The field hockey team finished undefeated for a third consecutive season and won its third consecutive Los Angeles Field Hockey Association
(LAFHA) Championship. The team has not lost or tied a game since the 2016
season and has won four consecutive league championships as well. This year, the senior captains consisted of midfielder Rachel Brown ’20, midfielder and Chronicle Photography Editor Astor Wu ’20 and forward Sam Yeh ’20, who led the team to the title.
“The captains did all the small details to make sure everything was running smoothly and worked to keep the team focused and motivated all the time,” Yeh said. “The senior class as a whole worked together to set a good example and share our experience.”
The Path to the Title
On its path to the championship, the team came seconds away from losing the undefeated streak in its match against Chaminade High School.
“[Chaminade] is our rival, so that game was really personal,” Yeh said. “Their players and ours train together or play together in the club season, so it was a little uncomfortable knowing them on a first name basis.”
In the final minutes of the game, the Wolverines were tied at 1-1. As the clock expired, Chaminade received a foul, extending the game and allowing an overtime possession for the Wolverines. The team won on a goal by forward Ella Ganocy ’22 in one of the most intense games of the season, Smolev said. If the team had lost possession of the ball on the short corner, or if the ball went out of bounds, the game would have ended in a tie.
“The stakes were really high because we had to keep our streak, and we knew that short corner was our only chance to score because the clock ran out, and our incredible twins were able to pull it off,” Yeh said. “Honestly I’ll never forget that game because I was just so happy we won.”
Assistant Coach Taylor Swezey said that she is proud of the team and that the girls definitely deserve their win because of the hours and dedication they put into achieving their goals.
“The team constantly works hard at communicating on and off the field,” Swezey said. “They have also put a lot of time and effort into field hockey outside of school, through the club on the weekends. We have a very strong team that builds on their skills each year, and it definitely shows when they step out onto the field.”
Preparing for Next Year
The team is preparing to lose seven seniors to graduation after this season. Forward Bella Ganocy ’22, Ella Ganocy and midfielder Fiene Oerlemans ’22 have been on varsity since their freshman year and started for all of the 2019 season. Forward Penny Juarez ’21 said the junior and sophomore classes have big shoes to fill in the coming season. Next year, JV players will likely join varsity to fill in for the seniors, Smolev said.
“The current junior class is really strong with defensive and offensive players like [Natalie Barnouw ’21], [Juarez] and so many others,” Yeh said. “The sophomore class is obviously incredible too with [Oerlemans], [Ella Ganocy] and [Bella Ganocy]. I have high hopes for them next season.”
The team’s offensive production has remained steady, with 92 goals in the 2019 season and 89 goals in the 2018 season.
“I think that our defense improved over the season, but we have a young defensive squad, so the defense was not as experienced as the 2018 team,” Juarez said. “That being said, they were very strong over the whole season, including our championship game.”