By: James Williamson
FORT WASHINGTON, PA--It was a grey and cloudy Tuesday afternoon at Germantown Academy (GA) as the Patriots took on the visiting Springside Chestnut Academy (SCHA) field hockey team. While the skies hanging overhead carried a melancholy atmosphere, the energy on the field in contrast, was bright and lively.
It may have seemed like an ordinary 1-0 victory for GA but after having to deal with a difficult season a year ago, both teams were excited just to be back with their teammates playing the sport they love.
“I felt like we played really well. We had high intensity the whole game and it was good to get a win in,” said Germantown Academy senior captain, Bri O’Hara. “It’s just nice to be able to play out here.”
"Everyone's so happy to be out here, it just makes the season so much more exciting,” said Springside Chestnut Hill Academy junior Caroline Foley.
“It was a hard-fought game," Foley said. "GA came out strong in the first half and we were much stronger in the second half, fighting back. But we just couldn't get one.”
The energy was high and the competition was fiery throughout most of the afternoon as Germantown Academy and Springside Chestnut Hill fought for each possession. Both defenses shined as they fought to limit the opposing offense. Opportunities to score were limited.
Moving forward, Foley emphasized the need to take advantage of any open chances to score.
“I think our team can improve on finishing our shots," said Foley. “We took a lot of shots, but we just couldn't get it on cage. So, I would say that's something we can improve on.”
“We definitely work together well, but definitely can find stuff that we have to work on, like putting in the goal and just finishing,” said O’Hara
The lone goal of the game came early in the first half. GA was able to get a breakaway down the field, work it around with a few passes and then tip the ball into the back of the cage.
“We usually score like this, just a nice breakaway and a few good passes,” said Germantown Academy senior captian Sydney Cameron. “It went from Claire McMichael to Gracen Brant and Gracen tipped it in. It was just nice passing in the circle.”
GA's success in the early goings of the game can be partially attributed to the musical stylings of rapper 'Lil Jon'. Dance parties are a common pregame ritual for the Patriots and one of the many things players are happy to have back now that COVID restrictions have rescinded.
“We have a lot of pre-game dance parties. They're good bonding experiences,” said O’Hara. “We always have a great time, just like everything, always being on the field, doing something we love with each other.”
“The dance parties just get me excited and ready to be more intense, and I'm excited to be there and feeling anxious, like in a good way,” said Cameron. “I just love hanging out with the team and they hype me up and I hype them up.”
In the second half, SCHA would take control of the game. They did a better job of getting the ball and maintaining possessions with their passing, but ultimately could not find the goal. While the loss was disappointing, it was clear the Blue Devils were still hungry and looking forward to another match against the Patriots.
“We're definitely looking forward to playing GA again. Try again to see if we can win,” said Foley. “I would also say I’m looking forward to just growing as a team, especially since we're just such a young team.”
Despite the victory, both O'hara and Cameron feel there are things to improve upon moving forward.
“We definitely want to keep our intensity up. That's definitely been one of our biggest goals from the start,” said O’Hara. “Just building on our energy every game and working on corners and just execution.”
“We need to work on our intensity,” said Cameron. “Coming out strong, like right from the start and keeping it the entire game. I think we did better with that this game.”