Field hockey routs Wisconsin opponent Arrowhead

Team Looks To Avoid Complacency Amid Dominant Run

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Field hockey routs Wisconsin opponent Arrowhead

The team gathers following their victory over Arrowhead on Sept. 14

The team gathers following their victory over Arrowhead on Sept. 14

NT Booster Club Twitter

The team gathers following their victory over Arrowhead on Sept. 14

NT Booster Club Twitter

NT Booster Club Twitter

The team gathers following their victory over Arrowhead on Sept. 14

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Even after letting in two goals in the final minutes of the game, the girls field hockey team came out with a 7-2 win over Arrowhead, a Wisconsin team.

After sealing a 5-2 win over North Shore Country Day on Sept. 11, they came back stronger only a few days later on Sept. 14 to pull out yet another win against the Wisconsin team.

In the two days of practice that separated the two games, junior Katherine Groff pointed out that they applied special focus to strengthening their defense.

“We worked on defense a lot during these two days of practice and it was definitely shown in this game,” said Groff. “There was a lot better team defense which is something we wanted to work on after North Shore.”

Junior Hillary Cox acknowledged that they saw some improvements but defense is still a major component they intend to continue improving throughout the rest of the season.

“We’re having trouble figuring out who’s marking and dropping, but we spent a long practice yesterday working on that so we’re improving hopefully,” said Cox.

As can be seen in the last two games, the girls have little trouble getting goals and winning games, but senior Amy Griffin noted that there’s still room for improvement.

“One of our weaknesses is not playing through the whole game,” she said. “Like in the North Shore game, we had a pretty big lead and then we let the other team score late in the game.”

Head coach Stephanie Nykaza stressed the importance of not letting their good record get in the way of still seeking improvement as a team.

“We have to keep moving forward and we have to keep improving even though sometimes people look at our record and they’re like ‘oh you’re so good’ [when we] still have a lot of areas we need to work on,” said Nykaza.

Groff also mentioned that one of their primary goals is to make sure the whole team is collectively making the defense stronger.

“We’ve been working on our team defense and making sure that every level is dropping back and helping out,” Groff said.

Despite still striving for a better defense, the team saw lots of positives in how their offensive game clicked.

“We had six different goal scorers for seven goals which is pretty impressive,” said Griffin. “We were able to connect really well with each other today.”

Cox shared the same feelings that their offense significantly pulled through in Saturday’s game.

“Our attack was really good today,” she said. “We had the best passing we’d ever had in awhile.”

Although the game against Arrowhead isn’t a conference game, their win still adds value to the team’s standing both regionally and nationally.

“Right now we are number one in the Midwest and eleventh in the country so the win only helps us keep our standing,” said Griffin.

Groff said she liked the opportunity to play a different team and thought it helped their team in the long run.

“It’s sometimes nice to play tougher teams that are out of state because we don’t get the chance to play them often,” she said.

Going forward, as they prepare to face Lake Forest and participate in a national tournament in Pennsylvania, the team seeks to continue refining their defense.

“Our transition game is our number one goal,” said Nykaza. “How we transition back, how we pick up people defensively and how we communicate back there [is] huge because offense wins games and defense wins championships.”

Despite their respectable rankings both regionally and nationally, Nykaza is careful not let those numbers get to their heads.

While she likes to acknowledge and reinforce all the things the team is doing well, she thinks it’s even more crucial to focus on the areas in which they are lacking so they can perform even better.

“I don’t like to talk about [the rankings] too much because even though they deserve the recognition and the credit, we still have to keep winning,” Nykaza said.

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