The Varsity Field Hockey team qualified for the NYSAIS state tournament. The Lions defeated Fieldston 4-3 in the quarterfinal round, but went on to lose 4-1 to Rye Country Day.
“The game against Fieldston was very memorable for me,” co-Captain Anya Swift (12) said. “We had a tied record with them before the game, so the game had a lot of anticipation. It felt great winning against them.”
After double overtime, the game went to a shoot-out. Players would go one on one against the opposing team’s goalie and attempt to score.
“We focused working on shoot-out situations, so that worked out perfectly for us in the Fieldston game,” Julia Roth (11) said. “We also worked on quick passing drills, which helped us generally with our ball movements in the game,” she said.
As a goalie, Bliss Beyer (12) worked on her kicking with Varsity Field Hockey Coach Jozann Jackson.
“Coach Jackson is a professional field-hockey goalie, so she definitely helped me a lot with my skills as a goalie. I without a doubt improved the past two years having trained with her,” Beyer said.
The team unfortunately lost to Rye Country Day School 4-1 in the semi-final round. The game was meaningful not only because it was the last game of the season for the team, but also because it was the last game for the seniors.
Rye Country Day eventually went on to win the NYSAIS Tournament, Sophie Coste (11) said, so the team basically played the best independent school team in New York.
“It definitely was sad that we lost, but Rye Country Day School has always been a very strong team so we are not completely disappointed by the result,” Beyer said. “We had a great season overall, so I was satisfied.”
“As a captain, I felt very emotional when I was delivering my last speech to the team after the game against Rye,” Swift said. “All the seniors were very sad, and I even burst into tears as I was giving my speech to the team.”
Last season, Swift was unable to play due to an ACL tear earlier that year.
“Last year there were a lot of injuries,” Surhoff said. “This year, Anya, our center forward was back on the team, and she contributed to a lot of the goals we scored.”
Beyer emphasized that the strong team connection was what enabled them to have such a successful season.
“We were all very close off the field,” Beyer said. “Being close off the field really means that we are close on the field as well. We can pass and communicate better with each other,” she said.
Surhoff said that part of the reason the team chemistry was so strong was because most of the seniors had been playing together since middle school.
The bond between seniors not only positively impacted the team’s dynamic, but it also set a good tone for the younger players, Swift said.
“Everyone tried very hard during practices, and we are all very dedicated to winning. Compared to last year, there definitely was an improvement for all players,” Sophie Coste (11) said.
“We were a good team in general this year,” Swift said. “No one was a ball hog, and we all contributed greatly to the team effort.”