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New Trier News

The student news site of New Trier High School

New Trier News

The student news site of New Trier High School

New Trier News

Team culture keeps girls field hockey first in state

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Remaining the top team in Illinois, the New Trier Field Hockey Varsity team centers on connections by hanging out outside of practice, going to team dinners, and cheering each other on throughout the games and tournaments, in and out of state. The girls won the top pool in a recent tournament at the Gateway Classic, motivating them for future games. And even with the previous five senior players gone, the girls focus on building teamwork and playing hard.

While winning tournaments and becoming better players is vital to both the coaches and players, so is team culture and community. The coaches, including assistant varsity coach Brittany Romano, made a point to invest valuable time into the girls’ sportsmanship and camaraderie.

We are making the most of our time and making sure that everything is super purposeful and intense.

— Lily Goettsche

“We try to keep our practices high intensity, [and] we try to throw in days where we have a lot of competitions to keep them motivated,” Romano said. “We’ll throw in some fun practices here and there.”

Seniors Lily Goettsche and Izzy Morgan, the varsity team captains, expressed their feelings towards the practices, and how they stay motivated throughout the season.

“We are making the most of our time and making sure that everything is super purposeful and intense,” Goettsche said.

The girls moved through high intensity practices, knowing that in the long run it would help them on the field. Long runs, drills and strength training in the weight room improved their endurance and resilience in and out of the field.

“We also condition every practice and do conditioning before every practice and before all of our drills and everything, no matter what we do afterwards,” Goettsche said.

In between practices and games, the girls make sure to spend time bonding, especially with younger players who are new to the team.

“The biggest thing is we don’t have to tell [the players], ‘hey you guys should go do this as a team,’” Romano said. “They have team dinners once or twice a week, depending on our game schedule, and they’ll do fun things outside field hockey.”

In addition to bonding activities, all the girls motivate each other before each game to make each one the best she can possibly be.

“When we’re doing our pre-game warmup while we’re stretching, each person goes around and says a goal they have for the game,” Morgan said. “We try to encourage those goals to be more process based and outcome based.”

Similarly, for the coaches, a crucial part of the season was focusing on each game and tournament, instead of the bigger picture.

“For a lot of people it would probably be easy to think that our goal is the state championship and that’s what we’re working towards, but that actually really isn’t the case,” Romano said. The girls work on being strong and technical players for each and every game and tournament.

Varsity’s team captains are now seniors set to graduate this spring. The girls want to end their last season strong, leading the team in the right direction.

“[Captain] is a lot bigger of a role and a lot more important,” Morgan said. “I’d say that we really have to head up the team and make sure things are going smoothly, because if things aren’t going smoothly off the field, then they won’t go well on the field either.”

The two captains drive the focus through the entire season, keeping everything in check and at the highest level possible. The seniors work with the coaches to keep their teammates motivated during hard practices, and keep them focused on their best and worst tournaments. No matter the situation, the captains cheer on their teammates and step into their leadership role smoothly.

As being the biggest leaders on the team, the two seniors expressed their feelings of this being their last high school field hockey season.

“It’s bittersweet,” Morgan said. “We put four years into the program, so it’s exciting to be in our final season, the final stretch, but it’s also really sad to see it come to an end because speaking for myself, this program has meant a lot to me.”

The girls wanted to make this year the most memorable of the four.

“I feel like it’s a little bit more pressure in the sense that we know it’s the last opportunity we have, so everything means a little bit more,” Goettche said. “And we’re more focused, wanting to make everything count and make every game be meaningful, and we do our best to do that.”

Overall, the girls and the coaches had a strong start to their season, and want to continue their legacy even further. “It’s been going really well! We’re undefeated, our record is 6 and 2, 6 wins, 2 ties, no losses,” Romano said.

The team as a whole played strong throughout the start of the season, hoping to only continue that mindset and mental game.

“I think just that we’re super excited for the end of this or not the end of the season,” Goettche said. “But as the season goes on, being able to compete even more is fun, and I’m also excited, even though it’ll be super bittersweet.”

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