Field hockey: Matadors end their season with a 2-0 loss

The team celebrates seniors after last game against Palo Alto HS

Sreya Kumar, Zara Iqbal, and Lance Tong

Additional reporting by Sophia Chen

The MVHS Field Hockey team played their senior night game against Palo Alto HS on Oct. 29. Despite this being the seniors’ last home game, the team lost with a score of 2-0. Although the Matadors attempted to strengthen their communication on the field and passing, they failed to maintain a constant lead. 

“It was a good game to end on, because although we didn’t play our best, it was one of the more memorable games, since we didn’t get destroyed,” senior Neha Balasu said. “We didn’t get as wrecked. Overall, decent game. Not great, but not the worst.”

The PAHS Vikings have a 9-6-3 record compared to the Matadors’ 0-9-1. While the team was going up against stronger competitors, its hope did not falter and the players persisted defensively throughout the two halves. Senior Ranya Pendyala believes that incorrect calls by the referees negatively affected the team and their performance.

“Paly is [a] really strong team and they’re really aggressive,” Pendyala said. “The refs weren’t calling everything, so we were getting angry and so when you play angry, it’s not that good.”

Even though the team has been working on its communication from the start of the season, both Pendyala and Balusu think that the effort they spent working on it ultimately didn’t come through. 

“We didn’t talk, and so that way we didn’t have communication between the players,” Balusu said. “I think we each know what we’re supposed to be doing, but we just have a hard time doing it. Without communication, we don’t know who’s playing what or who’s going where.”

Regardless of the lows, the team celebrated the seniors’ achievements that night. As a four-year member, senior Sachi Bhatkar reminisces her moments with the team and how she has grown as an individual through the sport.

“I was really close with my JV coach,” Bhatkar said. “I learned a lot from her, because she taught me to keep working hard and if you have a goal, and if you work hard, you can achieve that goal. She taught me to never give up. She just kept teaching me that hard work pays off at the end.”

Pendyala says her favorite part of the team was all the friendships she has gained over the past years. Despite the way the game ended, she hopes the best for her younger teammates and the team’s future.

“Everyone is really tight and we’re all a really close family – everyone is friends with everyone,” Pendyala said. “It’s just a really good team-building environment, and it gives you leadership skills as well, just because as you progress, you get more leadership opportunities.”