Early-season check-in: Field hockey features promising new players

September 18, 2023 — by Anamika Anand
Photos by Angela Tan
Senior Lexi Cleland prepares to shoot the winning goal against Monta Vista on Aug. 13.
With two freshmen on varsity and numerous strong veterans, the well-rounded team looks to make CCS. 

Head Coach: Sam Ng 

Last year’s record: 2-2-11 

Recap: Despite setbacks due to injuries and the loss of seven seniors to graduation, the team was still able to make it to CCS. However, they were eliminated after the second round against Prospect. 

Key Matchups: Homestead, Prospect 

Star Players: Seniors Emma Green, Zinneerah Ahmed, Lexi Cleland and Emily Hung; sophomore Sophia Faraone

Key losses to graduation: Willie Kuiper, Georgia Adams, Kayla Steele 

League: El Camino

Prognosis:

As of Sept. 17, the field hockey team lost their first league game to Homestead 3-0 on Sept. 11 but won their second league game vs.Monta Vista 1-0 on Sept. 13. 

“The first game against Homestead was a tough one, but it was our first game and there’s a lot of growth to do as a team,” senior captain left-sided center back Zinneerah Ahmed said. “The second game went well. We played as a team and kept the ball in their half for almost the entire game.” 

Though the team moved down to the less competitive El Camino league this season and lost three key players to graduation, they remain optimistic due to their promising new underclassmen. 

Photo by Angela Tan

Sophomore Solbee Lee dribbles the ball down the field.

Along with the guidance of new head coach Sam Ng, leadership from Class of ‘22 alum Rima Christie and senior captains right-sided center back Emma Green and Ahmed has been crucial in helping underclassmen improve. 

Ahmed said most of the freshmen are new to the sport but are putting in the effort to learn and make progress. 

“The new freshmen are settling in better than I would think,” she said. “Obviously, it’s difficult to come into high school and just pick up a new sport, especially since most of them haven’t played before, but I definitely see improvement throughout JV and varsity.” 

The two freshmen, forwards Giselle Adams and Evelyn Williams, made varsity and are already keeping up with the pace of the team. 

During a typical practice held on every weekday, JV and varsity warm up together by running and doing partner passing drills to practice short passes, long passes and sweeps. Afterwards, they split off to practice additional drills for shooting and game awareness. 

Along with these skill-based drills, scrimmages have been crucial for preparing for league. The team’s  scrimmage against Westmont scheduled for Aug. 30 was canceled due to excessive heat, but their scrimmage on Aug. 22 against Carmel High School resulted in a 1-1 tie. 

The Falcons’ next league game is on Sept. 18 against Palo Alto. Ultimately, Ahmed said she has high hopes for the team and thinks they can dominate the league if they keep up the effort. 

“My goal for the team is not only making it to CCS and having a good record overall, but also for everyone to learn and for the seniors to have a good senior year,” she said.