Field hockey: Team wins 1-0 against Los Altos HS in second league game

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Senior Natalie The

Malini Ramaiyer

Field Hockey vs. Los Altos High School

Photos by Justin Kim.

For the first 18 minutes of the 30 minute half, the score was tied at zero. The temperature was high along with the players’ lethargy. Possession went back and forth. Often, when the Matadors entered the scoring circle, they crowded the ball and pressure prevented the team from scoring. Amongst this pressure and lethargy, team captain senior Allegra Ziegler Hunts remained open and sent the ball into the Los Altos Eagles’ goal. The energy resulting from this goal continued throughout the field hockey’s second league game on Sept. 24 as the Matadors held up their defense and kept the LAHS score at zero.

After Ziegler Hunts scored the first and only goal of the game, the Matadors found the motivation to play up to their level.

“First half, we started off without push and second half we got that push,” senior Jaya Kumari said. “After that goal, we started moving around positions and cutting with more intensity — that really worked out.”

Before the goal, the team saw many errors — in the first 13 minutes, seven MVHS shots went out of bounds. While the Matadors intercepted LAHS long shots down the field well, they were quick to lose possession because they couldn’t move fast enough to cut off their opponents.

“We had some lapses in communication, we could’ve talked more,” Ziegler Hunts said. “It was a bit inconsistent throughout the game but when we were talking, we had really good teamwork, good passing.”

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Team captain senior Allegra Ziegler Hunts pushes through the opposing defense to keep possession. In the second half of its game on Sept. 24, the team offense remained competitive and prevented the Eagles from scoring. Photo by Justin Kim.

Towards the end of the first half and throughout the second half, the Matadors found their energy and saw, as Ziegler Hunts explained, solid field play. The passes were connected and communication improved as players worked together more. Kumari noted that senior Alexandra Sakellar and Julia Lu, and junior Sara Haller intercepted LAHS passes consistently for the team. Also contributing to the team’s constant possession, senior Halley Wright used several aerials — she lifted the ball and it soared over the Eagles to the MVHS offense. With their energy, the team’s field play worked and the Matadors held on to their possession.

However, the score remained at a difference of one as each time, the follow-through from inside the scoring circle on a MVHS’ shot fell short of a goal.

“During practice, we could have more time to do in-circle play. We do field play which really shows on the field,” Sakellar said. “We have good shots and good passing but not the follow-through.”

Team captain senior Mallory Strom also explained that as the season goes on and the team bond increases, the Matadors will see more success in making shots.

“Once you get to the point where you know what teammates are going to do before they even open their mouth to tell you, that’s when that circle play starts to get really good,” Strom said. “The circle is a crowded place to be playing and a lot of that is trying to navigate a crowded field, which is a difficult thing. It comes with more team bonding.”

The team will face Homestead High School on Oct. 1 at 3 p.m. for its next home game.