Hodgkins promoted to varsity

Leo Saperstein

The field hockey team began off-season training for its first match of the 2022-2023 fall season against Huntington Beach High School on Aug. 25.

During the 2021-2022 fall season, the squad finished 14-2 overall and 5-2 in Sunset League play. Although three Division I commits have graduated since last season, Captain Dylan Perkins ’23 said the squad’s enthusiasm will guide its success this season.

“[In] the past few years, there’s been at least one person committed to play in college of the seniors or juniors on varsity,” Perkins said. “Having so many good people in the past and having such a strong team makes people want to reach that [level] every year, even if that means you have to focus on everyone on the team having the same amount of skill, rather than being able to fall back on three commits.”

Middle School English Teacher Erin Creznic stepped down from herrole as Field Hockey Program Head following the 2021-2022 fall season. Perkins said former junior varsity coach Susan Hodgkins’ transition to Field Hockey Program Head went smoothly due to her past experience with most of the varsity team’s players.

“She’s been working at [the school] for a very long time,” Perkins said. “She was the only person we wanted to be head coach. Everyone who’s currently in high school playing field hockey knows her, so we are all very comfortable with her.”

Goalkeeper Lily Stambouli ’24 said she is excited for Hodgkins to apply her emphasis on team chemistry to the varsity team.

“On junior varsity last year, we had such a great team relationship between [Hodgkins] and all of us,” Stambouli said. “When we heard that Creznic was leaving, we all pined for [Hodgkins] because of how much we love her and how we already have a close relationship with her.”

Stambouli said although Hodkins missed multiple weeks of practice with COVID-19, she has made sure the team trains so they collectively improve.

“She wants us to be in good shape for the season and wants all of us to be great players, rather than a few people being really great players,” Stambouli said. “She’s really focusing on bringing the team up together and having us do fitness, laps and run miles.”

Defender Glory Ho ’24, who played under Hodgkins during the 2021-2022 fall season, said Hodgkins offers effective coaching tips in addition to her emphasis on physical fitness.

“She is very much a tough love type of coach,” Ho said. “We’ve been doing a lot of conditioning every practice, and we have had [weight training] throughout the summer. The drills we run push us pretty hard, but her advice is always really helpful and precise.”

Following the team’s first match against Huntington Beach , it will play against Marina High School and Newport Harbor High School on Aug. 30 and Sept. 1, respectively.