Last year, Mercy’s field hockey team had a rough season between changes in the coaching staff and not feeling or working like a team. This year, the team made it farther than they have in recent years when they competed in the quarter finals this October. Although the team lost this game, the season as a whole was a tremendous win because of their hard work and progress.
One of the biggest changes this year was the team’s move into the D2 division. This opportunity allowed the team to feel more competitive and equally matched against other teams. They were motivated to work harder and beat their rivals in many games throughout the season.
“It was more competitive,” said senior Caroline Carlson. “We also had some hope of winning.”
The desire to perform well was shared by the entire team. As a result, they focused at practices five days a week and put in the time to not only improve on their skills, but bond with each other to compete well as a team.
“We wanted to work hard in practice for each other and for ourselves,” said Carlson.
A big source of encouragement for the team this year was field hockey’s first team manager, senior Olivia Mulhern. Mulhern decided to manage the team because she was previously friends with some of the players and wanted to be a part of a school sport’s team, which her life as a competitive dancer hasn’t previously warranted.
“The best part of being [manager] was meeting new people and gaining closer bonds with others,” said Mulhern. “Having the chance to be a part of this [team] was new and exciting.”
From giving words of inspiration to girls on the sidelines, taking photos, attending all of field hockey’s events, and much more, Mulhern was a welcome addition to the field hockey family.
“Liv would just make it fun,” said senior and captain Grace Fadool. “By the end she was just as into [the sport] as we were.”
On October 22, the quarter final game was held on Mercy turf against Cranbrook, a team Mercy had previously seen as unbeatable competition. This time, the match between the two teams was incredibly close with Mercy leading in points the majority of the game, until the end when they lost by one very close point.
“Cranbrook is a team that we [have] usually lost to [by a lot],” said Fadool. “We got [the chance] to see how far we’ve come.”
Overall, a sense of pride and success surrounded team members after the game because of how much growth they went through to make it to the quarter finals in the first place. This was huge progress from last year and several of the players, specifically the seniors, could celebrate such a success.
“Yes, I was sad that [the season] was over,” said Carlson, “but I wasn’t sad at the way it ended. It was good.”