Field Hockey: Team seeks CCS title under new head coach

September 8, 2009 — by Synthia Ling and Ren Norris

In the last two minutes of the CCS finals last November, Los Gatos edged out Saratoga for the CCS title. This year, the Falcons are out for revenge.

               
There have been many changes this season, as last year’s head coach Amber Wilson recently had a baby and doesn’t have enough time to make it to every practice and game. Wilson will be the assistant coach, replaced  as head coach by Saratoga and UC Berkeley alumnus, Kellie York. The girls, however, do not think this affects the team much.

              
“We’re psyched to have [York],” said senior co-captain Sam Li.  “She brings a new perspective, but at the same time she hasn’t changed anything too much.”

               
A challenge for the team is developing a strong offense, as all three starting forwards graduated last year. A new line-up formation involving five attackers instead of three will help compensate for the lost seniors. Li will head the offense at center forward, and will be a key player in creating goal-scoring opportunities throughout the season. Senior midfielder Jordan Leonard and junior midfielder Vanessa Block will be playing critical positions as the offense-minded midfielders and will set up many attacking plays, and senior co-captain Anna Schroeder will lead the defense.

               
“I came under the impression that we lost a lot of people last year,” said York, “but with new players and coaching it will be more of a new start than a re-building.”

               
Joining this fresh start for the team are several underclassmen new to the varsity squad, bringing energy and hard work to fill the gaps left by graduated seniors. Freshmen Hannah Johnson and Megan Doles also take on the challenge of being the only freshmen on varsity.

               
“It’s pretty intimidating because you’re expected to be at the same level as everyone else.” said Doles. “The team is really welcoming, but I’m just trying to keep up with the more experienced girls.”

               
The team is in the highest league, Mount Hamilton, and will be facing hockey powerhouses such as Mitty, St. Francis and Los Gatos.

               
“I really want the girls to step up and take any challenge,” said York. “There is a lot of potential and I think we can do it if we work hard.”

               
Above all, the team is looking to have a successful season and to come out on top in CCS.

               
“Los Gatos better watch out,” said senior co-captain Madeline Rothenberg. “This year we are going to win it all.”