After going nearly undefeated for the first half of their season, Oyster River Field Hockey faces off against undefeated John Stark.
Oyster River, ranked 7th in the state, will have to fight for a win against John Stark, ranked 4th. They play a home game today (09/20) at 4:30pm. After a single loss during Oyster River’s first game, they’re entering into the second half of the season with a record of 5-1. Although confident in their skill level and teamwork, the John Stark game will set a new tone for their remaining games.
“[This is the] most successful season I’ve been a part of with Oyster River,” said Kate Heaney a Spanish teacher and the team’s goalie specialist. In past years, the team hasn’t played with everyone on the field getting involved. Touches on the ball were divided up between only a few standout players, but this year that has started to change. The team has worked to become more collaborative, with everyone making game winning moves.
“One or two people can work together really well, but that can’t carry a whole team,” Olivia Anderson (‘25) said. To win this game the players will have to keep working together, relying on each other to carry their weight. The players recount one of head coach, Anne Golding’s, favorite sayings: three of four players will never beat 10 or 11.
A huge part of this is being a team player and supporting one another is a huge part of team culture. “I can’t tell when someone screams if they scored the goal, or if their teammate scored the goal,” Heaney said.
“[The John Stark game will be the] hardest challenge we’ve had since the start of the season,” Heaney said. Apart from the first two games, with the scores being 2-1 and 3-2, Oyster River blew the other teams out of the water; the scoreboards reading 7-0, 7-1, 6-1, and 9-0. Their only loss was against Kennett who, aside from John Stark, remains the only other undefeated team in division II. John Stark and Kennett will play each other on October 5th.
Walking into this game the team is split. About half are riding the high of the previous wins, the other, recognizing the skill John Stark has, are nervous.
Many of the girls play on the same club teams as the John Stark girls, so they know just how strong the team is. In order to win this game, the girls must stay present, “focusing on what we do well, not what they do well,” Heaney said.
Come support the girl’s field hockey team this afternoon (09/20) on the turf at 4:30pm as they take on John Stark.
Images Courtesy of Kelly Anderson