Malden Field Hockey Team Celebrates Senior Night Win

All Photos By Bo Stead

On Wednesday, October 11th at MacDonald Stadium, the Malden High field hockey team seniors took to the field for a memorable night against Everett’s Crimson Tide. Senior Night is not only an unforgettable and often emotional night for the graduating seniors, it is also one for the teammates who must carry on next year without them. 

Family members and friends of graduating team members filled in the stands at the stadium. Players felt the warm support of their loved ones alongside their extended family, balloons, gifts, and posters made by their teammates.

During their warmups, there was a higher sense of urgency and anticipation among seniors. A few talked about memories, laughed, and shared moments together while the festivities were awaiting to commence.

As the game began, there was lots of back and forth play by both the Crimson Tide and the Golden Tornados. Junior Kevin Chen was a major force for Malden, driving the ball consistently up the field on fastbreaks. Malden controlled most of the first quarter however, there was no score.

Everett however, began having more offensive production in the second quarter, putting several shots on net which were stopped by senior goalie, Marianne Rivadeneira. Senior defenseman Daniel O’Toole also compiled some major stops which later in the second quarter led to Malden’s first goal by freshman Anthony Ford right in front of the net. 

Junior Kevin Chen fights for control of a ball on a fast break.

As the second half started, Everett began having more possession yet Malden’s defensive efforts proved effective as Everett still could not put a ball in net. On the other end, Malden looked to stack on a few insurance points. Nearing the end of the third quarter, Anthony Ford scored his second goal of the contest, putting Malden up 2-0. Malden continued to put on a defensive clinic, despite some close calls around the net.  

In the fourth quarter, as Anthony Ford looked for the hat-trick, however, Senior Lilleana Desantis-Cail scored her first goal of the night. Malden refused to let up a goal for the remainder of the game giving them the 3-0 shutout victory.

Junior Kyle Huang looks to pass a ball from the end line.

 After the game, there was a celebration on the field where the family and friends came in for pictures with their seniors. O’Toole commented on the win, saying “This was such a crucial game we are one win away from the GBL title and we wanted to win this for the seniors.” O’Toole also compared the moment to the start of the year and noted “We have really worked on our hitting.” The senior also added that the growth of freshman Anthony Ford’s skills have been “phenomenal.” O’Toole remarked that “We need kids like Anthony [Ford] to help grow the culture and build the team, that is what helps us win GBL titles.”

One consensus between several of the players is that Desantis-Cail has been the most improved player this year. When asked, Desantis-Cail noted she had joined other sports to improve her play in field hockey, “I joined track to boost my stamina and really worked on my communication on the field.”

Senior Lilleana Desantis-Cail dribbles the ball up field.

Senior Zachary Nedell who has missed some time due to injury had his first start back out on the field during this game. He commented, “It felt so good to get out there to be hungry, to stop the ball, and to shut down my side of the field on defense.”

The good vibes from this team can be seen from the stands, many of the members of the team commented upon this matter. Nedell noted “It really is a family.” O’Toole added onto this and remarked “This team is built to work together to have fun, you know, you want to have fun, but ultimately you want to win and that's what we do.”

 Head Coach Samantha Souza highlighted captain Daniel O’Toole, stating “Danny is just incredible. I will definitely miss his energy. He's like an extension of the coaching staff.” Souza, when speaking about her own performance as a coach, noted, “Each year, you learn from your mistakes and I hope that we can just continue to do better as coaches and learn more, and teach them everything they need to so they can be successful on the field.”

Senior Marianne Rivadeneira on the field during a stoppage of play.

On Saturday October, 28th, the team set out in yet another game against the Everett Crimson Tide for their chance at a Greater Boston League title. The team ended up winning the game in a nail biter, 1-0 to improve their record to 5-5-1 on the season and clinched the GBL Title. Senior Zachary Nedell stated “It feels fantastic, alone we are all good but it takes a team effort to win games like this.” Additionally, senior captain Daniel O’Toole was extremely proud of this win for himself and the team, he added “This is one of the highest accomplishments for me in my life, it means so much to me.” 

Overall, Senior Night was a success for Malden as they pulled out with a victory. As Daniel O’Toole mentioned “You play for moments play for moments like these.”

The team poses together for one last photo as the night concludes.

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