Souderton Field Hockey Seniors Leave Big Shoes to Fill

The feature below was sponsored by Souderton Field Hockey. (Photos courtesy of Souderton field hockey)

Caitlyn Asmann, Ang Borisow, Lauren Frye, Ashley Magnus, Jaeda Radcliffe, Ava Shaw, Julia Vizza and Anjolie Ware

All eight were part of a senior class that set the bar high – very high - for future Souderton field hockey teams. Their four-year resume includes a 55-9-1 regular season record, three league championships, four district appearances and three trips to the state tournament.

All of this was accomplished with only six total players going on to compete at the collegiate level during that four-year span, including two – Borisow and Frye – this year.

“We have never had a ton of hockey-only athletes,” Souderton coach Sue Casciato said. “I think a lot of schools have more hockey-only athletes and kids who want to play in college, but we're always blessed with two or three people we can build a team around, and we have good athletes.”

Like the underclassmen before them, this year’s seniors entered high school in the fall of 2019 with a mindset typical of newcomers.

“As you walk into the high school for the first time, you’re like, ‘I have four more years,’” Borisow said. “Each year, it’s – I have three more years,’ ‘I have two more years.’ This year you walk in and you’re like, ‘I’m a senior, this is my last season. I’m going to make the most of it.’

“Every season goes really fast because it’s only two, two-and-a-half months. Every single practice you have fun – I feel like we were always laughing, always smiling and joking with each other. The practices fly by.”

Frye echoed similar sentiments.

“As a freshman during preseason, you’re like ‘Oh, I have three more years,’” Frye said. “Then this year when we played (Central Bucks) West, it was like, ‘This is our last time playing West,’ or North Penn, ‘This is our last time playing North Penn.’

“It was the realization – ‘Wow, this is my last time playing on this field against this team with these people.’”

Frye, Borisow and company certainly made the most of their final go-round, rolling to a 15-1 league record and sole possession of their third SOL Colonial Division crown. The Indians had an 18-5 mark overall and advanced to the state tournament for the second consecutive year.

“Me, Ang, Lauren and Ava Shaw played field hockey with each other five years, so we’ve been playing together for a long time,” Magnus said. “I think the expectations for the season were set by the seniors.”

“Coming back this year, I felt like we had to rise to the occasion,” Borisow said. “There’s the pressure of winning the championship your last year. People expect you to still be good.

“We lost Lauren Kenah (who is playing at the University of Virginia), and she was a huge player on our team last year. Each year the seniors have to rise to the occasion. Lauren rose to the occasion last year to carry the team, and this year we had to step up and play more together, pass more and use all of our options on the field to reach our goal together.”

The 2022 squad boasted some valuable experience but also had its share of young players.

“We needed them to step up too,” Frye said. “It wasn’t just us that needed to step up – everybody needed to step up. It couldn’t just be four people, two people or one person running the team. It’s a team sport. Everyone had to come ready to play at all times.”
“We knew what we had to do, and we just had to get it done,” Magnus said.

More than just wins

While the wins and the titles were nice, that’s not what the players say they will remember most.

“Being a team is more than being a team, it’s being friends, almost like a family,” Borisow said. “We came each day, and we encouraged each other, we joked with each other, and we had inside jokes with each other which made everything more fun. You connect better on the field.”

“Being a team and being teammates with people is a totally unique dynamic,” Mangus said. “We’re all friends with each other, but we were also teammates.

“We played on the field together, we had to encourage each other and work together more than we normally would with regular friends. It’s just a strong bond.”

“Your teammates see you differently than your friends do,” Frye added. “They see you make mistakes, they see how we respond, they see the bad moments we have. That’s a friendship, that’s a bond you’ll never have with people who aren’t your teammates.

“When we mess up, we said, ‘You’re good, you’re good, shake it off, it’s fine,’ and that helped take the pressure off, and we could relax and have fun.”

“Encouragement from your teammates made it super fun,” Shaw said. “Just like the community we have – it’s great to play together, and I’ll remember all the relationships I’ve built. That’s definitely going to stick with me.”

The Indians’ success didn’t just happen.

“I came to each practice, and I just wanted to get a little bit better each day,” said Borisow. “Each practice I wanted to focus on a new skill to improve even if it’s not 100 percent great by the end of practice. As long as you improved on that skill, you can say you accomplished something that day.”

“I agree with that,” Frye said. “Personally and also as a team, you wanted to walk out of practice feeling good about the practice you had – the passing was good, the communication was good, the effort was good. It’s all important.”

The team’s improvement over the course of the season, according to the players, was the direct result of its work ethic.

“If you looked at the beginning of the season and saw that we were trying to mesh together and get our strategy and passes down and look to where we were at the end of the season and see how much we improved and were working much better together – I think that’s something we wanted to do and had in mind at the beginning of the season, and it definitely felt good to accomplish that,” Magnus said.

The players can’t reminisce about their special senior season without recalling the bus rides to away games.

“In the past, we always played pop on the way to game, but this year, our team began playing country the entire way to games,” Borisow said. “I think I’ll look back, and my senior year was country on the bus – it was all country.

“Also, on the way home on our bus rides, we always played one specific song as we got back into the school,” Magnus said. “After we sang the alma mater, we played Rihanna’s song “Pour it Up” on every single bus ride the past four years. They have to keep it going.”

Although the 2022 season is in their rearview mirror, the underclassmen would do well to also keep alive the winning tradition of this year’s senior class.

‘Our seniors have obviously had a huge impact on our program during their tenure,” Casciato said. “We’ve won three league titles and earned three state tournament appearances in the last four years.

“I’ve been very fortunate to coach several of the girls at Souderton and for club, so we’ve spent the last five or six years on the field together. It will be strange to not have them around next August when we start preseason. They leave some very big shoes to fill.”’