solution: Teach players the game — rather than a position — and make sure everyone is aware of various assignments on the field in different situations.
Look no further than senior Alicia Carr as someone who embodies that versatility every coach desires.
Between club teams and varsity in the last year, Carr estimates she’s played 40 percent at forward and an even 30-30 split between midfield and defense.
“It allows me to be a lot more versatile in all aspects. Just picking up on different things allows me to improve my game,” Carr said.
“So I might be playing defense — but that doesn’t mean I can’t dribble past someone. Or, say I’m on the forward line — that doesn’t mean I don’t know how to play defense.”
Carr has played a pivotal role in the Blue Knights’ (20-0) season, which ends with Saturday’s 10 a.m. match in the PIAA Class A field hockey state championship against Greenwood.
At the end of the regular season, Carr — with 19 goals and 13 assists for 51 points — was Sem’s leading scorer, as well as the No. 2 scorer in her division.
In six playoff games, though, she’s added only two goals and one assist.
That’s because she swapped positions with sophomore Hannah Maxwell, who took Carr’s spot at forward while Carr dropped back to the midfield.
“It’s for the team,” Carr said.
It’s proven to be a wise move, as Maxwell — who was Sem’s leading scorer last year — rediscovered her scoring touch and Carr has helped solidify the team’s stellar defense.
“I’m back and forth the whole entire time,” Carr said of playing midfield. “There’s not as many opportunities to score, I would say. There’s a lot more defense involved.”
In six playoff games, Sem has recorded a pair of shutouts and allowed only four goals.
Klassner described Carr as a quiet player who has not only the versatility, but the mentality, to easily switch positions and do whatever’s asked of her on the field.
Carr, a Shickshinny resident who attended Northwest in ninth- and 10th-grade, made her official announcement Wednesday that she will play at 2015 NCAA champion Syracuse.
Carr first visited Syracuse as a 13-year-old attending her first field hockey clinic at a big school.
Carr, who also starts for the softball team, had recently taken an unofficial visit in February, when she watched as Syracuse beat Duke’s men’s basketball team at the buzzer.
“The crowd went wild and it was crazy,” Carr said. “You could just see all the support from team to team throughout the student sections. I figured that’s what it would be like in the classroom with the support, academically. They have a lot of programs that I’m also interested in.”
Locals Kelsey Kolojejchick (Sem) and Serra Degnan (Wyoming Area) were on Syracuse’s staff this past season, in which the Orange went 12-7.
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