Girls field hockey bounces back from slow start, makes playoffs

Seth Barshay and Kyle Cohen

Coming into this season, the girls varsity field hockey team had only nine returning players. Nine of last year’s seniors graduated, and a lack of experience in the roster led to a slow start to the season.  Many of the players switched positions at the beginning of the season, and it took the first four games for the girls to find their footing.

“There’s no replacing the seniors that left, especially the ones from last year.  But the players that have been brought up have really stepped up and helped the team at crucial times,” said junior Erin McDonough.

The Lady Vikings eventually overcame this adversity, improving in the amount of goals scored.  They came back to win four of their last six games.  The team finished the regular season at 4-7, which was enough to make the playoffs for the third year in a row.

“This proved that the team really has improved from not being able to score the first game or two to earning a spot in the playoffs,” said junior Martha Horowitz.

It seems as if the team’s improvement can be partially attributed to improved chemistry, as the new players get more accustomed to playing together.

“The coaches have been working with us on specific plays, our corners and free hits especially.  Better team work and better unity have enabled us to work together as we were successful against Sewanhaka, Great Neck South, and Oyster Bay,” said McDonough.

According to Horowitz, a lot of the team’s growth could also be due to the leadership of the team’s captains, seniors Caroline Rybecky and Chelsea Nachamie.

“They always keep our heads up, and help us have faith in each other that our teammates will catch the ball if we pass it to them and our teammates will creating a passing lane for us.  They are also both the two top scorers on the team,” said Horowitz.

In their first playoff game, second seeded Schreiber beat third seeded East Meadow 2-1.

“We all played very well as a team and gave our best possible effort.  We were all really excited for the game and wanted to play our hardest.  We came out very strong, and we were determined to win. After a hard fought game, we came through,” said Nachamie.

Junior Jina Lay and Nachamie scored in the first and second half, respectively.

“It felt amazing to help out my teammates in our first playoff game.  Knowing that I scored the last goal of the last home game of my high school years will always stand out to me,” said Nachamie.

The team’s next game will be held at Adelphi on Nov. 3 at 4 p.m. against the winner of the match between Massapequa and Sewanhaka.

At the end of this season, five seniors will be graduating: Caroline Rimmer, Nachamie, Danielle Parrino, Rybecky, and Emily Youner.

Along with these departing seniors,  Head Coach Mr. Joe Lederer is coaching his last season for the team.  The team has made it their goal to finish the season with a win in the championship to end Lederer’s coaching career on a high note.

All stats are as of Oct. 30.