Rushing over to goalkeeper, Ellee Dukes (10), the varsity field hockey team screamed louder than the St. Johns field hockey team always did when the Mavericks USED to beat the Falcons. Once Lindsey Jacobe (11) popped the ball over the Stanford-committed SJS goalkeeper, scoring the final goal off Allison Dyer’s (12) assist, the team was overcome with a feeling of victory. After reaching a halfway point, beating SJS (2-0) in last week’s match remains the highlight of the season so far.
“Everyone was so proud of each other and themselves, and we were all on a huge power high,” said team captain Dyer. “It was the first time in a long time for us to beat them and it was intense, especially with the weather. With the thick humidity, it felt like we were trudging through a warm bath.”
Contributing to the team’s success was the “fire in their bellies,” as their coach Jackie Cinconte calls it, which is the drive they strive to achieve for each game.
“What she means is that we need to have grit and focus on every practice and game, which is why we practice hard every day, said Dyer. “A typical day of practice is warm-up dynamics, then partner passing, then we do rapid-fire against Dukes, then typically followed by three versus two or three goal game. Our goals this year is to really take each week at a time. Of course we want a championship at the end of the season, but we are focusing on each week for now.”
Captain Nikki Ereli (12) addressed the team’s long-term goals enthusiastically. Although their goals are ambitious and the ultimate desire for every tenacious team, they are not out of reach and the team truly feels that this is “their year.”
“Our goals is to first win south zone and then of course SPC! We have been practicing hard everyday with these two main goals in the back of our minds,” said Ereli. “I feel like this year, more than others, we have a closer bond. With this bond, I think that we know to reach our goals we need to work together.”
Dyer and Ereli enjoy being team motivators in addition to having the responsibility of being captains and leaders.
“Being a leader on the team is amazing, said Dyer. “It’s kind of eerie being a senior, but I love screaming the cheer with my team and supporting everyone the best I can.”
Good luck to the field hockey team as they play St. Andrew’s Episcopal School tonight and St. Stephen’s Episcopal School tomorrow!