HONESDALE — Hundreds of field hockey fans turned out on a crisp, clear winter evening to help honor what is now being described as "the greatest team in school history."
On Sunday night in the HHS auditorium, head coach Becca Maciejewski donned her District Two silver medal and took to the podium for a stirring tribute to her Lady Hornets.
"This is the 32nd year of field hockey here and it can finally be said that this is the best team in Honesdale history," she said. "We set or tied 70 school records and I think those amazing numbers pretty much speak for themselves.
"Call these girls scary. Call them tough. Call them completely insane and synergetic … you'd be right. No matter what you call them, though, it's been a pleasure to coach them."
By the Numbers
Honesdale used a high-octane offense and suffocating defense to pile up a school record 15 wins.
The Lady Hornets tallied 73 goals and allowed only 24. The Red & Black never suffered a shutout, but on nine different occasions held their opponent scoreless.
Offensively, Honesdale peppered the enemy net with 396 shots and allowed only 260. The Lady Hornets also enjoyed a solid 173-126 overall advantage in penalty corners.
Coach Maciejewski's team won eight games in Division One of the always-rugged Wyoming Valley Conference, finishing behind only Wilkes Barre Coughlin (10-4) and Valley West (10-4).
From there, the Lady Hornets advanced to the District Two playoffs where they posted their biggest win of the campaign.
The Red & Black went to overtime before eliminating Valley West in the semis. They then put up a gallant battle in the championship game, but eventually fell to Coughlin, 3-1.
Page 2 of 3 - Nevertheless, this team became the first in Honesdale field hockey history to bring home silver medals from the D-2 tourney.
"I'm very proud of these girls," Coach Maciejewski said. "They worked incredibly hard from the first day of practice to the last day of the season and all of that hard work definitely paid off."
Awards & Accolades
Members of Honesdale's varsity field hockey team excel both in the classroom and on the field.
Appropriately enough, the first awards handed out on this particular night were of the academic variety.
Mary Martin was recognized as the senior with the highest GPA (3.9005), while sophomore Stacey Hart took home the underclassmen honors with an eye-popping GPA of 4.1509.
Freshman forward Brieann Mayers opened up the on-field awards by being named this year's Most Improved Player.
Sophomore midfielder Bailey Martin divided her time among multiple positions and played them equally well. She was honored as Honesdale's Most Versatile Player.
One of the WVC's most interesting storylines over the past few seasons has been the evolution of Nicole Cush in goal.
The senior began her varsity career just two years ago, but quickly transformed herself into one of the top keepers in Lady Hornet history.
Cush was feted at the banquet as Honesdale's Top Team Player. She stopped 90 percent of the shots she faced this season and racked up 234 saves. Nicole allowed just 24 goals all year and posted 86 clears.
Sam Krempasky and Mary Martin were a potent 1-2 punch up front this fall for the Lady Hornets.
Krempasky scored 12 goals and handed out eight assists on the year, while Martin made a run at the school's all-time single season record. Mary came up just short, but still tallied a team-high 22 goals and finished up with 16 assists.
Page 3 of 3 - Not surprisingly, these two talented ladies shared the award for Top Offensive Player of 2012.
Sophomore Megan Benson was named Best Midfielder and Stacey Hart took home the hardware as Best Defensive Player.
Freshman Jamie Murphy earned Rookie of the Year recognition, while classmate Olivia Frigoletto walked off with the Most Promising Underclassman Award.
Junior Sarah Redick, who holds down the right back defender spot, overcame enormous odds on and off the field to receive the 2012 Commitment Award.
Senior Mickey Johannes earned a pair of plaques on the evening.
A 2-year team captain, Johannes received the Coaches Award and the Players Award (voted on by her teammates).
"Mickey was an absolute dream to work with," Coach Maciejewski said. "She's one of the best all-round players in Honesdale history and an even better role model."
Kate Pfeil took home the night's biggest prize.
A battle-tested senior, Pfeil anchored the Lady Hornets defense and in so doing earned Most Valuable Player honors. She set a brand new school mark by recording 45 defensive saves.
"Kate is well deserving of this award," said Coach Maciejewski. "She thrives in pressure situations. Kate projects an aura of quiet confidence back there and she always stepped up in the biggest games."
Jamie Rosencranse rounded out the festivities by taking home the JV Players Award.