In team sports, the most successful teams often field a well-rounded roster of players whose talents complement each other in a way that is difficult for opponents to contain. The 2018 Mid-Atlantic Prep League-champion Hill School field hockey team was just that, with several versatile players who are able to play multiple positions and formations.
Depth players tend to be the glue of a strong team, but to go from being good to being great, a team must have players with game-breaking abilities. Throughout the 2018 season, four Hill players – Logan Clouser ’21, Alex Conway ’20, Isabella Palde ’19, and Josephine Palde ’21 – consistently made key plays that contributed to the team’s overall success. These four players were recognized for their outstanding play with selection to the 2018 All-State Field Hockey Team.
Clouser and J. Palde earned first-team distinction, while Conway and I. Palde were named Honorable Mention.
The team’s leading scorer, Clouser finished the season with 21 goals and 21 assists; her assists-per-game average of 1.11 ranked second in the Philadelphia-region. She assisted on both goals in the team’s 2-0 win over Lawrenceville in the Mid-Atlantic Prep League championship game and scored one of Hill’s goals in Hill’s 2-2 tie against Academy of Notre Dame, who was the top-ranked team in the nation at the time, in September.
Josephine Palde finished second on the team in goals, finding the back of the cage 19 times on the season. Palde often combined with Clouser and Conway throughout the midfield, utilizing a dangerous combination of speed and stick skills to elude opposing defenders. Palde has one of the hardest shots on the team and does not need much time or space to unleash a rocket. Yet, it’s Palde’s vision and ability to distribute the ball that separates her from most others.
Isabella Palde, who played an attacking midfield role in both 2017 and 2018, is a special player who consistently uses her speed and elimination skills to create opportunities for herself and her teammates. Palde, who received a Likely Letter to attend and play field hockey at Cornell University, brings a next-level vision and anticipation that often helped stop the opponent’s attack in transition.
Conway, who was new to The Hill this year, is an extremely dangerous player in front of goal, as she combines her physical strength with a goal scoring acumen that often puts her “in the right place at the right time” to score from close range. Also a dynamic passer, Conway was the team’s primary option to insert the ball on penalty corners.
As a team, Hill finished the season with an overall record of 14 wins, four losses, and one tie. The team was invited to participate in the 2019 MAX Field Hockey National High School Tournament, which will be played on the weekend of September 20-22, 2019 at The Proving Grounds in Conshohocken, Pa.