Field Hockey: Falcons come together through wholesome team bonding

October 20, 2009 — by Synthia Ling and Ren Norris

Dressing up in crazy costumes, having backyard overnight camp outs and playing a night game of capture the flag—these and other similar fun activities are common for the field hockey girls as a way to get closer as a tight-knit team. The girls believe that success in the season stems from building a strong team morale through such team bonding activities.

“Team bonding is really important, because if we don’t get along outside of the sport, there’s no way we would play well together on the field,” said senior co-captain Sam Li.

One pivotal team event was the team sleepover at the beginning of the season. The team of 20 girls spent the night playing glow-in-the-dark capture the flag and camped in senior co-captain Madeline Rothenberg’s backyard in one giant tent. The event was meant as a way for everyone to get to know their teammates outside of practices and games.

“Our sleepover helped people come out of their shells and open up more to show another side than just how we are on the field,” said senior defender Jessica Liscom.

Though the team is now well acquainted and in mid-season, the girls continue to bond through dress-up days at practice and team dinners every week.

“Bonding and team activities makes us more comfortable around each other which makes us play better,” said junior forward Kathryn Nobles.
The girls used their team effort to put up a fight on Oct. 6 at home against rival St. Francis, who they beat
last year in CCS. This time, however, they fell short when St. Francis barely won 2-1.

It was St. Francis who scored first during the first half, but then during a short corner play senior co-
captain Anna Schroeder tipped the ball and junior Whitney Hansen scored. The second half was scoreless,
forcing the game into overtime with both teams tied up 1-1.

Assistant coach Amber Wilson said Saratoga dominated the majority of overtime, but St. Francis was
able to get the ball one time on a short corner and score.

“The game was disappointing because we had so many chances to win it,” said Schroeder. “Everyone
played incredibly well, but we just couldn’t finish.”

Although it was a scrimmage and not an official league game, the team had an important victory of 2-1
at home on Oct. 2 against Gilroy, who has a powerhouse offense.

The game went into overtime, but in the end Saratoga was victorious in the end with both of their goals
scored by Schroeder.

“I’m very proud of the girls for beating Gilroy,” said Wilson. “We were able to put girls in different positions and they still played hard.”

As the team enters its second half of the season when teams play each other for the second time, the girls will have to use their teamwork developed by bonding activities in order to gain revenge on future opponents. Regardless of the outcome, the girls will take away more than just field hockey from this season.

“The team this year is really close,” said junior midfielder Vanessa Block. “We’re more than just teammates on the field—we’re friends off the field too.”

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