Hadjar Yousfi also contributed to this article.
As the Field Hockey season came to an end, the students worked harder towards their goal of winning the remaining games. Eventually, the time came for them to have their final game with senior captain Lydia Li. The game was hosted at Pine Banks and it was against Revere High School.
Due to the loss of many seniors from last year, they were not sure how they would cope. Li considered this year to be their “recovery year.” They had to teach many students how to play Field Hockey from the very basics, and relearn all the fundamentals of working together as a team. Coach Samantha Souza felt that teaching field hockey from scratch had been “one of the biggest challenges” they had to face this season.
Both Souza and Coach Tiffany Cane are thankful to the returning players. Cane noticed that “many of the new players learned from the returning players,” and thankfully were quick to pick up the sport and work together. Junior Trinity Valencia-Garzon, who is a first time player, felt that they “were all able to help each other out and improve in different aspects.” Captain Henry Zhao, who is a junior, noted that the team was able to “develop well” as a whole since they learned how to communicate better and rebuild those important skills needed during practices and games.
Having been new to the sport a lot of the new players felt a huge improvement in themselves. Likewise sophomore Yara Alves Escobar felt that during the first week she could not do anything, but is now “playing a lot, and getting assists.” Pampam San, another Sophomore who is new to the team, sensed the season had started off “bumpy,” but over time they all improved as a whole. In general, San feels that she is getting better at “being a defender.”
The final game was a tough one for Malden High’s field hockey team and it was tense towards the beginning. Malden was always very close to scoring on their opponent Revere, but had difficulty finally scoring. But around halfway through the game they managed to turn things around much to the coach’s excitement. Eventually they won 2-1 and qualified for the state tournament, ending their last game of the season on a very good note.
The team also celebrated senior night where the players honored Li and also recognized seniors from the Revere team as well. Li mentioned how being on the team for the past three years, she has recognized how everyday at practice and at games it is “always exciting” due to the “friendly atmosphere” that the entire team exhibits. Li further added that the team is more “like a family” to her as she emphasized that “they are all amazing individuals” who she plans on keeping in touch with after high school.
Li explained that with being one of the captains, it was a great experience to work with the other captains in order to help the team because “each one of [them] have different qualities,” which contributed towards the dynamic that brought all of them together. Looking back on the past few years, Li is going to miss the “adrenaline rush” that field hockey offered and the rides back from each game which were memorable moments for her.
For both current and future field hockey players, Li offered a piece of advice where she relayed the message of encouraging players to have a “strong and good mindset,” even if it forces you to “clear your mind” because once you are on the field, it is going to be “reflected in your game.”
Malden High’s field hockey team concluded their season on a high note as they continued to maintain a positive outlook, and hopes to carry on with improving in the sport and creating more fond memories in the next season.