BY KEITH BARNES TRI-STATE SPORTS & NEWS SERVICE
September 29, 2022, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Fox Chapel has been on the cusp of winning its first WPIAL field hockey title since 2016 each of the past two years.
And those two one-goal losses to Penn-Trafford in the Class 2A finals have not sat well with the Foxes.
“I think, in my opinion, this team, this season, is in the best position it’s been to get that elusive gold medal,” Fox Chapel coach Emily Humiston said. “We’ve spent a lot of time over the summer getting ready and they’re beyond ready. The last game we played against Penn-Trafford, they played it like it was the WPIAL championship game.”
Like those title matches, though, Fox Chapel lost the first of its two regular-season tilts with the Warriors by one goal. But this time, the Foxes can see differences between the loss this year and the ones in their two previous championship meetings.
“For me, it’s about taking notes on what did work and what didn’t work,” Humiston said. “What didn’t work was a common thread for us which was our ability to capitalize and score. We’re already working on that.”
Fox Chapel has been led all season by senior left middie Anna Drum, who was an all-WPIAL selection in 2021. Senior Aly Solomon, who was a Class 2A all-star selection last season, has also been a stalwart on the opposite midfield slot and another 2021 classification all-star, senior Caroline Bonidy, shores up the center mid.
Those seniors have been the driving force for the team’s goal to finally wrest the championship trophy away from Penn-Trafford, which has claimed the Class 2A crown all six years there have been three classifications.
“They’re really adamant about it. They know what it’s like to literally be one goal away for two years in a row and they don’t want that feeling again,” Humiston said. “They set the tone the very first day of preseason that we’re going for gold and we’re not going to settle for anything less.”
This certainly could be the year.
Penn-Trafford is young this year and took a rare regular-season loss to a Class 2A team in a 1-0 defeat against Oakland Catholic. With Latrobe as competitive as always, any of the four could walk away with the title at Washington & Jefferson on Oct. 29.
But Fox Chapel firmly believes this might finally be its year.
“They have the special sauce it takes to be a good team,” Humiston said. “We’ve just got to score.”