Field hockey captain leads underdog team

September 19, 2013 — by Sweeya Raj

Senior Jennie Werner is easy to spot in a field hockey game or practice.

Senior Jennie Werner is easy to spot in a field hockey game or practice. She sprints up the sideline of the field, during a typical game or scrimmage, catching up to a dribbling player on the opposite team. 
Neck and neck, Werner runs along with the player towards the goal that Werner is defending, pushing herself to sprint as fast as she can to keep up with the player. She focuses on the ball patiently, waiting for the tiniest mistake from her opponent. When the ball comes slightly off the opponent’s stick, Werner swoops in with her stick and takes possession of the ball, looking higher up to the field for a pass.
Werner started playing field hockey in freshman year, without any prior experience. 
“I really chose kind of on a whim. I just went to tryouts, and ended up liking it,” she said.
Werner was on the JV team freshman year and has been on varsity since sophomore year. This year, Werner is one of the three captains of the varsity team, along with seniors Risha Shah and Ingrid Hong. 
In addition to playing on the school team in the fall, Werner is also part of Impact, a club field hockey team that Lifon Huynh, also the varsity coach at SHS, runs. Impact attends many tournaments throughout the spring and includes many students who play on the school’s field hockey team in the fall.
“Once the season ended, playing on Impact was a great way to continue playing [field] hockey with my friends and work on our skills for next season,” Werner said.
Because Impact consists of players from all grade levels, Werner felt that playing alongside more experienced players helped to improve her game.
“As a freshman, playing with varsity seniors [on club] helped my confidence on the field and pushed me to try new skills,” she said.
Even so, Werner believes that it was mostly her athletic background that helped her get onto the varsity team sophomore year.
Sophomore Erin Norris, a midfielder on the varsity team, describes Werner as a great team captain and a skilled player.
“She always knows what to say to get the team pumped before a game,” Norris said. “She has great suggestions, and I can trust her as a friend.”
Werner has mostly has played midfield in the past, but so far this year, she is playing center back. 
“I’m very vocal on the field and good at communicating, which is important because the center back is in charge of helping direct the team,” she said.
However, she enjoys playing midfield much more.
“I prefer midfield because I like to push up the field, and on defense you have to be more reserved,” Werner said. “ You can take more risks when playing midfield.”
Werner loves to be aggressive and enjoys friendly athletic competition.
“It is the most exhilarating thing to sprint up, catch up with a player and steal the ball right off of their stick,” she said.
Werner believes that the most challenging thing for the varsity team this season will be their lack of players. The team lost a lot of key players who graduated last year, such as midfielders Amanda Schwartz and Jenni Miller and forward Megan Doles.
“Last year we had 12 seniors, so it is going to be hard because we basically lost our entire starting lineup,” she said. “It will be interesting to see how we do this season because we have a really small team.”
Because of the lack of players on the team, Werner thinks that the team has to work on restructuring and working together.
“This year I want to work as a team and focus on the fundamentals of field hockey,” Werner said.
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