For the first time in three years, field hockey team earns CCS spot

October 28, 2019 — by Jeanette Zhou

On Oct. 24, the field hockey team geared up to play Palo Alto in a home game that would determine whether they earned a place at CCS. Although Palo Alto served the team their only loss earlier in the season, the Falcons knew they could outplay their opponents.

Their confidence was not in vain. After a tense 90-minute game, a wave of excitement and relief flooded over the team as junior Viveca Ganti scored the goal that, for the first time in three years, secured the team a spot at CCS with a 1-0 win.

“We had been working so hard to get that win, and the payoff was tremendous,” senior captain Ella Parr said. “The last 15 minutes of the game, we had so much possession that I could feel a win. Watching the clock go to zero felt so good. I couldn’t believe that our team made it.”

As of Oct. 24, the field hockey team ranks first in the El Camino division with a 6–1-1 record, with the most recent wins being 2-1 against Lynbrook, 5-0 against Monta Vista and 1-0 against Palo Alto.

“We’re starting to beat teams that we would’ve lost to last year,” Parr said. “What makes this year different is that the underclassmen are really stepping up, so it’s not top heavy; sophomores used to be on varsity because of a lack of numbers, but now, sophomores are on varsity because they’re really good.”

While most local teams have around 20 players, the varsity team always plays shorthanded, having only 13 field players. However, coach Nandu Sidhu’s focus on physical fitness has helped the team stay competitive with their opponents.

“It’s a little more difficult to play with less subs than the teams we play against, because it’s a very physically taxing sport,” sophomore Lauren Vandevort said. “But most of us are in pretty good shape from our training, and we have been keeping up.”

Although the team still has two more games left in their season, one on Oct. 29 against Homestead and one on Oct. 31 against Presentation, players are looking forward to their first CCS game, which is on Nov. 4. Sophomore Olivia Kinoshita is one player who has high hopes for this year’s team at CCS. (The team’s final two games could not be covered in the print edition because of printing deadlines.) 

“This year, I’m really excited for CCS, and I think we can go all the way and win,” Kinoshita said. 

While all of the players are happy to see their season’s hard work pay off, the seniors are especially excited about making it to CCS in their last year.

“There is no better sound than a field hockey ball hitting the back of the net,” said Parr, who had been to CCS only as a freshman that was pulled up to varsity. “After three years of building skill and mental toughness, we get to keep playing field hockey for a few more weeks. As a senior that never wants to stop, winning that game meant so much.”

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