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The Student News Site of Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan

The Lance

The Student News Site of Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan

The Lance

The Student News Site of Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan

The Lance

NVOT Field Hockey Steps Up

Team chemistry propels comeback season
Photo+Credit+-+nvotfieldhockey+Instagram%0A
Photo Credit – nvotfieldhockey Instagram

The Golden Knights field hockey team has grown since last season. After posting a 1-14 record last year, the team made it to the county tournament semifinals this season for the first time since 2015. The team finished with an overall record of 7-11 this season with a total of 30 goals and 145 saves.

The team ended their regular season with a 4-0 win against River Dell at home on October 23. Anabelle Lee, Mia Ferraro, and Alexa Padilla scored goals; Zoe Clarke had an assist; and goalie Muskan Patwa reached 100 saves. 

The highlights of the team’s season were two key matchups against Immaculate Heart Academy. The October 8 game brought a 2-1 county quarterfinal win, which was their largest achievement of the season. This rivalry continued into the team’s October 16 home game. Although it ultimately ended in a loss, the rivalry from the prior game made both teams work hard and pushed the game into an energetic overtime. Coach Amanda McCarthy said, “Everyone played with so much heart and worked so well together. It was so special to watch.”  

Juniors Annabelle Lee and Mia Ferraro showed hard work on the field, which resulted in 11 goals for each. Lee said, “It was really cool because I only started playing freshman year, and I wouldn’t have been able to have success without my teammates.” 

Ferraro said, “On and off the field everyone gave their all and supported each other through wins and losses. Due to this atmosphere we created, we were able to accomplish great things like having a four-game winning streak.” Having a roster of returning players lent itself to team bonding. The team’s three captains—Maribel Rose, Alexa Padilla, and Zoe Clarke— facilitated activities ranging from 6 a.m. runs to pep talks and singing on bus rides to get themselves energized. 

For Rose, building team trust was important: “My best strategy for getting the team pumped up was really just talking with them. Reminding them to trust one another and remembering our foundations, since sometimes it’s easy to make mistakes under pressure,” she said.

Padilla similarly used her position to inspire positivity and keep the team humorous even in the face of a loss. “We had so many inside jokes. I think having these jokes and being able to have fun and be playful with everyone made our team closer than ever and made everyone more hype for the game.” All three captains worked hard to motivate that team and ensure the success that they were able to obtain over the season. 

While the returning players had a close bond, the captains made sure to mentor new players. “All the amazing girls made me feel so welcomed, and it was a great way to make new friends,” freshman Olivia Magnoli said. “My favorite part of being on the team was meeting all of the girls and playing such a fun sport.”  

McCarthy and the captains clearly were successful this season through two points- coming back with more wins and providing a fun and safe space for the girls. Goalie Angela Nipitella says, “Field hockey introduced me to lifelong friends and taught me how to work on a team and has prepared me for so many things and I love it so much.” 

These girls’ efforts continue to show as they prove themselves beyond the season. Juniors Madison Kosmark, Lee, and Ferraro made the All-County team, and goalie Angela Nipitella received an honorable mention. The team was the best it has been in a long time, thanks to Coach McCarthy, who was named this season’s Coach of the Year by the Bergen County Women Coaches Association.

 The whole team worked hard to stay positive and tried their hardest, making this season one to remember. “A lot of my success this season has been because I have such amazing coaches and teammates that always push me to be the best version of myself,” Ferraro said.

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