Field hockey kicks off their competitive season March 12, 2021 — by Apurva Chakravarthy and Anjali Nuggehalli The field hockey team plays an intense game against Los Gatos High School. Junior Marina Kaypaghian anticipates a season of rebuilding as the girls’ field hockey kicks off their competitive season Head Coach: Jatin Sharma Last year’s record: 7-1-6 (WTL) Recap: Last year, the team was able to qualify for the CCS tournament but due to a discrepancy with league rules, they were unable to go. Key Additions: Junior Macey Hartmann, junior Marina Kaypaghian, sophomore Kayla Steele, sophomore Gloria Pan, sophomore Mary Campbell Key Matchups: Homestead High School, Los Gatos High School Star Players: seniors Gwen Oberhauser and Viveca Ganti, juniors Nandini Desai, Rima Christie, Lauren Vandervort and Olivia Kinoshita Key losses to graduation: seniors Hanna Beine, Ella Parr, Simrati Advani, Sarah Rieken, Veda Sethuraman League: Prognosis: The long-delayed start to the field hockey season finally took place on March 1. This year, the team had enough participation to have both a varsity and JV team. The team practices Monday through Friday for two hours a day and is being coached by Nanu Sidhu and a new member of the coaching staff, Jatin Sharma. They will be playing their first home game against Homestead High School on March 22, and along with the requirement of masks, only immediate family members are allowed to attend the game. Although some key players like seniors Jasmine Reddy and Leila Chaudry, junior Lauren Yarrington, and sophomore Georgia Adams dropped out of playing to play other sports, the team only lost one key player, senior Allison Ha, for COVID-19 related reasons. According to center back junior Marina Kaypaghian, who has participated in field hockey since her freshman year, transitioning to in-person play has been an exciting experience for most team members. “I initially joined the field hockey team to bond with my friends and to also just meet new people,” said Kaypaghian, who will play on varsity this year. “I ended up having a great time with my teammates and coaches. Everyone was so supportive when I was just starting, so I continued to play the following years.” The team is still required to take COVID-19 precautions such as maintaining distance during drills and wearing a mask at all times. This season will also lack traditional bonding events such as team dinners and travel matches. Kaypaghian noted that she isn’t even able to “physically celebrate achievements through hugging or high-fives.” Nevertheless, Kaypaghian is grateful that the team has had an opportunity to play together after being in isolation for so many months, and she has noticed that the long break from sports has encouraged everyone to work even harder. “I think we can make the most out of this season even though it is such an uncertain time. My personal goals are just to improve on my skills and get in even better shape for games later in the season,” Kaypaghian said. “As a team, my goal is for us to find new ways to strengthen our bonds and not let COVID take away from our togetherness as a team."