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[Nov. 2016 Sports] Field hockey flourishes in historic season

By Jonathan Kaner ’18


Going back to August, the Staples field hockey team was expecting an average season. With the loss of many starters, along with tough opposition in their conference, the Wreckers had a tough road ahead of them.

Two months later, the Wreckers have stormed past all their opposition.“If you were to tell me at the beginning of the season we would be undefeated going into the FCIACs and states with only two goals scored against us, I’m not sure I would believe you,” captain Christine Taylor ’18 said. After going 10-6-1 in the 2015 season, the field hockey team entered the 2016 postseason undefeated with a record of 12-0-2.

Not only did the Wreckers have an undefeated regular season, but they routed the opposition, only allowing two goals while scoring 75. “We stepped up a lot from last year and proved that we are one of the best teams around,” Liv Ekholdt ’18 said.

The campaign was the best statistically dating back to 2006, when records of the field hockey team were first documented. “ I didn’t expect the undefeated season, but with our incredible defense and goalie, it became one of our goals for the season,” captain Chloë Deveney ’17 said.

The successful season did not start in September. The Wreckers worked “immensely hard in the off season and it really payed off,” Ekholdt said. “Our speed and athleticism is one of the best in the FCIAC.”

“They [the team] will have experienced something few high school athletes have–that of being part of an unbeaten regular season varsity team,” head coach Ian Tapsall said.

Although Tapsall is in just his second year coaching Staples field hockey, he was already well-known amongst the team. “A lot of us were coached by Ian before in FCU [Fairfield County United],” Ekholdt said.

This connection has contributed to the strong chemistry within the team. “We work cohesively as a unit on and off the field,” Taylor said. “I think we all truly enjoy one another’s company which makes the team chemistry on the field something which helps us in games.”

There  were  many  new  faces added to the roster this year, including underclassmen. One of those recent additions is Kyle Kirby ’20, who has cemented a spot in the starting roster. “Everybody was really nice and welcoming to me from day one,” Kirby said. “I definitely felt like a part of the team instantly.”  

As one cohesive unit, the Wreckers have proved that they are to be taken seriously. “Every girl contributes something different to the team, from our manager Avery Shuldman ’18 to our coach and everyone in between,” Taylor said. “This group of girls is truly something special.”

Although they could not take the FCIAC crown, the team is confident and composed going into the state tournament, especially with the potential competition where they will face Darien in the finals Saturday, Nov. 19 at 10 a.m. at Wethersfield High School.

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