Fockey tops off season for the ages

Sophia McCandlish, Asst. Sports Editor

With a sectional loss to Glenbrook South on Oct. 22, the Kits said goodbye to their most successful season to date.

First year head coach Jenner Johnson, a former member of the University of Michigan field hockey team, has had a major impact in the team’s success. The Kits finished their regular season at 7-5, which is seven times the number of wins they’ve had in the past three seasons combined. 

“She’s always super positive and encouraging,” junior Alyssa Kimmel said. “She has done a great job at keeping our team upbeat and motivated while still having us work hard and get better.”

Field hockey was introduced to ETHS four years ago in 2015. The previous three seasons were led by Ejaz Syed, who stepped down in the middle of last season. Coach Johnson joined the program and significantly changed it for the better. 

“She really taught us what it meant to work hard in and out of field hockey and she’s definitely brought a lot of knowledge into the program,” junior Lucy Gallun explained. 

For the first time ever, the team ended their season with a winning record. Because there are only 20 field hockey teams in the state, each team gets one guaranteed playoff game. Evanston didn’t get the result they’d hoped for.

 After a devastating 3-1 loss to the Titans, the team is still quite content with how the season turned out. 

Gallun, the lone scorer in the team’s sectional loss, and Kimmel allocate a lot of success to Coach Johnson, but will also give credit to senior captains Phoebe Porter and Natalie Ward when it’s due.

“Our captains are super supportive of everyone on the team,” Gallun said. “Whether it’s in practice or a game, they are always cheering us on and pushing us to do better.”

Not only has the team gotten better on the field, they have also become a family off the field. Coming off of a season where the team only won one game, conditioning and hard work were key aspects on the field this season. Another big change was the bonding environment of the team off the field.

“The bond within our team got stronger as we had team dinners,” Kimmel said. 

The previous season, the team had one team dinner the whole season, and they earned one win the entire year. Along with team dinners, the Kits spent time as a team as they attended a Northwestern field hockey game.

This current team demonstrates that more can be accomplished collectively on the field if a family is being made off the field. Next year, the team looks to make even more of an impact in the program as they continue to come together while they simultaneously form a cohesive unit outside of the game.