The Varsity Field Hockey team looks to keep the ball rolling after achieving a 7-5 record and reaching the quarterfinals of NYSAIS last year.
Preseason had its ups and downs this year, but has allowed the team to improve and create a more cohesive group. “Preseason has been super tough but very effective,” Captain Gabby Kepnes (12) said. “Each day the team gets closer while getting a better feel of how the team works together on the field,” she said.
Coach Caroline Surhoff emphasized several different skills during preseason practices. Players spent a lot of time working on conditioning, skill building exercises, and other basic drills, Captain Reina McNutt (12) said.
Players also worked on passing the ball in a more efficient manner, Kepnes said. “Rather than receiving the ball and taking a long time to pass it to someone, we are working on one touch passes that will hopefully move the ball up the field more quickly,” she said.
The team is younger this year and only has three seniors, but “all three of the senior captains have been setting great examples on and off the field,” Emily Salzhauer (9) said. “The older members of the team have all been very nice and welcoming to us as freshmen,” she said.
The juniors have also made an effort to make sure younger players feel welcome. “It’s been great to see a lot of the juniors stepping up and helping guide the underclassmen,” Kepnes said. “I truly believe that the juniors will have a big part in leading the team,” she said.
“I think that having younger players also is helpful because they seem more open to learning and trying new positions,” McNutt said. Piper Wallace (10) and Emmi Zeitler (10) have been particularly strong during preseason and will be important assets of the team this season, she said.
Teammates have been very supportive of each other in practices. “I think one of our team’s biggest strengths is our ability to lift each and every person up,” Kate Bown (11) said. “There is never a drill where you can’t hear at least one person cheering their teammates on.”
The team hopes to continue improving over the course of the season in preparation for their big homecoming game against Fieldston.