Walsingham Academy opened field hockey season Monday at Bruton with a 1-0 win.
Katherin Erdahl scored the winner for the Trojans, who returned six starters from last season.
Erdahl and fellow senior Maggie Kauffman are expected to anchor the defense for coach Emma Clifton, a former William and Mary standout who is returning for her second season with Walsingham.
Goalie Cary Hula returned for the Trojans, as did last year’s leading scorer Martha Page Norsworthy and Bridgette Smith.
Experienced players Sarah Benson, Margie Ehrhardt, Lydia Ruffin and Caitlyn Rogerson are also expected to give the team a lift offensively as the Trojans look to compete in the stout Tidewater Conference of Independent Schools, eyeing a state tournament berth this season.
Walsingham’s opener against Bishop Sullivan was rained out on Tuesday and the Trojans are slated to visit Norfolk Christian on Thursday.
The Trojans lost the top local player, Emily Bowerman, from last season due to graduation and will feature a team relying on underclass players.
Senior Emily Daigneault is likely to take the top seed and Elizabeth Barry, who played in the three-spot last season, also returned for new coach Lorenzo Sison.
Daigneault and Barry will form Walsingham’s line one doubles pair while Sison also expects Dolby Forrest and Olivia Clark to factor in the starting lineup.
“We have great girls on the team,” Sison said. “Still raw as a whole but we will surprise some teams and win more matches than last year for sure.”
Walsingham (1-1) will host Trinity Episcopal on Wednesday after the Trojans picked up their first win under new coach Iwa Conner last week against Norfolk Collegiate.
Conner, who moved to Williamsburg from her native Hawaii in 2008, had been Walsingham’s assistant coach for two seasons in addition to coaching the junior varsity team last year.
The Trojans lost six seniors from last season but return four starters led by defensive ace Caroline Schumacher.
Olivia Hinojosa, Katherine Miller and Grace Weeks lead the offensive returners.
Poquoson maintained its overall Bay Rivers District season lead in Monday’s 10-team match at Williamsburg National, but for the first time in five rounds this year, the Islanders didn’t finish in sole possession of first place.
Jamestown tied Poquoson at 318 and, at 1,657 strokes for the season, remained in second place, 51 behind the Islanders.
New Kent, in third Monday and overall, fired a 350 and fell 53 shots behind Jamestown for the season.
The Eagles’ Jack DeVore won an individual medal for the first time this season, compiling a 4-over-par 76. Poquoson teammates Josh Brown, the season’s BRD individual leader, and Breanna Trombetta were one stroke behind, while York’s James Steele was fourth at 78.