Only nine minutes into their semifinal game last year it looked like the Raiders field hockey team would take an early lead, but the ball hit a U-32 player’s foot on its way into the net and the goal was called back. U-32 never regained momentum and ended up losing 2-1. This year the Raiders look for revenge.
The field hockey team has made it to the semifinals or the finals for the last four years but haven’t won a championship. A year ago the number-one-seeded raiders fell to the number-five-seeded Mount Abe Eagles.
“We lost eight seniors coming into this year, so half of our starting line up are new,” says senior captain Jasmine Moody. “We have had a slow start to the season that has not reflected our potential but as the season progresses we are learning to work with each other.”
“I think we will be very competitive by playoffs,” said senior captain Acadia Zabriskie, who sees the team progressing. “This year we started out a little less cohesive on the field but as the season has gone on we are improving every game.”
Coach Melissa Muller-Moore agrees, “we took the first few games to build up our strength as a team and I believe we are a very strong team that will play deep into the playoffs.”
“We have some tremendous speed and determination on this team,” Muller-Moore said. “We are highly skilled and able to make adjustments as needed.”
Moving forward the Raiders know that the future of the team lies in the hands of younger players. “Zoie Beauregard and Riley Hudson are both playing midfield for us and they have proved to be very strong. They both stay very clear-headed and are able to provide great support in the back,” explains senior Ellie Stroh.
Stroh says that Emily Cremins, the Junior goalie, will also be a key player this year. “She played for JV last year and did a great job. She has really stepped up this year and she is getting better every game. She has a really great stick in the goal and has already made a lot of really great saves this season.”
Like many others, several players on this team were affected by the passing of Seamus Beall over the summer. “A lot of people felt different comfort levels with what we should do, just because it was really fresh at the beginning of the year,” says Stroh. In memory of Beall the team decided to start their warm up song playlist with a Bob Marley song, one of Seamus’ favorite musicians.
As of October 12, the Raiders sit at 7 and 5 with two regular season games left. The Raiders play Lyndon at Lyndon on Friday and then this coming Tuesday have a game against Rice. Rice is the only team that beat them in regular season last year and the Raiders hope so hold them off during their senior game.