Head Coach Leigh Wood’s team is one for the history books. Finishing the season with a 16–1 mark, the Falcons captured the Mid-Atlantic Prep League crown (5–0) and the Mercer County Tournament. The high-octane offense notched 85 goals, while goalie Casey Burnett ’01 played every minute (1,034) and anchored a defense that yielded just 17 goals and posted six shutouts. The only blemish on an otherwise near-perfect campaign was a gut-wrenching overtime loss to Hun in the Prep A semifinals.

A gifted playmaker with a rocket for a shot, Julia Croddick ’01 led the team with 31 goals and 13 assists. She became the first Falcon selected to the prestigious Mid-Atlantic High School Regional All-American Team. At the Peddie Athletic Banquet, a special Achievement Award was presented to Croddick for her contributions to the program. “Julia’s pure athleticism and intensity have been something special to watch,” said Wood.

More than a one-dimensional team, the Falcons also relied heavily on the double-digit point production from Steph Kelly ’01 (Coach’s Award for sportsmanship, loyalty and commitment), Kristen Bocina ’02 and Catherine Efros ’01. On the defensive side of the pitch, Kate Dowd ’01 and Emily Palilonis ’03 protected Casey with abandon and helped the Falcons’ defense hold opponents to just 7.0 shots on goal per match. “Emily was a tenacious defender, fast and able to move the ball up the field to the forward line with ease and grace,” said Wood. Dowd was named the team’s MVP and received the coveted Winant Cup for academic and athletic excellence.

The 2000 Field Hockey Team was a team of resilience, skill and courage.

The Falcons defeated Lawrenceville for the second time, rolling to a 3–1 win to claim the Mercer County title. With Coach Wood attending a family wedding in Georgia, varsity assistant Jan Pittas and Athletic Director Susan Cabot took charge, and “our kids did not let them down.” Sarah Hom ’02, LynAlison Martin ’02 and Kelly all found the back of the cage before Big Red snapped Burnett’s clean sheet bid.

The season finale against host Blair was fittingly dramatic. Peddie used three unanswered goals in the second half to erase an early 1–0 deficit and defeat the Bucs 3–1. Bocina jammed in the equalizer, and Kelly potted the eventual game-winner and added an insurance marker to lock up the victory.

“This season was a tribute to the team’s resilience, stamina and courage,” said Linda Martinelli, former goalie coach and superfan. “They were an incredible group of athletes who overwhelmed most opponents with superior skill to become one of the area’s greatest teams.”

The 2000 Field Hockey Team embodies the spirit of competition and the commitment it takes to attain excellence.


  • Kristen Bocina ’02
  • Casey Burnett ’01
  • Jennifer Collins ’03
  • Julia Croddick ’01
  • Laura Decker ’01
  • Kate Dowd ’01
  • Catherine Efros ’01
  • Portia Formento ’04
  • Aubrey Gale ’03
  • Sarah Hom ’02
  • Stephanie Kelly ’01
  • Samantha Levitt ’04
  • LynAlison Martin ’02
  • Katherine Merriman ’04
  • Emily Palilonis ’03
  • Laura Semenetz ’01
  • Jeffrey Kelly ’04, Manager
  • Rebekah Scotland ’02, Manager