With nine returning seniors and 14 returning varsity players, the girls field hockey team is in high spirits regarding the start of its season. Furthermore, having a consistent roster has many benefits for the continued success of the team.
“[Some] of us have been on varsity for four years, so we’re pretty comfortable at this level now,” said Co-Captain and forward Avery Peterson ’17. “A lot of the other girls have been on for two years now, so that makes a really good and strong base for the team.”
Continuity also builds strong team chemistry.
“We’ve all been good friends with one another for such a long time, and we really know each other on and off the field, which helps to create strong bonds,” Peterson said. “Knowing each other helps for all aspects of the team, [such as] passing, working together, and holding one another up.”
The leadership the captains bring each year is a driving force for the players as well. With responsibilities such as organizing team bonding events and acting as role models, their impact on the field is just as high off the field.
“[The captains] are basically the coaches on the field,” said Head Coach Heather Serverson. “I can yell all I want, but they’re not going to hear me. They’re the ones that try to keep it held together on the field and also provide a calming voice to provide positive feedback as well.”
“During practices they’ll keep us on task when we start to drift away,” said forward Lisette Dubow ’18. “They talk to coach, they make sure all the equipment is there before games or practices, and make sure it is back in the team room after practices and games. They [also] make sure everybody knows what’s going on, what time practice is, and what time our game is.”
“We have a really good dynamic this year,” said Co-Captain and midfielder Jordyn Cane ’17. “We’ve been prioritizing becoming a strong unit off the field so that it translates on the field. I’m pretty confident in our ability to work as a team. All our individual skills are there, so it’s going to be coming together as a team to win every game.”
With so many returning players, the team was also able to win the majority of it’s scrimmages. While scrimmages do not count toward the season record, they demonstrate the potential of the team in the upcoming season.
“By winning scrimmages, you can set the tone for the year, to show them you’re not playing around or a team to mess with,” Dubow said.
Not only do scrimmages set the tone, but they also help diagnose potential issues that players may face during the game. Unaddressed issues can cost the team a loss during the regular season.
“We had to work on our defensive unit becoming more cohesive, which they’ve done a really good job with,” Serverson said. “Right now, we’re working on our transitional game in the midfield. Once that’s tightened up, we can work on the details.”
“[Scrimmages] really help us get comfortable, and figure out everything that wasn’t working [and] what needs to be improved upon,” said Peterson.
With all the success so far, the team is eager for the beginning of the season.
“We worked our way up from tying our games, to winning by one, to winning 6–1. Everyone saw how we improved … and what we’re capable of. We’ve definitely come a long way from when we first started practicing in preseason to where we were on our last scrimmage.” Peterson said.
“Our goals are to go farther than we did last year in the [Mercer County Tournament] and the state tournament,” Serverson said. “We’d like to get one level further. We’ve been in the final rounds before of the [MCT’s], and if all goes well, hopefully we end up there again.”