Field hockey guards the yard this season


April Roccisano, Co-Editor-In-Chief

One, Two, Three, Highlanders, the field hockey freshman scream before racing onto the field. Though the freshman team’s record 6-7-5, there is still a lot to learn about them.
Comparing this year’s team to last year is difficult at the freshman level because the sport is almost always new to the girls.
Last year most girls had experience before their freshman year, because they were playing the sport longer, while this year most of the freshmen have never picked up a stick. The expectation for these girls is that they improve each and every game. It’s not about the wins and losses at the freshman level, but is more about building up skills to prepare for the JV level.
One of Coach DiNetta’s goals is “to keep the girl interested in the program, and to have fun so they all come back next year.” Something very rewarding is seeing the little improvements taking place in multiple players and as a whole team every game. New girls being able to drive the ball, block, play good defense, or score means a lot to the future of the program.
One of DiNetta’s strong suits is her ability to break down the game into basic drills and skills so the girls can work on the major concepts of the sport before fine tuning techniques.
DiNetta wants to help each athlete work on her leadership skills, so there are captains for each game; everyone gets a chance to be a captain at least three times.
The JV field hockey team is currently 11-1-1, and on the path for completing the season strong. This year’s group of JV players is an entire new JV team and their expectations are holding on. The girls are reminded to collaborate as a team, and communicate on the field. The girls must also support and respect one another and the other teams they play.
Coach Paluzzi’s goal is to build on fundamental skills and provide honest feedback. The girls also set individual goals at the beginning of the season, and reaching each individual goal is a major accomplishment. Paluzzi says that the most rewarding part of being a coach is “knowing you can make a difference in the girls’ lives on and off the field.” Her strengths are being open and honest with the girls about their playing abilities, and even their attitudes on and off the field.
The varsity team is a record of 7-5-1. The expectations on the varsity level are through the roof; the girls practice to improve themselves and build up their skills as well as learn to function as a team. Coach Provost can not compare last years’ girls to this years’, because there are many underclassmen on the team, who have to work extra hard to be on the team. The goals are to win games and make it a season for the girls to never forget.
Provost continues coaching because of the love she has for the girls and how they make the team feel like a family. Pushing girls past their limits is another goal for Provost, in which she is hoping to pull out the best in the girls on and off the field. For her, the most rewarding part of being a coach is to see the girls come together as sisters.
Provost reminisces about a time when, after a loss at counties, the girls reached out to her through e-mails and texts making sure she was feeling okay. All the teammates are there for each other and seeing the girls becoming young women is special for Provost. A strength of Provost is modeling positive behavior and making sure the girls never give up.
Finding new ways to make the team better is important and a task that should be applied to sports, and life.