Field hockey: 2-0 victory over Lynbrook at senior game


Jacob Lui

Senior Theresa Wong prevents the Vikings advance in the second half at the senior game on Oct. 27. The varsity girls team is now one step closer to qualifying for CCS. Photo by Jacob Lui
At the last home game of the season on Oct. 27, the Lady Mats continued their victory streak from Tuesday’s win against Del Mar to defeat the Lynbrook Vikings 2-0, bringing the varsity girls field hockey team from fifth to fourth place in the league – one placing away from qualifying for CCS.The game began at 3:15 p.m. with a senior commemoration ceremony that consisted of introductions for each of the nine senior girls, their accomplishments and goals, and pictures and flowers with their parents.

After the team wrapped up the smile-filled ceremony, the tight game between district rivals started. In order to continue towards their goal of CCS qualification, the Lady Mats needed to win the game against Lynbrook’s team, which was one place above them. The first half was neck-to-neck as both sides built strong defensive lines and blocked any attempts at the goal. Junior Holly Matsunami and senior Justine Young led the charge in the offense, frequently approaching the very front of the Lynbrook goal but unable to score. Six short corners – penalties in which the penalized team would begin in the goal while the opposing team would have a free chance at shot – offered opportunities for a score, but the Matadors still could not complete a goal. About twenty minutes into the first half, the ball was deflected upwards and hit senior Zelia Ziegler Hunts in the face, who was then forced to temporarily sit out. Skillful defense was upheld in both the midfield and near the Matador goal by seniors Hannah Debaets and Christina Aguila.

The beginning of the second half was marked by several turnovers. Young’s interceptions, Debaets’ quick movements, and junior Caroline Lei’s footwork often helped to reverse the Lynbrook advance. Part way through the second half and still no goals by either side, the MVHS varsity coach Denise Eachus called a time-out to alter the plan.

“The main adjustment was the idea that they needed to pass the ball sooner,” Eachus said. “The other adjustment was on defense … to have one person pressure the ball and the others sag in more to shut off [Lynbrook’s] passing lanes.”

The adjustments appeared to be beneficial as the first score was made immediately following the time-out. Sophomore Sarah Im made a shot up close with an assist from Matsunami. Less than five minutes after, a huge turnover that connected the pass from Young to Hunts to Matsunami brought the ball in front of the goal, allowing DeBaets to score and increase the lead 2-0. As the rest of the game progressed, Lynbrook was still able to bring the ball close to the Matador goal, but was consistently blocked out by a steady defense led by senior Theresa Wong.

The game was the second win this week, placing spirits high especially with nine seniors playing their last home game.

“I love them all,” Eachus said about the departing seniors. “[The entire team] gave one hundred and ten percent in this game.”

Stay tuned for a multi-media dedication for the nine senior varsity field hockey girls.