Loss to Langley sums up tournament

McLean field hockey loses all 3 games they played in the Bulldog Invitational

Scott Shields, Sports Editor

The struggles for the McLean varsity field hockey team were evident as they dropped all three of their games in the Bulldog Invitational, losing 0-3 to Mountain View, 0-2 to Langley, and 0-2 to Westfield. The matches served as a wakeup call for the rest of the season, especially after being shutout by Langley, McLean’s crosstown rival.
“Position for position, we have a strong, athletic and skilled group,”said  varsity field hockey head coach Lizzie McManus.
Her team shares the same sentiment, but they still find themselves struggling to produce results this season.
“I think most of our individual skill is there,” said senior Josie Conyers, varsity field hockey captain. “It’s just about executing and working together.”

The team often found themselves on the defensive, with a lack of offensive pressure that allowed the Saxons continually break them down.
“I want us to be able to start the game strong and keep that intensity throughout the game,” Conyers said.
The challenges for the Highlanders continued as any offensive push they did manage to form rarely ended in a shot on goal, more commonly a pass early on was intercepted and turned into a counterattack by the Saxons.
“We need to work on communication on the field and letting the ball carrier know where we are,” Conyers said.
Communication wasn’t the only offensive struggle the Highlanders had.
“We need to improve on our confidence, especially in scoring because we need to be in the mindset that we can score,” said junior Alden Wagner, varsity field hockey captain, “That is our biggest obstacle.”
The playmaking will also need work in order for the Highlanders to start putting up more goals and winning more games.
“We also need to work on sending passes, and making sure it’s going to the outside,” Conyers said, “A lot of the time we have good ideas, but we’re not thinking the same thing.”
The Highlanders are not where they want to be at this season, but they still have time to pull together and compete;  it’s just a matter of how they aim to do so.
“I think coming together before the game begins, and just to slow down and take a breath, and to remember that we’re all going to be wearing the same uniform, and all that matters is us at that moment,” McManus said.
Every game, win or lose, is an opportunity for the team to improve.
“We tell each other to self-reflect and come back with heads held high, and work even harder to win next time,” said Wagner, “Even if we don’t win we take each game as a learning experience and grow together.”
The team will need to take major strides, and work on getting their chemistry on the field together in order to finish the season strong.
“It doesn’t matter who’s in the stands, who the officials are, or even who are opponents are, just focus on each other and what we’ve built thus far in the season, and execute it for those 60 minutes,” McManus said.