On a beautiful, cold but sunny Wednesday afternoon, DA’s JV field hockey team traveled to Williston to play their first game in almost 2 weeks! Due to weather and schedule changes, we had not had a competition since our win against Taft on family weekend. The girls hit the ground running with a quick warm-up and started off a bit ‘discombobulated’ as it were. Williston’s players were beating us to the ball, disrupting our usual forward momentum with passing up the right side, typically initiated by midfielder Captain Lynnette Jiang ’18 as she sent the ball through to either right inner Sydney Gregg ’20 or right wing Jada Howard ’19. Defense was caught slightly off guard at times as well, allowing Williston’s forwards to penetrate into the scoring circle. Goalie Captain Niyafa Boucher ’18 together with sweep Lily Faucett ’20 worked their typical magic and held the Williston players scoreless. During a much needed time out Captain Anna Scott ’18 offered clear insight as to why we seemed to be off our game – we had only been playing against ourselves so we were used to being able to more easily anticipate our opponents’ moves! We were also missing two key starters. Forward Dom Whitney ’19 was out due to illness and Defender Hunter Keller ’20 was just returning from being out with bronchitis. Although their replacements Captain Emmaline Flagg ’18 and Renee Ballou ’20 did an excellent job moving into those positions, both of them were recovering from their own injuries as well! Fortunately we had the luxury of having two subs at the game: Mira Bizen ’20 was available for short spurts on the forward line, and Hunter was able to sub into the defense periodically as well.
Back on the field after our time out, the girls took charge and the momentum changed in our favor. Emma Jaskolski ‘20 stepped up as usual, making strategic stops, redirecting the ball either to open wing Lucy Blake ’20 or across the field to our strong side. We achieved a much needed goal with about 5 minutes left in the first half. A shot towards the goal was taken by Sydney, and out of nowhere Jada sprinted towards the post and tapped it in. A few minutes into the second half, Sydney sent another shot across the circle and Renee had a beautiful flick into the goal. Leading 2-0, the girls played smart and with their typical great communication. Williston never gave up and continued to pressure our end of the field, but the defense held on and made smart, calculated stops and clears. Even with two corners awarded to Williston, Anna, Lily, Ellie Shilling ’21 and Emmaline were able to get the ball out of the circle and up to our mids and forwards, holding Williston to a shut-out. As we have seen all season, DA’s JV field hockey team worked together as a unit, supporting each other and encouraging each other as we slowly but surely found our footing. It was a great win in a most picturesque New England spot!