Warrior sticksters victorious in season opener, Waite’s return

Fallbrook High School’s field hockey team lost six senior starters and one 2012 junior from last year’s team. The Warriors are also without 2011 and 2012 coach Kirstin Mueller, who gave birth to Trinity Eden Mueller on July 18 and has taken a year of absence from the field hockey team.

Kathy Waite, who coached Fallbrook’s varsity from 1982 to 2010 and was the team’s volunteer manager after retiring, agreed to come out of retirement to coach the Warriors in 2013. The Warriors opened their season – and Waite’s second tenure as coach – with a 5-0 home victory Sept. 4 against Hilltop.

“It’s always nice to have a ‘W’,” Waite said of opening the season with a win.

In her first 29 seasons, Waite’s 590 games produced a record of 394 wins, 176 losses, and 20 ties (most field hockey matches tied in regulation are decided in penalty-shot strokes, but if a tournament does not use a strokes tiebreaker the game is officially a tie in the team’s record).

Waite won eight league championships and two CIF championships, and the Warriors reached at least the quarterfinals of the CIF playoffs in each of her 29 seasons.

Waite noted that taking over as Fallbrook’s coach provided continuity for the program and a coach with whom the players were familiar. “The kids are a great group of kids. They work hard and I wanted them to do their best,” Waite said.

Lisa Hauck, who was Fallbrook’s assistant coach in 2012, returns in that capacity. Waite also added assistant coach Kyle Little, a 2010 Fallbrook High School graduate who spent two years on the Warrior varsity.

What was less than optimal in Fallbrook’s first game of 2013 was the temperature, which reached 98 degrees. “I had to sub a lot,” Waite said.

Eight of Fallbrook’s players were on the 2012 varsity. “We have a strong group coming back,” Waite said.

All 11 of the 2012 starters earned all-league recognition, which means that this year’s team is without seven of last year’s all-league players including all three all-CIF selections. It also means that four all-league players returned to this year’s squad.

Two of the Warriors’ 2012 all-league players combined for Fallbrook’s first goal of 2013 with Emily Strickfaden scoring on a pass from Maddie Ashbrook. The second goal was scored by Tatiana Arias with an assist from Strickfaden. The 3-0 halftime score was finalized on Ashbrook’s goal from a Sarah Scrape pass. Samantha Main scored the first goal of the second half in conjunction with Arias’ assist. Arias’ second goal of the game was unassisted and closed out the scoring.

The Warriors took a total of 20 shots and had 13 corner plays. Defenders Scrape, Joy Kumagai, and Gaby Zinniger limited the Lancers to one shot on goal. Goalkeepers Taryn Sehnert and Jenny Smidt combined for the shutout.

“They’re good kids, hard-working, and we’ll do our best,” Waite said.

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