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The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

Freshman leads field hockey team

STICK+IT+TO+THEM%3A+Freshman+Val+Ganocy+%E2%80%9927+dribbles+the+ball+up+the+field+with+her+stick%2C+looking+to+get+around+a+Newport+Harbor+defender.
Ella Yadegar
STICK IT TO THEM: Freshman Val Ganocy ’27 dribbles the ball up the field with her stick, looking to get around a Newport Harbor defender.

During the 2021-22 school year, girls’ field hockey forward Valentina Ganocy ’27 broke her arm twice, requiring multiple surgeries in the span of only six months. Two years later, at only fourteen-years-old, Ganocy was selected to play in the 2023 Amateur Athletic Union Junior Olympics with athletes from across the country.

Ganocy said while at the Junior Olympics, she noticed that players from different parts of the US play differently .

“It was so much fun,” Ganocy said. “The level was super high, and it was crazy to see how different places across the country play. I feel like [east coast players] all pass a lot more. The pace of the game is so much faster.”

Field Hockey Program Head Coach Sue Hogdkins said she was happy to see Ganocy bounce back from her injury.

“After missing a year, I was so happy for her when she made it to the Nexus National Championship, the AAU Junior Olympic Games and was selected for the U-16 Junior Women’s National Team Selection Camp and the National Field Hockey Coaches Association High School Watchlist.”

Ganocy is one of four freshmen on varsity. Although she is one of the youngest players on the team, Ganocy has scored ten goals so far this season.

Ganocy grew up watching her sisters Ella and Bella Ganocy ’22 play and said she aims to surpass the high standard her sisters set.

“I think I was eight when I started playing, [at the time] when my sisters had just started playing,” Valentina Ganocy said. “[They have] high standards so I try to reach them…but I also try to surpass their standards.”

Even in her early years as a player, assistant Varsity coach Giles Andrews said she was constantly playing older and more experienced players. Andrews said her confidence and ambition has helped her quickly advance her game.

“I first knew Val as a player up in Moorpark playing club hockey; she was young, maybe 10 or 11, and already holding her own against youth player[s] much older than herself,” Andrews said. “This self-confidence and desire to always play to a higher level than her current age or ability has helped her progress quickly as a player, and she will continue to do so as she plays this season as a Varsity freshman.”

Ella and Bella Ganocy currently both play for Stanford, a National Collegiate Atheletic Association (NCAA) Division 1 field hockey school. Valentina Ganocy said she wants to establish her own unique path throughout high school and college.

“I want to be different from my sisters,” Valentina Ganocy said. “They already have their entire path set out, and I don’t want to just follow them. I want to create my own path.”

Bella said her younger sister’s strength of character shines on and off pitch and sets her apart from her competitors.

“Her quick stick skills and unstoppable reverse hit, combined with her growth mindset and positive attitude, are just a couple of her many traits that will set her apart in this sport,” said Bella Ganocy.

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Ella Yadegar, Editor-in-Chief

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