One Team. One Goal. One More.


Alyssa Daniele, Photo Editor

Thud. The beautiful sound of ball against board. I almost didn’t believe it, but all doubt was carried away by the roaring noise that erupted from the crowd in the stands and my fellow teammates on the sidelines. Even the girls on the field start hugging and shouting for joy as Rachele Shafer, co-captain and leading offensive player on the field hockey team, carries the ball triumphantly back to the center of the field; an honor reserved to the player which scored the goal. In those moments I could feel the ecstatic joy radiating off every player on the team, and I think, how did we get here? To our very last game of the season, with no wins and no goals; the moment I heard the ball hit the back board, I knew exactly what brought us to this triumphant moment of victory.
We started out the season with 10 returning players, 10 new freshman and a team of 26 crazy girls excited to play field hockey. I think about those first couple weeks, consisting of pre-season and practices, and wonder how any of us were ever strangers. Field hockey brought us all together, from early, hot Saturday practices to parties filled with breaking plastic spoons while playing the card game “spoons” to the crowded, smelly locker room.
As each of us enhanced our field hockey skills we grew closer as a team, practices weren’t something we dreaded going to, but times we looked forward to; walking through the doors of the field house and having your teammates welcome you to practice by throwing ice at you. Everyday people came to practice with smiles on their faces and bubbling laughs as we suited up for practice.
As soon as we started drills, we were focused and ready to play the sport we have all grown to love. Surrounded by so many amazing girls who are basically my family and the sport I could not survive without, practices and games were the highlight of my days.
After one of our last games, against a team we lost badly to the first time, the girls from the other team ran sprints after the game had ended. One of their parents remarked that they thought the punishment was totally unfair and that their girls looked forward to the end of their season. They didn’t enjoy going to practice where their coaches ran them to the ground with tough drills and suicides. That parent also said they loved coming to play us because our coach was very entertaining to watch, as Beetle, aka Jeff Giordan, dove for balls that rolled out of bounds and shouted beneficial instructions to the players on the field.This team of girls who could not wait for their season to be over would win most of their games with a high score, but what does a lot of goals matter when you don’t have fun while playing?
Our coach, Beetle, was one reason every one of us stayed determined to accomplish our one goal. He encouraged us daily to stay focused, work hard, and most importantly have fun. We got better individually and as a whole every practice and every game. As our coach always said, when we lost games and couldn’t score a goal, “it is not from lack of effort.” He knew we did our best hustling during games and always told us to keep our heads held high, because even though we might have lost, we gave the game our all even if it never showed on the scoreboard. Beetle supported us through the entire season with is ever-present positive attitude and we would not have had so much fun throughout the season if not for him.
Through each tiring game that we fought through, every game we lost, and every injury we faced the team was there to help you keep your head up; all of us determined to succeed never once would giving up ever cross our minds. I can say with 100% certainty that I can depend on each and every person on my team, I know that everyone of them will have my back and support me when I need them.
Another thing that pushed us through each and every loss we endured, a phrase that you could say is our motto: Fockey is Life. Field hockey is more than a game or a sport, it’s a passion and when I look around at my teammates and know it’s one we all share.
We had one goal throughout our season: to score one goal. That was all we needed. Our team had the passion, the determination, and the support to accomplish this goal of ours and we did.
I heard the high pitched sound of the ref’s whistle signaling halftime and jogged over towards the rest of my team with a huge smile. We all came close in a huddle, throwing our arms around each other talking about how we did it, we got our one goal and despite the other team having also scored, we look around at each other and knew it was time for a new goal and a new challenge to face, so why not one more?