Sussex Tech: Paltrineri era begins with 3-0 shutout of Central

GEORGETOWN — Sussex Tech’s field hockey program is under new direction this season as Mia Paltrineri steps in and takes over the head coaching duties.

Tuesday, Sept. 12, the Paltrineri-era began with a 3-0 shutout victory over cross-town rival Sussex Central.

“It’s been a transition for the girls and definitely for myself but we’ve all worked hard together and I think it’s proven by today’s game,” she said.

Coach Paltrineri served one year as varsity head coach at Hodgson Vo-Tech and three years as head varsity lacrosse coach at Appoquinimink prior to taking the Tech gig.

In Tuesday’s victory, the Lady Ravens out-shot Central 13-4 and earned eight penalty corners to Central’s two.

Kira Short scored one of the team’s three goals in Tech’s win over Central Tuesday afternoon (Sussex Post/Ben Heck).

Central’s defense kept Tech off the board until the 9:40 mark of the first half, with senior Morgan Johnson scoring the team’s first goal of the 2017 season.

Senior Kira Short extended the lead with a goal of her own with 10:52 left in the second half.

“It was a fun goal to have because we executed the corner, adjusted to the situation and it turned out. I credit that to the team as a whole,” Short said of her second-half goal.

Sophomore attack Aynasti Bowden capped Tech’s scoring with the team’s third goal of the game just 50 seconds after Short’s goal.

The Lady Ravens held on for the final 10 minutes to preserve the shutout and begin the 2017 campaign with a 1-0 record.

“I think the transition has been going very well,” senior captain Libby Baird said of the program’s coaching change. “It’s a little different, but it’s good and I think it’s what we needed. It’s very exciting. I’m very proud of my team, we came together to get it all done today.”

Short, Baird and goalkeeper Grace Lee are serving as coach Paltrineri’s senior captains this season.

“I think they’ve been doing great,” coach said of her group of captains. “We have seven seniors this year and they’ve all been helping the younger players with this process.”

Junior Macenzie Hastings takes off up field during Tech’s match-up against Central Tuesday (Sussex Post/Ben Heck).

Ella Messick, Baylee Ketterman, Madison Parker and Alyssa Collins round out the squad’s strong senior class.

“There are seven seniors on this team and I think we each have a specific role individually, and I think we all bring something special to the table,” Short said. “Individually, I just want to step up and bring a different kind of energy to the team so that we can continue to get these wins and have a great season.”

Although the squad picked up a win in its first game of the season, coach Paltrineri isn’t worried about wins or losses this early in the year.

“I just want them to work together and become a unit. I told them I didn’t really care about wins and losses right now, it’s a big transition and I think we’ve done well,” she said.

“I think our team chemistry is really good and it’s been a lot stronger than it has been in the past. I think we’re going to be one big family by the end of it,” Baird said of her teammates.

The girls will travel to Polytech Thursday, Sept. 14 to take on the Panthers (1-0) at 4 p.m. before heading back home to take on Worcester Prep (MD) Friday, Sept. 15.

Sports Editor Ben Heck can be reached at bheck@newszap.com.

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