September 8, 2013 at 5:00 AM
CHATHAM, NJ - Danielle Melchionna is planning on dressing for success on Monday.
"It's the first day of school, so, along with deciding on what you're going to wear, you have to remember you're going to be playing a game at 4," Melchionna said.
A lot of the success in 2013 for Chatham (15-5 last season), will revolve around Melchionna and her senior classmates, who open the season at home against Gov. Livingston, 4 p.m. Monday at Haas Field.
Coach Jeremy Heinze, entering his 10th season, is countinng on seniors such as forward Brynn Gilligan, midfielder Amanda Helfrich and backs Colleen O'Neill and Keri Cronin.
Junior Kelly Horan will be the center back behind Melchionna and flanked by O'Neill and Cronin. That group will be backed up by sophomore goalie Emily Buckman.
"Buckman is gong to be our starting goalie right now," Heinze said. "She's made all the saves she should make and some you don't expect her to make."
Melchionna was the leading scorer for Chatham at forward last season, but she's moved to the midfield, where she is joined by Helfrich, and junior returnees Kristen Maiorano and Morgan Sullivan. Melchionna, despite playing farther from the goal, has still shown a knack for finding the back of the net in the preseason.
"I think it's really fun playing forward and defense and I don't have to worry about staying on one side of the field," Melchionna.
Sophomores Jess Barry and Emily Wingate have shown an ability to score in the preseason and will see time up front along with Gilligan and Grace Whitman. Cronin figures to be a key player with her strong hits on penalty corners.
"The defense has been a work in progress, but it's getting there," Heinze said. "Personality-wise, this is a low-key team, but when it's time to play, they play hard."