Field hockey charges into a new season

Rosy James, staff writer

The start of the field hockey season has brought significant changes to the team’s atmosphere. One of these changes is the new head coach, physical education teacher Kristina Plaugher. Plaugher, who was an assistant coach for the team for four years, is an experienced field hockey player. She was on the team when she attended Chantilly and then went on to play Division I field hockey at Radford University.

“I want to spread knowledge and love of the game,” Plaugher said. “When I’m there coaching, my main goal is to get the players excited about a sport that isn’t as prominent as other sports in the area.”

During the summer, the team conditioned in the mornings and practiced in the afternoons, and the team continue to hustle as the season progresses.

“We play hard together [as a team],” junior and varsity field hockey player Allison Green said. “We deserve our place in fall sports, but since football gets all the hype, it can be hard to compete with them.”

The team has high hopes for the season, and the players are confident that they will do well during postseason.

“I think our team is really good this year,” junior and varsity field hockey player Emma Rowson said. “We have a whole lot of potential and Coach [Plaugher] is great. I think we have a really good shot at going to regionals.”

The players work extremely hard to make the team exceptional, in their locker room they have a board with set goals for the team, but players have also set individual goals for themselves this season.

“My goals are to go as far as we can in the postseason and to keep working together and improving as a team,” junior and varsity field hockey player Rachel Dicesare said.

The players have not only formed a formidable field hockey team, but they have also established friendships off the field through bonding activities and quality time together. The time invested both on and off the field helps boost their overall team dynamic and morale.

Since some of the girls on the team have been playing together for years, they have not only developed strong bonds with each other, but also with their coaches.

“I really miss Coach Atilio,” senior and varsity field hockey player Mackenzie Cavnar said. “He was a good coach and he did a lot of funny stuff during practice to lighten the mood.”

While the players made long lasting memories with former head coaches Atilio Carrozzo and Ralph Chapman, they are excited for a fresh start with Plaugher. The team’s relationships have been a driving factor behind this season’s success, so much so that Plaugher has taken notice.

“The team is very close-knit; they did a lot of team bonding on their own at the very beginning of the season, so I feel like our team dynamics are in our favor this year,” Plaugher said. “Everybody [gets] along and is very accepting of each other. I’m looking forward to a great season with some great girls.”

Team bonding is present through all levels of the program, as upperclassmen have assisted the freshman into a smooth high school transition.

“High school has been a huge transition for all of us,” freshman field hockey player Phoebe Winters said. “But we’ve all been extremely helpful to each other as we all look out for one another.”