By: Ashley Young — Correspondent
After a winless season in 2020, Sharon High School’s Varsity Field Hockey team put in the work during the pre-season in hopes of seeing more wins. This season, senior captains Ashley Young, Rachel Glass, Abby Gott, and Shiraz Becker make up the starting forward line, and returning seniors Emilie Allaire, Ariana Yancey, Samantha Newbold, Emma Botelho, Mackenzie O’Shea, and Kaleigh Connolly fill in the midfield and defensive spots.
Players are getting used to the many changes from last year including the lifting of the mask mandate for outdoor sports, corners being allowed back into the mix of play, and teams no longer being allowed timeouts. Gott says that lifting of the mask mandate had an immediate impact on her play. “I think it is great without the masks too because it was really hard to breathe while having a mouthguard in and goggles covering your face,” said Gott.
With the easing of restrictions, games are back to 11vs11 rather than last year’s 7vs7. “11vs11 has been very beneficial for our team because it allows us to have more people on the field and allows us to be more spread out so that we can look to pass to one another,” said Glass.
Junior Natalie Kessler fills the goalie position, and started her first varsity game as goalie on September 10th against Milford. She held them scoreless for the first three quarters and only allowed one score during the fourth in a close 1–0 loss against Milford.
Sophomore Jane Hendrixson has been an asset in the starting line-up as she dominates in the defensive circle and has been a huge playmaker during the first few games. Kessler says that she is appreciative of Hendrixson and the rest of the defensive line-up. “I think the defense is excellent. I don’t think I could save any goals if it wasn’t for them. I trust them a lot and they are always there for me,” said Kessler.
Sharon’s reputation in the Hockomock League has not always been the most intimidating, but the Eagles are hoping to change that mindset this year. “I think that we are underestimated and I think that other teams are very surprised when we come out onto the field this year. They expect to dominate us but they have to put up a strong fight,” said Becker.
Coming off last year’s season with a record of 0-11-0, the team is looking to see some improvement. As of September 22, 2021, the Eagles are 0-4-0 with losses against Milford, North Attleboro, Oliver Ames, and Taunton. They have fourteen games left in the season to try and earn the win they have been hoping for.
“We have become a lot more intense and a lot more dedicated to the sport. We have built a really strong bond among all three teams in the program and are excited for the rest of the season!” said Becker.