The conditions were perfect for JV field hockey’s first game of the season at home against Hotchkiss. Temperatures were in the low 70’s and there was light cloud cover. As the girls approached the field walking 2-by-2, their energy and determination were palpable. Right from the start, it was clear that this was going to be a well-matched game as neither team seemed to dominate. DA did a fabulous job of moving the ball down the field, supporting each other and communicating beautifully. Midfielder Emma Jaskolski ’20 executed beautiful passing through to her forwards Ainsley Hatch ’22 and Renee Ballou ’20, moving the ball towards goal up the left side with a vengeance. Kate Kelly played excellent defense behind her midfielders, beating Hotchkiss to the ball, stealing it with skill and executing flick passes, often finding the space for midfielder Caroline Mahoney ’21 to make a play. Caroline and Dom Whitney ’19 our center and right midfielders played as if they could read each other’s minds, switching positions as they dribbled diagonally to the right, passing the ball up the side to the wing. DA put pressure on Hotchkiss in their circle, and with a terrific assist by Jada, Ainsley scored the first goal of the game just before half-time. In the meantime, the defense was impenetrable with goalie Lucy Blake ’19 as their leader. Her voice was heard throughout the game as she called on her girls to adjust positioning and marking. She made an amazing 1-v-1 save early in the game and went on to deny six or seven more shots on goal during the course of the game, many of which came from corners. Alissa Zhang ’22 in the right back position used her strong stick skills to steal the ball from Hotchkiss when they were on the attack as did center back Ellie Shilling ’20. On the left side of the field, Daisy Dundas ’21 was a fierce defender, stealing the ball from the attack, moving the ball up the side lane, sending it to her forwards. Lily Faucett ’20 was as steadfast, calm and poised as ever in her role as sweeper, stopping several drives towards goal by Hotchkiss, but they were able to sneak one ball into the goal about half way through the second half. Both teams fought to score again and although DA was able to put significant pressure on Hotchkiss as the time ran out, neither team was able to get the ball in the cage, leaving us with a 1-1 tie. Saturday’s game was a terrific start to the season!