By Robbie Loeb
In its semifinal playoff loss against Huntington Beach on Nov. 2, the varsity field hockey team received three yellow cards. Unlike soccer, every time the referee holds up his yellow slip of plastic, it comes with a penalty of five minutes on the sideline without a substitution. Huntington Beach scored both of its goals in a 2-0 victory during spells when Harvard-Westlake was down to 10 players.
The team clinched its playoff spot by finishing second in league with a 6-2 record. It advanced to the semifinals after defeating Edison in the first round, 3-1. The team only lost five games overall all season, twice to Huntington Beach and three times to Glendora to end 11-5 overall.
Huntington scored first while Sarah Markowitz ’12 was serving a penalty for being within a seven yard radius of an opponent taking a free hit. She was let back onto the field after more than five minutes had passed, and after a goal was surrendered.
Glenne Carter ’14 earned a card for tripping an opponent on a breakaway, preventing a possible goal. However, the referee that made the call was on the other end of the field, and the referee nearest Carter did not call a foul. When Carter went back and looked at the film of the game, she saw that the player in fact tripped over her own feet.
“I felt as though the referee’s call was inaccurate, and I was frustrated I was taken out of the game for five minutes,” Carter said. “We were down a player, which didn’t give us a good chance to score.”
Brigid Sofen ’12 earned the final yellow card for complaining to the referee. A Huntington Beach player earned a green card, which is a warning, for being within the seven yard radius of a penalty, the same infraction that the referee gave Markowitz a yellow card for. Sofen told the referee the infraction deserved a yellow card, if they wanted to call the game evenly, and subsequently, received a yellow card for her complaint.
“It was questionable refereeing,” Sofen said. “It was an unnecessary call, and with a small following of field hockey in Los Angeles, it’s hard to get decent referees. The worst part is the fact that the referee talked back to me.”