Hired in July, Hughes had a lot of work to do with her squad. Led by Erick Fiorelli, Heather Zezzo, and Ginny Moore, the Bucks have bought into what Hughes has been teaching.
With a semifinal appearance and trip to the PIAA state tournament secured after Friday's 3-2 win over Conestoga, "it's overwhelming, and it's great, and it's exciting for everyone," Hughes said.
Zezzo has three goals in as many games this postseason, including two against Methacton in the third round.
"The girls are ready, they're there, they have the talent, I'm hoping for big things for them," Hughes said.
The next big test for the No. 9-seeded Bucks comes Wednesday against No. 4 Unionville at Lower Merion High - if Hurricane Sandy does not disrupt the schedule. Brielle Hartzell and Erin Karcher lead a potent Indians attack.
But Hughes has faith in her players. "They've been great finishers all season," she said, "and that's what I'm hoping they can do."
Storm watch. Hurricane Sandy could affect Wednesday's Class AAA semifinals, but both game sites - Lower Merion and Council Rock North - have artificial-turf fields that will be less affected by the rain than grass fields.
However, Tuesday's scheduled Class AA semifinals between Villa Maria and Gwynedd-Mercy and Upper Perkiomen and Springfield (Montco) are in jeopardy.
The Upper Perkiomen-Springfield game is scheduled for 3 p.m. at Hatboro-Horsham. As of Sunday, the other matchup did not have an official location or starting time.
Philadelphia will be in a state of emergency until 5 p.m. Tuesday.
Sheila Murphy, the District I chairwoman, did not immediately return a telephone phone call regarding Tuesday's plans.
Practice time is another issue the teams face heading into the semifinals. With schools closing and gale-force winds expected, any practice likely will be indoors and minimal.
Private schools. The tournament for the Inter-Academic League and other private schools is set to begin Tuesday as well, and those plans are subject to change.
Despite a midseason loss to Notre Dame, Episcopal received the top seed and has a first-round bye. The second-seeded Irish also have a bye.
Putsch breaks record. Notre Dame junior Moira Putsch added another record to her resume last week. She had four goals and three assists in a 9-0 victory over Baldwin on Thursday. Putsch broke the Delaware County career scoring record with 83 goals. The previous record was 81.
She has at least one more game to add to that record. Forty-three of the goals have come in the 2012 campaign.