Starting the season with a tough, unexpected loss against West Hartford Youth Field Hockey, the Kingswood Oxford Middle School field hockey team recovered and excelled during the rest of the season with a record of 5-1-1.
The Wyverns improved their field hockey skills quickly and very successfully throughout the entire season. “We started the season with girls that are very advanced at field hockey, and some that have never picked up a stick before,” Head Coach Meredith Crowther said.
With only six returning players, the KO Middle School team had a substantial challenge at the beginning of the season, but they continued to work successfully as a team. As the Wyverns started with an even ratio of beginner players to developed and strong players, the main goal for the season was to come together as a team.
One of Coach Crowther’s strategies was using the sidelines of the field to spread out, since it is a natural tendency for all the players to clump up in the center of the field. “At our first game against West Hartford Youth Field Hockey, we weren’t prepared for that offensive push, and the girl that could lift the ball over everyone’s head, we hadn’t ever seen this before,” Coach Crowther said.
This defeat also showed the Wyverns that there are many different skills on opposing teams. After the first opening loss, the go-getter Wyverns knew that during their next game, they would have to step up their game. In a nail-biter of a game against Foote School in early October, the girls won at the last second, with a score of 2-1.
“This was one of the highlights of the season,” eighth-grader forward Jordan DiMauro said. Other tremendous highlights of the season included the emphatic win against the Renbrook School 8-1, a successful 4-0 victory against Hamden Hall, and the Renbrook game on Hewett Day.
“We knew each other, where to pass to, when to cut, and became more cohesive,” Coach Crowther said. As practices became more productive, the team play gelled.
“Even though the defense became much stronger in practices, we didn’t get much action in games, but this taught us to anticipate,” seventh-grader defender Chelsea O’Donnell said.