Field Hockey Team Hoping to Continue Dominance

Field+Hockey+Team+Hoping+to+Continue+Dominance

For most people, the end of summer means the beginning of school. Luckily for the field hockey team, the beginning of school also means the start of what hopefully will be another fantastic season.

Ladue’s field hockey team has been consistently strong for the past five years. Since 2008, the team has made it to the Elite Eight of the playoffs every year, even making it to the Final Four in 2009. Their coach, Barbara Dwyer, is hopeful that this year’s team can make a run similar to 2009.

“I’d like our team to get to the Final Four again this year,” Dwyer said. “I’d also like us to win the public school conference and the public school tournament. We’ve been getting second recently and we got second last year to Lafayette High School. However, Lafayette lost their field hockey coach [because she stepped down to be the golf coach]. Hopefully, that will give us a slight advantage against them this season.”

Both the varsity and junior varsity teams start practice Aug. 12. While two-a-day practices are no longer allowed, team practices will still involve stretching, running, and drills involving both teams.

“After the large-scale drills, both teams split up and work on specific plays. These plays revolve around free hits, which are rewarded when penalties are committed outside the scoring circle, and penalty corners, which are excellent scoring opportunities that result when penalties are committed inside the scoring circle. Approximately every other practice, we have scrimmages, either between the JV and the varsity, or intermingling the two teams.”

Because Ladue’s team lost eight seniors this past year, including star players Courtney Emert, Addie O’Neill, Elise Pellett, and Maria Vetter, Dwyer does have some concerns.

“When you lose that many seniors, you never can be sure if the rest of the team will step up to replace them. We are going to need several players, including Grace and Sarah Waldman, Riley Kniptash, and Emma Barg, to perform well this season and we are going need some good leadership from this year’s seniors as well.”

If this year’s team gets a few good performances from both seniors and younger players, there is no reason to think that they couldn’t meet their goals and perhaps even exceed their expectations.