Field hockey secures repeated victories


Printed with permission of Susan Hodgkins

Megan Kim ’24 runs across the field, retaining possession of the ball against Huntingon Beach on August 25.

Alex Lee and Alexander Dinh

The field hockey team, led by first-year Head Coach Susan Hodgkins, has won two games following their two losses at the start of the season.
Megan said after three Division I commits graduated last year, some players were not expecting to live up to the same success. Last year, the team’s success led to an overall 14-2 record. This year however, the team lost its first game to Huntington Beach 7-0, and to Marina 4-0. However, the team beat Fountain Valley 2-1 on Sept. 9 and Glendora 1-0 on Sept. 13, bouncing back to even out their record at 2-2.
Assistant Coach Giles Andrew said the team struggled in the first two games of the season because some members of the team were unable to attend the summer practices.
“A lot of our players had other commitments during the summer and didn’t get a chance to [attend the summer practices],” Andrew said. “A lot of the other schools go back earlier than us. Our first two games were very much like the team had just met and then we were forced to play games together, against teams that have been playing [together] for a month already.”
Andrew said that he and Hodgkins both promote communication and teamwork. He said the two values are essential for performance during games, as well as for strengthening bonds between players.
“The more [the players] feel like they’re part of a full team, the more that they’ll socialize and get to know each other,” Andrew said. “And then they start supporting each other, and we get less negativity on the field when things go wrong.”
On Sept. 19, the team tied Thousand Oaks High School 2-2 in its seventh game of the season. Andrew said it was the team’s best performance yet.
“Every game so far has been an improvement on the last,” Andrew said. “Even though it was only a tie, it was still the best game we’ve played as a team. We saw some really good hockey, some really nice moves [and] a couple of good goals. We were unlucky not to come away with the win, against what was a strong opposition.”
Kim said the first two losses served as motivation for the team.
“A lot of us knew that some of our star players were leaving and we weren’t going to be as good as before,” Kim said. “But, those first two games were a wakeup call for the team.”
Hodgkins said the first win over Fountain Valley was a turning point for the team. She said she is optimistic for the rest of the season, as she feels that the team is constantly improving.
“Once we had our first win, that was a huge factor in realizing that we’re getting better, and we can win,” Hodgkins said. “I personally think we improve every day. Every day, I see everyone [on the team] get better. As long as we play as a team and keep practicing hard every day, it can only get better.”