Field hockey team wows on field despite loss of key players

October 22, 2015 — by Emily Chen
Photo by Shazia Gupta

Tina Miller steals the puck from Cupertino.

The field hockey team has continued to hold its own thus far, with an overall record of 12-1-1 and league record of 7-1-0, and has a strong mentality of earning a high league ranking and making CCS.

“I think [the team] is a very committed group of female athletes [who are] playing solid team hockey,” head coach Lifon Huynh said. “It shows in the stats and everyone on the scoreboard with stats and assists.”

Even so, Huynh said that there are still improvements to be made.

“The team needs to step it up more to show that we are a CCS team and we’re out to get to the finals,” Huynh said.

At Homestead on Oct. 20, the Falcons defeated the Mustangs 6-1. Junior forward Tina Miller had four goals and one assist, junior midfielder Emily Chen had one goal and one assist and junior forward Kelsey Kinoshita had one goal. Senior midfielder Erin Norris and junior defender Maxine Parr both had one assist.

On Oct. 15, the team beat Cupertino 8-1. Clark attributed the big win to the players’ cohesive spirit and play.

“Every single girl gives her best effort, and when we move the ball as a unit, the play looks really good and is hard to beat,” Clark said. “Everyone showed up with their A-game and played through the adversity of the refs and the other coach.”

Chen led the team with four goals, junior midfielder Hannah Leonard scored two and Miller and junior winger Rachel Davey each had one.

The Falcons took on the Los Altos Eagles on Oct. 13, winning 3-0. Despite dominating the ball, the Falcons could not finish and the match was tied 0-0 at half. The team, though, came out with greater intensity and found its rhythm in the second half. Davey scored within the first few minutes of the half, and later Chen added two more goals. Leonard had two assists, and Norris and Kinoshita each had one.

Despite the absence of senior goalkeeper Sarah Price and senior forward Anne Rollinson due to long-term injuries, the team is doing well. The two, though, still contribute to the team’s efforts.

In her freshman year, Price tore her meniscus, and after playing on it for her sophomore and junior years, Price’s knee could not handle the stress of another season.

“It was really heart breaking [not being able to play],” Price said. “I had really looked forward to playing my senior year because I knew that the team was going to be especially strong and that we had grown so close. I felt like I was letting down the team.”

Price now helps train freshman JV goalkeeper Judy Yang and sophomore varsity goalkeeper Maya Gupta.

“I really like [Price’s help] because I know that the advice I'm getting is real and can actually help me, and it’s nice having someone to relate to,” Gupta said.

Rollinson, who tore her ACL this past spring while playing lacrosse, will likely remain unable to play during the high school season. She is recovering from her third surgery for her injury but hopes to play with her club team during the spring.

“It took a really long time for me to accept the fact that I wasn't going to be playing, but when it finally hit me I was pretty defeated,” Rollinson said. “I had been looking forward to my senior year of field hockey for so long because I knew it would be a great year with a really talented group of girls.”

Rollinson has also assumed a supportive role for the team. At games, Rollinson offers advice to players and helps direct them on the field.

“She knows how we play and what we're thinking, and having vision from the sideline is really helpful,” Clark said. “I can't even imagine how hard it must be to come to every game even though she can't play but wants to so badly.”

The relationships that Price and Rollinson have kept with the team prove to be beneficial for themselves as well as the team.

“Although I am not playing I still feel like I am important and appreciated,” Price said. “The girls are great, like family!”

The team’s camaraderie and warmth also provide comfort for Rollinson.

“After finding my new role on the team, I was just happy to still be a part of it all,” Rollinson said. “The whole team has been so supportive through it all and I feel blessed to have them as teammates.”

With the continued support of Price and Rollinson, the team has a positive outlook for the remainder of the season.

“I believe this is a championship team — the right ingredients of maturity, team players and drive,” Huynh said.

Due to printing deadlines, the team’s games on Oct. 27 against Lynbrook, Oct. 29 against Monta Vista and Oct. 30 against Christopher could not be covered.