On a blustery November Sunday afternoon, DA’s JV field hockey faced one of its most challenging competitors, Greenwich Academy. Although the team came to the field focused and ready to play, many factors just slightly knocked us off of our game. Confusion regarding proper equipment translated into DA starting two players down, making all on the field somewhat anxious. Then, within a short period of time our sweeper, Sabrina Sothiros ’18 aggravated a recurring injury, leaving us with no subs as we waited on two players’ return from their field trip to an contemporary art museum. To make things worse, two more players received significant injuries, Valerie Ma ’17 and Hunter Keller ’20, making Sabrina return temporarily as a wing, unable to do much running, and leaving us to finish the half a player down.
With this stage set, one would have thought that we were headed for disaster. The score of our loss, 0-4, certainly supports that conclusion, but in fact that does not reflect how the team came together in the face of adversity. At the end of the first half, DA’s defense and support from goalie Lucy Blake ’20 kept the Greenwich team at bay, holding them to a score of 0-1. Sweeper Lily Faucett ’20 and center back Anna Scott ’18 tag-teamed, putting pressure on Greenwich’s attempts to enter the scoring circle, recovering quickly and adeptly as they slowed GA down long enough for the rest of their defense to support them. There were many moments in the game when, out of nowhere, left back Lynnette Jiang ’18 or right back Emma Jaskolski ’20 appeared with the ball, carrying it out of our defensive side, passing it up to inners Katie Whelan ’18 and Sydney Gregg ‘20, changing the momentum in our favor. Moments into the second half, with us at the disadvantage of still needing to play down a player, Ashley Manning ’19 and Jenna Greenbaum ’17 arrived from their field trip, threw on their uniforms and grabbed equipment and jumped into the game, giving us a burst of energy. DA continued to have success moving the ball down the field, switching fields as we passed out to the wings and up the side line. Maddie Blake ’17 had several excellent crosses from the right into the circle, and our forwards and midfielders fought to place the ball in the goal, but GA’s goalie and defense were exceptionally tough, denying each of our attempts. Despite DA’s ability to move the ball into GA’s scoring area many times, and although our defenders continued to work together seamlessly with support from goalie Niyafa Boucher’s (’18) many saves and clears, the game never tipped back in our favor as GA went on to score three more goals in the second half. It was a challenging day for JV field hockey; however, every player did their very best, as we asked them to play new positions and to adjust in an instant to an ever-changing field make-up. The girls supported each other as always, communicated and defended with grit and perseverance, and although they were not rewarded by the score, they were rewarded knowing they held their heads high and fought together for the full 50 minutes of the game.