Team Profile: Varsity Field Hockey


Emily Yuan, Editor

After a long hiatus thanks to COVID-19, the Kent varsity field hockey team played its first game against Sacred Heart on Saturday, September 18th. Lillie Edwards ‘22 started the game with a strong offense, almost scoring a goal. Morgan Clarke ‘24 and Elizabeth Bonner ’24 played strong defense, blocking many shots and gaining control of the ball. During the second half, goalie Abby Halpin ‘22 saved a fast shot from Sacred Heart. Lille Edwards ‘22, Emily Bell ‘25, Addison Neise ‘22, and Lauren Ferrari ‘24 all contributed to the defense of the Lions. Although our players tried their best, the game ended in a loss of 0-6.

Mrs. Duncan, head coach of varsity field hockey for the past 14 years, commented that they approach losing as a learning tool, reflecting on the reasons for losing, such as not playing hard enough, not playing their system, or playing down to the team. She described Sacred Heart as one of the strongest teams in the league and said that playing them gave Kent a chance to improve their own skills by focusing on what they did well and how we could do that when we play against another team in the future. 

At the next game against The Frederick Gunn School on Wednesday, September 22th, Elizabeth Cobb ‘24 and Neise used their strong defense skills to block many shots. By the third quarter, Jennifer Purtell ‘23, Edwards, and Ryann McDonald ‘24 played phenomenal offense. In the fourth quarter, though, Matilda Viennen ‘24 suffered an injury, and Kent wasn’t able to score a goal, losing the game 0-1. 

Alexis Delmore ‘22, team captain, said that the hardest part of being the captain was going to the first practice after a loss. “Even if we did everything in our power and put 120% effort into the game, sometimes the other team still wins. However, it’s important to remind the girls that we are a good team and that losing one game doesn’t mean we’re any less,” Delmore shared. Fortunately, by the end of that first practice, the girls were back to their cheerful moods. 

Benefiting from their positive work ethic, the Kent Varsity Field Hockey team recently played against Berkshire and beat them in overtime by a score of 2-1. Having lost to Berkshire in a pre-season scrimmage, the girls knew they had to prepare diligently for the game. They implemented a defensive strategy to shut down their top forward and to limit their midfielders.  Elise Payne ‘23 did an excellent job making up their best player. Although Berkshire scored first, we tied it up late in the fourth quarter when Cobb scored a goal off of the beautifully placed pass from Vinnen.  The game then went into overtime with 7 v 7, waiting for a sudden victory in which the team who scores first wins. After five minutes, Vinnen set up the goal by dribbling past a defender and passed to Bonner, who scored the goal and won the game. During the celebration, Bonner, who is new to the team, expressed that “during pre-season we weren’t even a team yet [because final cuts hadn’t been made] and now we are a family, coach!”

In the next game, Kent played against Williston Northampton and won that game with a score of 4-1. Though Williston scored early on in the game, the Kent lions came out blazing in the third quarter, Purtell, McDonald, and Phillipa Ortenburg ‘23 scoring three goals with Viennen and Cobb assisting. In the fourth quarter, McDonald scored again with help from from Payne. 

All in all, this season is turning out to be a one both successful and fun. “My favorite thing about being the captain is showing up to practice every afternoon and seeing how excited the girls are about each practice,” Delmore smiled.