Field hockey: Team suffers disappointing defeat to Leigh HS

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Field hockey: Team suffers disappointing defeat to Leigh HS

Pereira prepares to pass the ball to one of her teammates in the penalty circle. A goal does not count if it is scored from outside the circle.

Pereira prepares to pass the ball to one of her teammates in the penalty circle. A goal does not count if it is scored from outside the circle.

Pereira prepares to pass the ball to one of her teammates in the penalty circle. A goal does not count if it is scored from outside the circle.

Pereira prepares to pass the ball to one of her teammates in the penalty circle. A goal does not count if it is scored from outside the circle.

Anjini Venugopal

For the first time this season, MVHS varsity field hockey suffered their first loss at home on Sept. 8 against Leigh HS.

Going into the game, MVHS players expected Leigh to be a difficult opponent, having lost 0-1 against them last year.

“They are actually really strong and their hits [are] really good, and I knew they were maybe a little [better] conditioned than we were,” junior Serena Yoo said. “Coming in, I thought that we would not be really prepared for this.”

The game began with an aggressive offensive drive from LHS, with many attempts on the goal. Despite strong defense from MVHS, LHS scored on a breakaway in just the tenth minute.

LHS prevented the MVHS defense from stealing the ball, and MVHS played the majority of the first half defensively. The MVHS team was unable to convert its few breakaways into goals, and the first half ended with MVHS trailing 0-1.

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Junior Devin Pereira sprints back to play defensively after a short corner. During a short corner, the goalie and four other defenders may stand in the goal, and the rest of the players must wait behind the center line.

Junior captain Sara Nordby said that the Matadors could have played better by working more on improving their communication as a team.

“A big thing we’ve been working on for a while is talking,” Nordby said. “When we’re on offense, we do a better job of that, but especially when we’re on defense, talking is something we need to work on.”

The second half started with renewed vigor from MVHS offense, and as a result, there were quite a few short corners on the LHS side. The MVHS defense pushed the ball forward and made two attempts on goal in the first five minutes of the second half.

The referee gave a green card to one of the players from LHS, and MVHS had a one player advantage for the next two minutes. They were unable to score during this time though. For the first twenty-five minutes of the second half, the ball stayed predominantly on MVHS’ side.

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Senior captain Kristina Wang anticipates the ball being passed back to her. During a penalty stroke, only the chosen offensive player and goalie may be in the penalty circle.

With six minutes left in the game, LHS was awarded a penalty stroke, which sophomore Sureena Hukkoo saved. After this, MVHS’ defense pushed the ball to the other side, and the ball stayed on LHS’ side for the remaining five minutes.

The most action on LHS’ side happened in the last minute. Strong offensive passes into the circle resulted in many opportunities for MVHS to score, but the crowd of LHS defenders in the penalty circle made it difficult to get the ball in the goal. With ten seconds left, MVHS was awarded a short corner. MVHS shot on the goal, but the LHS goalie kicked it out as the final whistle blew.

Pereira prepares to pass the ball to one of her teammates in the penalty circle. A goal does not count if it is scored from outside the circle.

Pereira prepares to pass the ball to one of her teammates in the penalty circle. A goal does not count if it is scored from outside the circle.

Even though the team lost, MVHS felt that they had played better than they had the previous year.

“They were a lot faster, but we kept up with them and even through the last second of the game we were sprinting really hard,” senior Natasha Puthukudy said. “I thought we played a lot better than last year.”

 

 

 

Additional reporting by Nate Stevens