N'western goalie makes fine transition
BOB FORD/TIMES NEWS Northwestern Lehigh goalie Lorraine Feinhour made a perfect transition transferring from Susquehannock High School to play for the Tigers in her senior season.
It's probably hard enough for any high school student to transfer to a new school, yet alone transfer knowing the fact that they only have one year left until graduation.
Lorraine Feinour also had to put behind her playing days with the Susquehannock High School field hockey team forever.
After she officially transferred to Northwestern Lehigh midway through her junior year, Feinour had to handle the thought of even giving the game she so loves a shot.
Feinour left behind her days as two-year varsity letter winner with the Warriors to simply handle the transition of becoming a part of this year's Tigers' field hockey team.
"It was hard because I had been playing with those girls in other sports (field hockey, soccer and lacrosse) for the longest time," said Feinour. "I spent a lot of time in school with those girls (at Susquehannock) and then coming here into a new season, not ever playing with these girls at first and not knowing really know how they play, it was a really hard transition.
"I wasn't sure how to play with them, how to goaltend with them - either to be a more aggressive keeper, be a more vocal keeper, or simply stand back and let them pick the ball.
"It was a pretty hard transition, but we worked it all out though in preseason."
She initially cracked that fear of playing a sport for Northwestern when she gave soccer a chance in the spring.
It was in early March when Feinour finally met up with Jess Becker at a surprise baby shower for her new head coach thrown by the players. It soon set the stage for what turned out to one memorable season with the Tigers' this past season.
"Lorraine is just a phenomenal athlete," said Becker, of Feinour handling the transition going from one program to another. "I think that she so loves the sport of field hockey so much that she wasn't going to let the fear of that stop her at all. I know going to play in college is a real goal for her and I think that she knew in order to do that she needed to make the best out of her final season.
"So, she found out the field hockey girls were a real nice group of girls and they were really accepting of her to become a part of our team."
Right there and then Feinour felt welcomed by her new teammates and the worries withered away to nothing of joining a new team.
"They really wanted me to be a part of the team and they really wanted me to bond with them," said Feinour, when she was invited to Becker's baby shower. "It was a great experience because it helped me get to know her by leaving the whole coaching thing behind her and even the scary thought of meeting a new coach."
While it gave Feinour a chance to play the game again, it definitely provided Becker and the Tigers with a "missing link" on this year's squad by putting her experience in the cage right away.
"It was a blessing to have her," Becker said. "Julie Dietrich, who was Sam Rex's backup, was only a freshman last year. I know she was really psyched trying to fill the shoes of Rex, but those are some big shoes to fill. So, I think having Lorraine around was probably a little bit of a relief for her.
"I know that Julie and her have become really close over the season. It was really nice to see that kind of leadership as Lorraine took Julie under her wing even though Lorraine was the new person. I think Julie likewise was able to tell Lorraine how some things worked as well. I think they needed each other. They pushed each other a lot every day in practice.
"She was the missing link I think that we needed this season to see the kind of success we did."
And, having her around eventually led to good things as Feinour took part in summer leagues, took part in pre-season workouts as one of the Tigers' three goalkeepers and then enjoyed her last varsity season as the starting keeper.
"I couldn't have asked for a better season with those girls," said Feinour, of a team that finished 10-7-2 overall. "Coming out and playing our game to the best of our advantage, being able to keep up with those big teams like Bangor and Southern Lehigh, it was great. It made us feel respected. It was awesome.
"And, to make it to districts, and have a good overall record, it felt amazing."
It was prior to her first appearance in the District 11 Class 2A playoffs that Feinour found out she capped what was her first and last season with the Tigers by being selected as a member of the Colonial League All-League Team.
The senior Tiger earned herself a spot on the Honorable Mention list. In a league that consists of 12 teams, Feinour walked away with one fine accomplishment to add to her field hockey resume.
"I was really honored because it was my first year playing for Northwestern," said Feinour. "I didn't even have the backbone that all of the other girls that received First Team or Second Team honors. I hadn't played a full season before with my team. They didn't even know what I had to offer.
"So, coming in my first year and getting Honorable Mention, that's a big honor for any player because I came right off the bat and proved that I could outshine some of the league's best and prove to them that I had the skills to do what it took to be a successful player this season."
"Lorraine has just been a gift this year," Becker stressed. "She transfered unexpectedly. But, the girls welcomed her with open arms and she was just such a pleasant surprise to our team this season. We wouldn't have had the season we had without her. She had phenomenal saves all year long. There were so many games that her goalkeeping alone kept us in the game. So, I'm so proud of her."
While her career as a high school field hockey player is in the books, Feinour stated this experience of transfering from Susquehannock to Northwestern wasn't that bad after all, especially once she experienced those playing days with the Tigers.
In fact, she will take this experience and run with it for what's to come in the future for her.
"I think it's going to help me out with the fact that I transfered because when I go in and try-out for a collegiate school it's going to help me," Feinour said. "I already know what it's like to play for another team now and I also know what it's like to transfer and play with other girls who I have never played the game with before. "So, I'll have a big one-up on the other girls because coming in already I already know how to feel and already know how to act with the other ladies."