Villa's Troncelliti is field hockey player of year

Posted: November 29, 2011

Northwestern field hockey coach Tracey Fuchs is projecting recruit Caroline Troncelliti as a defender, just the opposite of what she played for Villa Maria Academy.

Fuchs is convinced that defense is where Troncelliti, a forward at Villa Maria, belongs after watching the senior at the recently concluded United States Field Hockey Association Festival in Tucson, Ariz.

Troncelliti played defense at the festival, and Fuchs was particularly impressed with her speed and ball control.

"I thought about using Caroline on defense, but I always wanted to put speed on the line," Hurricanes coach Maurene Polley said. "I wanted to get the ball down the the field as quickly as possible. Caroline's a member of our track team, and she could always put the ball in the cage."

To Troncelliti, it doesn't matter where she plays.

"I play defense for my [W.C. Eagles] club team," said Troncelliti, The Inquirer's 2011 Southeastern Pennsylvania field hockey player of the year.

She is coming off a season in which she helped lead the Hurricanes to a 22-3 record and a spot in the PIAA Class AA championship game. They bowed to Wyoming Seminary, 3-2, in the school's first trip to the finals since 1994. Their only other losses were to league rival Mount St. Joseph, 3-1, and to Wissahickon, 6-5, in an early season nonleague game.

Troncelliti got a goal as Villa avenged the loss to the Magic with a 3-1 win in their second meeting of the season. Villa then went on to win a record-setting fifth straight District 1 AA championship and 10th title overall.

Troncelliti finished the season with 40 goals. She had 105 for her high school career.

At the beginning of the season, Troncelliti did not expect the Hurricanes to get as far as they did?

"Absolutely not," said Troncelliti, whose first encounter with field hockey came when she was in the third grade at the Rosemont School of the Holy Child.

"I didn't think we had the mentality and experience because we had lost so many players from the year before," Troncelliti said. "There were few year-round hockey players on the team. We had more diverse athletes than before, but we worked hard to be successful. This team had heart."

She said the high points of the season came in big wins over Greenwood and Selinsgrove en route to the state championship game.

"That's the best we played all year," she said.

Troncelliti said she chose Northwestern, a member of the Big Ten Conference, because she loves the campus. She was also impressed with Fuchs, who has had winning seasons in her first two years at the school.

Troncelliti's brother, Rick, will be nearby, too, when she reports to the campus in early August for drills. He's a pitcher for the University of Chicago baseball team.

Troncelliti returned home from the festival on Monday but not before enjoying a day of relaxation around the hotel pool.

"We decided to go and relax," she said. "Coach Polley went shopping."

Contact staff writer Don Beideman

at 267-815-0733 or

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