Players work toward a second perfect title year

Players work toward a second perfect title year

Stick it to em': Chronicle staff writer Astor Wu ’20 controls the ball in a 5-0 home game win against Westminster High last season Sept. 5. The team finished 10-0 in league, shutting out its opponent in nine of the 10 games and only allowing one goal last season. The team will play Wesminster High again this season on Aug. 31. Credit: Ryan Albert/Chronicle

After a dominant undefeated season , the girls’ field hockey team hopes to maintain their strong team dynamic despite the loss of standout players and team captains Mia Reilly ’18, Erin Lee ’18 and Alyse Tran ’18.

Last season, the field hockey team finished with a 20-0 record winning a CIF title.

“We should have a very competitive team again this year,” field hockey program head Erin Creznic said. “While we of course enjoy winning and hope to win league and the end of the year championship again, it’s not our primary goal. Our goal is to give every player in the field hockey program a feeling of belonging, camaraderie, friendship and joy.”

Last year’s team was larger than previous seasons and consisted of 11 seniors, three juniors, six sophomores and two freshmen.

Compared to last season, this year’s team roster is younger, consisting of five seniors, seven juniors, six sophomores and three freshmen.

With the loss of graduates such as goalie Elle Choi ’18 who only allowed one goal all season and captains from last season, Reilly, Lee and Tran,  the team’s rising seniors and captains, Isabella Huang ’19, Cypress Toomey ’19, Bella Guanche ’19, Emily Wesel ’19 and Sydney Pizer ’19 will come into increased leadership roles this season.

Creznic said she wants the new seniors to be vocal on and off the field, dedicated, inclusive and welcoming to the underclassmen.

“Our team has always been so close, so losing the seniors is definitely going to take an emotional toll on us because we are losing some of our best friends,” Pizer said. “We will really miss them and their incredible energy, musical talents  and leadership. I think I’m not the only one who was also concerned about how their departure might affect our playing since that class was very skilled.”

The team began practicing two hours a day Monday through Friday after the team played six games at the Disney tournament in Orlando July 28 to Aug. 1. The team finished undefeated and unscored on at the tournament, defeating other club teams from across the country.

 Last summer, the team also traveled to Orlando to compete in a tournament July 31 to Aug. 3.

At the Florida trip, the players were able to get to know each other better before the start of the season.

The team has bonded through team sleepovers during the summer and several community service trips such as participating in beach clean-ups according to Pizer.

“Our season hasn’t even started, and I think we have the advantage of a strong team dynamic on and off the field because of this tournament,” Pizer said. “At our [tournament in Orlando],  we really came together as a team, and I have no doubt that this new team will only continue to improve with more practice and experience working together. I feel really great about this season even though we have big shoes to fill.”

The home opener will be against Westminster High School on Aug. 31 and the league opener will be on Sept. 26 against Thousands Oaks.

The team defeated Wesminster on Sept. 5 last season, 5-0.

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