Field hockey: MVHS shuts down Lynbrook High School 6-0

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Malini Ramaiyer


On the last timeout in the game, senior Katie Sommers teared up. Head Coach Denise Eachus gave her a hug. With a lead of four goals to Lynbrook High School’s zero, the field hockey team cheered “MV Teamwork!” and continued its senior game on Oct. 30. Sommers returned to her seat on the bench.

“You grow up playing field hockey knowing that you’re going to have your senior game,” Sommers said. “I wanted to be out there with them.”

Sommers got emotional towards the end of the game, as all the seniors generally play in the last seven minutes of the game and she could not. In the second week of September, Sommers’ horse fell on her and she broke a toe, crushed her instep and tore some ligaments. It was the end of her last field hockey season at MVHS. Sommers assisted the coaches and attended every practice despite her injury. Earlier in the week, Sommers had asked her coaches, doctor and parents if she could hit the ball to begin the game. They all approved, so after a senior recognition ceremony, Sommers began the game.

Senior Katie Sommers walks across the field with seniors Andi Pappas and Michelle Lentfer after senior recognition. They were three of the seven field hockey seniors recognized and ready to play their last home game on a MVHS field. Photo by Malini Ramaiyer.
Senior Katie Sommers walks across the field with seniors Andi Pappas and Michelle Lentfer after senior recognition. After the ceremony, they were eady to play their last home game on a MVHS field. Photo by Malini Ramaiyer.

The Matadors were relentless. Senior Janaye Sakkas scored three of the six goals with assists from senior Arushi Agarwala and junior Julia Lu.

Lu played an aggressive game despite getting injured in a game against Los Gatos High School. She explained that she was not hesitant to go for the ball because she frequently got injured last season and is used to recovering quickly.

Lu performed extremely well on both defense and offense, with a goalie save and a goal. Although she would miss playing with the seniors, Lu tried to remain cheerful after the game.

During the game, the hits were so strong that the each drive was clearly heard across the field. Junior Mallory Strom participated in the Matadors’ aggressive play and got yellow-carded three minutes into the second half. Although LHS intercepted passes often, the Matadors easily recovered with clean passes, hard hits and synchronized movement. If one player lost possession, another was quick to get it back. If one player made a crooked pass, which was rare, another adjusted immediately. If one Matador’s shot was not strong enough to reach the goal, another was there to nudge it in.

Junior Julia Lu lunges for the ball after junior Mallory Strom trips over a LHS player. Lu and the other Matadors played their best by backing each other up and communicating clearly. Photo by Malini Ramaiyer.
Junior Julia Lu lunges for the ball after junior Mallory Strom trips over a LHS player. Lu and the other Matadors played their best by backing each other up and communicating clearly. Photo by Malini Ramaiyer.

All the seniors were overjoyed with their crushing win. Senior Susie Han explained that as goalie, she only touched the ball twice. It was not an easy game because LHS is a competitive team, yet MVHS gave up no goals.

“Our intensity was high and our motivation was high,” senior Arushi Agarwala said. “We dominated on the field.”

After the timeout, with five minutes left in the game, the coaches approached Sommers, who sat on the bench under blankets, hugged her and asked her if she wanted to play at the end of the game.

“Of course, my answer was yes,” Sommers said.

With a minute and a half left of the match, Sommers checked in for substitution. With 54 seconds left of the match, she was in the game.

“Katie walk, you just walk,” Eachus said.

“Not past the 50 yard line Katie,” Assistant Coach Bonnie Belshe said.

Sommers could only walk but it was the fastest walk she could manage. She was able to play on her senior night and contribute to the triumph of MVHS over LHS. For all seven of the seniors, it was a special game and night.

Additional reporting by Kalpana Gopalkrishnan.