League season ends with no trip to CCS

November 7, 2010 — by Synthia Ling and Ren Norris

Players on the girls’ field hockey team celebrated their senior day on Nov. 2 in style: decorations, gifts and speeches were showered upon the six graduating seniors who were dressed to the theme of “Looney Tunes.”

“Senior day was amazing,” said senior co-captain Vanessa Block. “The girls put a lot of work into it and it was a really nice way to celebrate our final season.”

The senior game against Presentation was close, with a tied score of 0-0 at the end of regulation play. In the 7-minute overtime, Presentation slipped in a goal, winning 1-0.

Despite this tough loss that ruined the last hope the team had for making CCS, the girls and coaches felt proud of their last home game.

“All of us coaches were impressed with the quality of play on the field that night—the team stuck together,” said head coach Staci Ljepava. “It could have been so easy for them to give up, but these girls showed a tremendous amount of integrity by not quitting.”

The girls also faced Leigh on Nov. 4, and lost a close game 2-1. The Longhorns managed to score two quick goals in the first half. Saratoga rounded the corner when senior co-captain Ren Norris scored off a short corner, but it was not enough for a tie.

“It was a tough way to end the season, but we had some opportunities and finished the second half strong,” said assistant coach Amber Wilson.

The last weeks of league play were disappointing as the girls lost 1-0 to Mitty on Oct. 26 when the monarchs scored an early goal and maintained the lead. The team also suffered a 6-0 loss to rival Los Gatos on Oct. 28. Though the Falcons came up short in these big games, they felt their teamwork was still evident.

“We really came together and had fun at the end of the season and we’re really a family now,” said Ljepava. “We didn’t achieve the goals we wanted to as we didn’t win many games, but we did achieve our goal to improve.”

With an ending record of 1-11-2, their season wasn’t the one they had envisioned, especially for a team that has enjoyed a lot of success in the past.

“It’s been such a tough season for Toga hockey,” said senior defender Colleen Garland. “We have always had such a great reputation and it’s hard to be a senior on a team that did not uphold that reputation.”

Despite this season’s outcome, the girls were proud of their efforts.

“We really pushed ourselves at the end of the season,” said senior co-captain and forward Kathryn Nobles. “Everyone worked hard on improving their skills and everyone stepped up.”

For the seniors, not making CCS means their final season of Saratoga field hockey is shorter than anticipated.

“I love all the girls on the team so it’s sad the season is over, but I have an awesome season to look back on,” said Nobles. “I’ll never forget all the good times we had.”

With a high number of younger girls, however, the next few years seem promising for the team.

“We really developed as a team and improved this year,” said Ljepava. “I’m excited for the future years.”

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