Field hockey season set to restart following CIF approval

Fallon Dern

Field hockey Head Coach Erin Creznic announced that the CIF approved the field hockey season to run from late March to April 17. Creznic expressed her excitement in an email sent to field hockey players on March 17, and said that a rough practice schedule is in the works. While freshman, junior varsity and varsity players have practiced throughout the school year, this approval would allow competitive games against other schools for the first time since 2019.

“This year, we will only be having one team,” Creznic wrote. “However, we will still not have any cuts. Also, things are evolving fast, and we may have a game as early as this Saturday.”

Field hockey practices have shifted dramatically since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Traditional close-contact scrimmages have been replaced with long-distance passing drills. Players who yelled through rubber mouth-guards annunciate to make up for the become the addition of masks. Center midfielder Kyra Goldstein ’23 is eager to participate in the upcoming season, and says that the program’s COVID-19 protocol makes her feel safe and prepared to play.

“I feel excited about the possibility of playing in field hockey this season,” Goldstein said. “Practices have felt incredibly safe with the use of masks and social distancing. I’m looking forward to competing competitively with different schools and their teams. I know that we will be playing in a safe manner so I feel good about that.”

Defender Eloise Stoddard ’23 agreed with Goldstein, and said that she’s ready to get back on the field.

“I am thrilled that sports seasons are back,” Stoddard said. “I haven’t been able to play in games for over a year, and I miss the competition we had before the pandemic.”

On the other hand, many field hockey players have decided that they will sit this season out due to COVID-19 related concerns. In turn, the coaches decided to make one, larger team rather than separate varsity and junior varsity programs.

“From talking with the other coaches in our league and down south, almost all schools are having to combine their teams because of the timing of our season,” Creznic said. “Also, with the CIF 10 day quarantine rule if you leave the state, we will be unable to use a lot of our players even when they return from their out of state spring break trips. That said, it’s really important that we have an accurate head count for each game to make sure we have enough players to field a team.”

In response to this, goalie Annie Knobloch ’23 said that she misses the comradery of individual teams. However, as one of the program’s four goalies, she said she will be playing in the upcoming season regardless of the strange circumstances.

“I signed up to play because I miss doing things outside of my house,” Knobloch said. “However, I think the restart is pretty weird. We’re not really playing as a team, just as a school, which is less of a bonding experience if you ask me.”