The JV field hockey team was flying high, driving a 5-0 record into the Sept. 28 game against rival Churchill, with a 10-0 beating of Einstein in the rearview mirror. With just four games remaining in the season, the team could smell an undefeated season on the horizon, it seemed as if nothing could stop them. (They had not conceded a single goal at all this season up to this point). With sophomore co-captain and forward Carli Mangum leading the charge on offense and sophomore co-captain and defender Kayla Hill controlling the defense, the girls had high aspirations to ride their unbeaten streak off into the sunset.
But then night fell.
The team’s dream quickly turned into a nightmare when their hopes for an undefeated season were dashed by none other than the Churchill Bulldogs on Sept. 28. The Bulldogs caught a break on a corner, and that was all they needed, winning 1-0 and forcing the Patriots to make their agonizing entrance into the loss column for the first time this season, despite the intensity they displayed until the final whistle.
The girls most recently wrapped up the season against Archbishop Spalding on Oct. 14, but it was played too late to be covered in this issue.
A week earlier, on Oct. 7, the girls hosted Blair in a 5-0 victory that put their season back on track. The girls lacked cohesion as a unit in the first half, and weren’t able to do much in front of the net, resulting in only a 1-0 lead at halftime. Once the second half rolled around, they kicked it into high gear and added four more goals to the tally. The team was desperate to get back to its winning ways after losing and tying their past two respective games, and with this being the last home game of the season, it was apparent that they fought hard to get this win. “We do a lot of team bonding that helps us work as a cohesive group, and I believe that’s what makes us successful,” sophomore forward Elise Mitchell said.
The girls’ response to their snapped streak was slower than the team would’ve hoped, as they tied Bethesda-Chevy Chase 0-0 on Oct. 5, the first game after the Churchill loss. Looking at the scoreline alone, one could figure out how evenly matched this game was. The Patriots’ defense was stout as usual, but the offense couldn’t take advantage of the chances they created throughout the entire game. Not even two overtime periods could decide a winner, and not a single shot hit the back of the net. Both teams settled for the tie in this hotly contested defensive duel. “The key to success for me and the rest of my defensive team is that we make effective plays and take our time. Also, just communicating with each other constantly helps keep us together,” Hill said.
With the season almost at its end, it remains clear that the varsity squad will have plenty to work with on their roster for the next several years, so much so that it would be a shock to no one if they make it to the state finals like they had in 2015.
Or even if they win it.
JV Sports Editor