WOODBRIDGE — This is a story about Faith, Love and Hope and how they have contributed to the Amity field hockey team’s 5-1 start this season (not including Tuesday’s game with North Haven).
It could easily be said that the Spartans’ faith they have in their individual and overall team talent and in coach Sara Hale’s coaching system are factors in their success. The love of the game they all have and the strong camaraderie on the team are factors and it all certainly contributes to the hope they have for a strong postseason run this season.
When it comes to this story, Faith, Love and Hope happen to be the middle names of junior triplet sisters who have made an impact in every phase of the Spartans’ game. Midfielder Morgan Faith Rahn is a key component in the Spartans’ transition game from defense to offense. MaCaelan Love Rahn contributes to the team’s strong defense at center back and Payton Hope Rahn is one of two strong goalies on the team (she alternates starts with Ana Carney).
“All three girls were on my radar before they came to high school,” Hale said. “Once they were on my radar, I couldn’t wait to see them play. I first saw them play when they were in eighth grade, and when I saw what they were doing on the field, I looked forward to them coming up to the high school team.
“Their middle names really reflect how they are very family oriented. It’s a close knit family and that is reflected in the support they get from their family. That support is one reason they play field hockey year-round. They play for Competitive Edge Field Hockey (in Trumbull) in the off-season and that experience improves their game.”
The Rahn sisters are very close and tried many sports growing up, all competing together in whatever sport they tried. But they gravitated toward field hockey and they also play girls lacrosse for the Spartans.
“We actually started playing field hockey in seventh grade,” MaCaelan Rahn said. “We actually tried ice hockey but we couldn’t skate. So we thought about trying field hockey, Googled it and found information on Competitive Edge Field Hockey. We tried field hockey and we fell in love with it. Like lacrosse, we like the fast-paced action of field hockey and that makes it a lot of fun.”
Morgan Rahn believes playing together has contributed to the triplets’ development and impact they have had on playing for the Spartans.
“We have chemistry and each one of us knows where the other two are going to be on the field,” Morgan Rahn said. “We communicate and anticipate each other’s moves. One of the biggest thrills we get is in the transition game because we play three different positions. Many times Payton will make a save and clear it to MaCaelan who passes it to me at midfield. I get the ball to Morgan who gets it to one of our top scorers (Tess Csejka or Natalie Huber) and they score.”
Thanks to her off-season experience Payton Rahn has developed into a solid goalie. All three girls credit Katie Cavanaugh of Competitive Edge for training them and improving their speed and technique.
Through the Competitive Edge Field Hockey program last summer, Payton Rahn tried out and was selected for the USA Futures Field Hockey program. In June she competed in the National Futures Championship in Pennsylvania.
As a result of her play in that tournament, she and Competitive Edge teammate Tess Albrecht of Norwalk were selected for the AAU Junior Olympics tournament in late July at Wake Forest in North Carolina. There were seven teams in the tournament and Rahn’s team won a silver medal. Albrecht’s team won the gold.
“Playing for Competitive Edge has been huge for all three of us,” Payton Rahn said. “The program really helped us to improve our game. Because of Competitive Edge I was able to play for the Futures team and in the Junior Olympics tournament. That experience was huge for me. Playing at that level last summer was such a challenge and it helped me become a better goalie.”
The Rahns have been starting since their sophomore season and have their specific strengths.
“They all have good game sense and they are all self-driven,” Hale said. “MaCaelan could easily be a utility player. She can play anywhere and reads the ball so well.
“She steps up to the ball and gets her stick on everything. We are fortunate to have two strong goalies and Payton has developed into a really good goalie. Morgan is very good at distributing the ball and is a solid passer. But we’re trying to build our scoring and I challenged her to score more and get double digit goals this season.”
JUNIOR OLYMPIC INVITES
In addition to Payton Rahn and Tess Albrecht, other Connecticut girls who competed in the AAU Junior Olympic tournament last summer were FCIAC standouts Madelaine Ambrose of Staples and Katherine Nemec of Darien, who plays for Sacred Heart of Greenwich.
GALDENZI STILL A SCORING THREAT
Ava Galdenzi, last season’s top scorer in the Shoreline Conference with 24 goals and eight assists, hasn’t missed a beat in leading North Branford to a 4-0, 2-0 record. Heading into this week she led scorers in the Shoreline Conference with eight goals and six assists. Right behind is teammate Ali Barrett with eight goals and four assists.
Morgan’s Aryn McQuarrie has turned on the offense too with eight goals and two assists. The Huskies are 3-1, 11.