Douglass supports strong defense for field hockey

October 30, 2008 — by Shannon Galvin and Ren Norris

The whistle blows as another short corner is called against Saratoga. Due to a foul inside the goal circle, the Archbishop Mitty players get a free shot while only four Saratoga defenders and the goalie can try to stop it. Senior goalie Stephanie Douglass extends her leg and blocks Mitty’s shot as the defense scrambles to clear the ball out. The field hockey team found themselves in this position many times against Mitty under the lights on Oct. 22. Mitty’s offense came out hard in the first half and won countless short corners, but the Falcon defense was able to hold them off, ending the first half 0-0.

“Of course I was nervous about the short corners, but I trust my defense to get the ball out of the
circle,” said Douglass.

In the second half, Saratoga went on the attack. Senior Katie Marsh passed to senior co-captain Kelly Darchuk who dribbled through the Mitty defenders to the goal line and passed it to senior Claire Marsh who scored. Throughout the game, the Falcons’ passing helped break down Mitty’s defense.

“We played intensely and well when we were working as a team,” said coach Amber Wilson.

The game ended in a 1-0 victory for Saratoga. A major part of this strong defense was senior goalie Stephanie Douglass. Despite all the scoring chances Mitty had, Douglass and the defenders were able to hold a shutout.

“They had a lot of short corners, but I’m confident in the defense and [Douglass] had an awesome game,” said Wilson.

Douglass has played goalie on varsity since sophomore year and is hoping to continue her field hockey career in college. She has sent videos of herself playing to many colleges and hopes to attend a school like Duke or Stanford to play field hockey. Douglass has been a huge asset in goal, but she has always wanted to give playing in the field a try.

“It’s always been my dream to score, but I made the choice freshman year to play goalie and I have stuck with it,” Douglass said.

Douglass’ teammates respect her and rely on her to pull out saves in important games.

“She’s a team player and is good at communicating from the back,” said senior co-captain Laura Ruddy.

“Plus, she makes wicked crazy saves,” added Darchuk.

Other players draw inspiration from Douglass’ hard work and determination.

“[Douglass] always pushes me to try my best when I play goalie with her,” said junior Madeline Rothenberg, the other goalie on the team.

With Douglass providing support in the goal, the defense is confident as the team goes into the CCS championships starting on Nov. 13.

“We still need to work on a couple things, but the team really wants [to win], and since everyone has a winning mindset, I don’t have to motivate anyone,” said Wilson.

The girls hope to win the CCS championships this year after losing in the semi-finals last year to Los Gatos. CCS Semi-finals will be held at Saratoga this year.

“I think we’re ready because we’re the best out there. Teams should fear our intensity,” said junior midfielder Samantha Li.
For the seniors, this is the last chance for them to win a CCS championship, and they believe they can pull out a victory.

“I’m confident going into CCS. This is the year,” said Douglass. ◆