Varsity Field Hockey prepares for a promising season ahead of their first game

Senior+Jamie+Stern+and+junior+Emily+Levine+dress+up+for+practice+on+St.+Patrick%27s+Day+to+show+their+spirit.

Photo courtesy Emily Levine

Senior Jamie Stern and junior Emily Levine dress up for practice on St. Patrick’s Day to show their spirit.

The varsity field hockey team is looking to start the season on a good note today after last year’s season ended with a crushing loss to Churchill in the second round of the Maryland 4A state tournament.

Due to the pandemic, this year’s season has been cut from over 10 games to five, and is being played in the spring instead of the fall. This year, the new and improved team will look to come out hot in its first matchup with Walt Whitman after losing five seniors, several of whom were crucial pieces to the team’s success. “I think this year we have the potential to be very good because we have many upperclassmen who are ready to thrive in their new roles,” junior captain Emily Levine said.

I think this year we have the potential to be very good because we have many upperclassmen who are ready to thrive in their new roles”

— Emily Levine

In addition to the shortened season, the team had little time to practice in preparation for their first game. Furthermore, they have had little opportunity to build chemistry as a group due to the pandemic. “It is unfortunate that we have had very little time to become closer as a group. Typically we have team dinners, post practice meals and team hangouts, but this year with the pandemic we have not been able to do much,” senior captain Jamie Stern said.

The returning players have a chip on their shoulders following the disappointing end to last year’s season. Last season, the team lost to rival Churchill in the second round of the state playoffs after an impressive regular season. “Losing the way we did was devastating, but this year we are excited to get the chance to redeem ourselves,” junior Ellie Metz said.

Looking forward to their first matchup, the opposing teams are both coming into the game with a record of 0-0, both determined to start the year with a win and momentum to move forward in the shortened season. Last year Whitman finished the season with a record of 7-6, while Wootton finished with a record of 9-3. “We beat Whitman last year in a close game, so we are practicing hard in order to finish with the same outcome,” Levine said.

In addition to the team having to create new chemistry in a short amount of time, they are being led by a new head coach. This year Coach Kasey Fletcher, who has previously been the head girls’ lacrosse coach, will also be leading the varsity field hockey team. “I love Coach Fletcher. All of the girls have bonded really well with Coach and we believe as a group we can accomplish a lot,” Metz said.

Looking forward, the team will have four more games in under 25 days. In addition to the number of games being cut in half, practices are shorter and the team has less practices a week to prepare for games. “It is a challenge having less time to practice and prepare for games but I am fortunate that we are having a season,” Stern said.