Tuesday, September 28, 2010

October Schedule

Here is the October Calendar! Updates on last week's games will be up shortly!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Game at Pope John Paul The Great Catholic High School

On Friday we had a game at Pope John Paul the Great Catholic High School (try putting that school name on a T-shirt!).

We got to the fields, and noticed that they were in less than acceptable condition. The grass was in big, thick, long clumps, and very sparse. In between patches of grass, there was a thick, swampy mud! In front of the goals, they had dumped clumpy cat litter to absorb some of the moisture. Parents may not know this, as players certainly do, but the type of field the game is on, plays a huge role in the reffing, the style of play, and even the outcome of some games. For instance, on a smooth turf or astro-turf field, the ball is going to move WAY faster than even the fastest player on the team. The lightest tap will send the ball flying. A hard drive towards goal will be incredibly hard and incredibly fast. On fake fields, stickwork is much easier, including lifts and left/right/back pulls, and sweeps of any kind. The kind of grass that our local competitors have, slows the ball down a bit. It is smooth, soft, padded, and without bumps, so you know, that if the ball goes in the air, it is due to an angled stick or a purposeful lift. All of that being said, we knew that the PJPTGCHS field, would produce a slow moving ball (mud), that would bounce (clumpy), and would it be difficult to execute pretty stickwork. This is a hard type of field for a goalkeeper to defend, because they not only have to predict a player's direction and shot, but how the ground might force the ball.

Varsity started the game out hard. Unfortunately the reffing was atrocious and the style of game was "physical". As difficult as it was to overcome these factors, the Gators looked good! They even managed to execute beautiful dodges, and exhibited a great passing game! Budi ('12), senior captain, Harlan ('11), and Budi ('13), held their defense, as always! Budi ('12) and Harlan ('11), are no strangers to Varsity and full length games, but this is the first season for Budi ('13) on Varsity, in a starting position, for the full duration! She had an amazing defensive save in the PJPTGCHS game on Friday, that showed everyone just why she earned the spot! In offense and midfield, Puchalski ('13) had another "game of her life". This is her second year on Varsity, and the experience is really paying off! Puchalski ('13) stepped it up to transfer the ball upfield, again and again, making PJPTGCHS players foul again and again. She was on fire! On the other side of the field in mid, DeBell ('13), another second year Varsity player, was doing the same! Great stickwork, and a knack for passing at all the right times, helped DeBell ('13) to push up to our offenders. Caudill ('12), a third year starter on Varsity, and Wolpert ('13), who was pulled up in the beginning of last season, worked well in center. The Gators were itching for a goal, but were having some trouble penetrating the circle. Finally, with some pushes from offenders, Curtin ('12), senior captain, Albright ('11), and Cyr ('12), they got some shots on goal. Just before the half ended, I put in Morris ('13), in her first season on Varsity. Morris ('13) used her speed several times to fastbreak the ball upfield. Finally, once the Gators got inside the circle, they made PJPTGCHS cause a foul, and got the corner they had been looking for. Caudill ('12) set up a simple corner, and Albright ('11) took a shot on goal. A PJPTGCHS player made a nice solid stop inches from the goal line. After some battling for the ball, Caudill ('12) sent the ball across goal and Morris ('13) was ready to slam it into the boards! Morris ('13) claimed her first goal of the season, her first goal on Varsity, and her first goal in a game! Caudill ('12) got the assist, putting her record up to 4 goals scored, and 4 goals assisted for the season so far. In the second half, the Gators pushed hard, but couldn't find the back of goal again, despite many shots on goal. The PJPTGCHS players knew they had to push hard because time was running out. A PJPTGCHS player got off a lucky shot, and somehow slid into the bottom corner of the goal. The half ended at a tied 1-1 game. We went into overtime, with Harlan ('11) and Budi ('12) in back, Puchalski ('13) and Caudill ('12) in mid, and Curtin ('12) and Albright ('11) in forward. The Gators pushed hard towards goal, narrowly missing a few shots on goal. The PJPTGCHS players pushed upfield and got a shot off on our Goal Keeper, Wyatt ('11), who is playing field hockey for the first year! (She was interested in playing her freshman through junior years, but was out with a recurring injury. She has been our manager for the past 2 years.). Wyatt ('11) has 75 saves so far this season, pretty good for a first time goalie, right?! The Gators did not want to have any more shots on goal, and rushed the ball upfield. Curtin ('12) pushed hard towards, and after seconds of battling it out, Puchalski ('13) made a hard shot towards the back corner of the goal and scored the winning goal! This was Puchalski's ('13) first goal of the season and first game winning goal! The Varsity Gators go on to play Collegiate at the Robins Campus today, and Maggie L. Walker Governor's School on Wednesday!

The JV Gators pushed hard in their fourth regular season game. The refereeing and field were still horrible, and under the circumstances, they played a great game! The physical contact, high sticking, hacking, and third man were even worse than in the Varsity game and the refs failed to call ANY of it. The trainer for PJPTGCHS even failed to come on the field when we had a player down. The refs even failed to pause the game. M. Gregory ('14) held down center mid, using her dodges, reverse sweeps, and awesome timing to make the PJPTGCHS JV players foul, time and time again. L. Gregory ('14) and Spicer ('14) had some great fastbreaks and pushed hard for a goal! Bouchard ('14) worked on the left to push upfield from mid, and Veillette ('14) used some great stickwork and timing on the right! Defenders Aiken ('13), Puccinelli ('14), and Morgan ('14) kept the ball away from goal! Somehow, a lucky shot got by them, and the JV team lost by 1. It was a mixture of bad reffing, a bad field, and a lucky shot, however sometimes that is how it goes. The JV team looked good though, and I am expecting a super competitive game today against Collegiate Gold! They play Maggie L. Walker Governor's School on Wednesday after the Varsity Game!

Come out and support the teams as they play away games this week!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Gators vs Trinity and St. Cat's

This has been a busy week for both the JV and Varsity hockey teams! We had practice on Monday, and back to back games Tuesday (against Trinity) and Wednesday (against St. Cat's). Practice Thursday was optional, and today both teams go on to play Pope John Paul the Great Catholic School at their field.

Tuesday, the Varsity Team played Trinity first at 4pm. The Gators played strong defense, but had several setbacks of injuries and illnesses. Two of our starting defenders were under the weather, many of our midfielders were sick, a few offenders had pulled muscles, and our goalie got injured minutes before the game. Despite these setbacks, the Gators managed to hold the quick Trinity offense for many shots on goal. Harlan '11, Budi '12, and Budi '13 in defense worked well together. Caudill '12, was instrumental in pushing forward, and Albright '11 and Curtin '12, as always, got a few nice shots off on the Titan goalkeeper and defense. The game ended in a 0-4 loss, which does not reflect the usual level of our Varsity Team.

The JV Team was determined to beat Trinity's JV Team. Even after Trinity made us pull out our super fast left wing Spicer '14 (because she had played in Varsity's game), our JV team was still on fire! Most of the game was spent in Trinity's 16 yard circle. Sophomore Captain, Moore '13, played well in the center, accompanied by L. Gregory '14 in offense and midfield. Lucas '13, on the right, pushed towards goal! Veillette '14 has a great connecting pass, and pushed forward from midfield, along with hardworking, Bouchard '14. Jacoby '14 and Dupuis '14, showed great improvement from earlier games, and played a good portion of the first and second halves. M. Gregory is a hardworking and talented midfield/defense player, and was able to stop Trinity's offense many times, before they even crossed the 50. In defense, sophomore captain, Aiken '13 in sweeper, directed our young defensive line to a shutout game. Morgan '14, Puccinelli '14, Thompson '14, and others, stepped it up to hold their ground. Our sophomore captain goalkeeper, McDonald '13, barely got a chance to touch the ball. L. Gregory '14 had the final say, when she scored the game winning goal, and set the JV Team's regular season LIS record to 1 win-0 losses-1 tie! A great record for a team of almost 70% beginner players!

Wednesday, the Varsity Team played St. Catherine's at 4:30pm. The Gators started out strong and had shots on goal in the first 5 minutes. Until the last few minutes of the half, the score was tied at 0-0. Our defense, (still sick, by the way) held off many quick St. Catherine's offensive plays. Senior Captain, Harlan '11, Budi '12, and Budi '13, proved themselves once again, to be an impenetrable force. Caudill '12 was switched to a more offensive position for the game, and together with center, Curtin '12, and Senior Captain, Albright '11, they pushed forward for even more action in the St. Catherine's 16 yard circle. Puchalski '13 and DeBell '13 worked well in midfield, using great connecting passes, paired with excellent stickwork to move the ball up the field. Wolpert '13 was switched to a more defensive role for the game, and gave Budi '12 and Harlan '11, the help they needed to keep the score down! Morris '13, is also on the rise, and had several fastbreaks to goal. All in all, the Gators played an excellent game against LIS rival, St. Catherine's. McDonald' 13, our JV goalkeeper, played the entire game in place of Wyatt '11, who was out with an injury. The game ended in a 0-3 loss for the Gators, but was well played and again, the score did not reflect the game's back and forth movement on the field. Their current record is 3 wins, 5 losses, and 3 ties, which is a great start to the season! (total record, includes tournaments and non-league games)

Our JV Team was pumped from their win on Tuesday against the Trinity Titans! They wanted to keep their record intact! The JV Gators started out strong! Spicer '14 in Left Wing used her speed to carry upfield. Bouchard '14 in midfield, had her back. Veillette '14, accompanied by Graham '13, worked well together on the right. In center, L. Gregory, M. Gregory, and Sophomore Captain, Moore '13, pushed forward towards goal. Sophomore Captain, Aiken '13, our sweeper, held off many well played St. Catherine's advances. Our Sophomore Captain and goalkeeper, McDonald '13, who had just played a full hour of Varsity, was in goal for the full hour of JV as well! She held the St. Catherine's JV team to 0, for her third shutout game of the season. Autrey '14, Berling '14, and sophomore captain, Sullivan '13, stepped it up to transfer the ball upfield! The Gators pushed hard for a goal, but St. Catherine's wouldn't allow it. The game ended in a 0-0 tie, moving their record to 1 win-0 losses-2 ties! The JV team is on fire! You can expect a lot from these young and motivated players in games and years to come!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Steward Invitational

In the Steward Invitational, we played our first game against the host, Steward School. The game was very evenly matched. Senior Captain Harlan ('11), Budi ('12), Budi ('13), and Curtin ('11), held the defensive line. JV goalkeeper, sophomore McDonald ('13), a captain on the JV team, held her own in goal with 7 saves! Caudill ('12) worked hard on the left to push up field. Curtin ('12) and senior captain Albright ('11), had some beautiful breaks towards goal. Whitlock ('13), Puchalski ('13), and DeBell ('13), had some beautiful connecting passes. The Gators fought hard, but couldn't come off with a win. The score at the end of the game, was 0-1, Steward.

Coming off of a defeat, the Gators were looking for a victory in their final game of the day against St. Margaret's. The Gators spent 25 out of 30 minutes of the first half fighting to get a goal in. The half ended in a 0-0 tie. The Gators were not looking to tie another game, and Caudill ('12), pushed hard from midfield to score the game winning goal, and the only goal of the game, about halfway through the second half. Budi ('12) had several nice runs towards goal and Harlan ('11) did not let the ball pass the 50 yard line. Curtin ('11) had her best game of the season! Morris ('13) got close to some shots on goal as well. The Gators looked good in the tournament and are ready to take on the rest of the LIS!

The total record for the season, is currently 3-3-3. The JV and Varsity Gators go on to play long time rival, Trinity Episcopal School, tomorrow at the Villa. On Wednesday, the Gators take on the only other all girls school in the Richmond area, St. Catherine's. On Friday, they travel north to play the newest LIS school, Pope John Paul the Great. Wish us luck and come out to support the teams if you can!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

September Calendar Updated

The September Calendar has been updated to add two Junior Team games!

Fragile X Classic Tournament

The Gators left SGHS on Friday to go to Silver Spring, Maryland, which is just outside of Washington DC for the Fragile X Classic Tournament hosted by St. John's College High School. The trip was chaperoned by Mrs. Puchalski, Whitlock, and Wolpert. A giant thanks to those moms for helping me out!

The games started at 8:00am sharp on Saturday morning. As always, we got to the game an hour early, so needles to say, the team got an early start that morning. When we got to the field, we noticed some changes. St. John's had changed the tournament to become a half field, 40 minute, 7v7 tournament instead of a full field, hour long, 11v11, as usual. This was the first unexpected surprise of the tournament. Instead of playing Sidwell Friends first, like we had expected, we played half of St. John's team. They were expecting the Gators to come with full force and stacked this half of the team with their best players. The Gators fought hard and the game ended in a tie. In overtime, the referees along with St. John's, made up a rule to solve the overtime, in which we would first go into 3 minutes of 7v7, which we were already playing, and after that, 1 player from each team would play each other in the center of the field and whoever scored first, would win. For those unfamiliar with field hockey, this overtime rule doesn't exist and we were told prior to the game, that we would end a tie in strokes. Harlan '11 took on the job, and played hard after already playing 2 halves and the first overtime. After this new overtime was up, all of the other coaches from the tournament and I met with the referees and St. John's coaches to decide different overtime rules. We all agreed that 3 strokes for each team would be more fair, as that is something we are all accustomed to in regular play.

In the second game, we played the other half of St. John's team. The Gators did not want to end in a tie with St. John's again, and easily claimed a win, 4-0. Scores were made by DeBell '13 assisted by senior captain Albright '11, Caudill '12 assisted by Curtin '12, Albright '11 assisted by Curtin '12, and Curtin '12 assisted by Caudill '12.

In the third game, we played National Cathedral School. Last year at Fragile X, we played them first, and lost by 2. This year, the Gators are stronger than ever, and ended the game in a tie. We had to go to overtime for strokes!

After lots of success in the Fragile X Classic, the Gators are ready to take on the Lady Indians on Wednesday, the 7th at Powhatan High School. This should be an exciting, high energy game! Come out and support the Gators!

Friday, September 3, 2010

JV and Varsity Games against Norfolk Collegiate!

Yesterday, both JV and Varsity played against Norfolk Collegiate School. Here is how it all went down!

The Varsity Gators were pumped to play yesterday on their home field! In warm ups, I knew it was going to be a good game. Every player's shots on goal were dead on, and our short corner plays looked awesome! Senior Captain, Harlan ('11), was back in her first game of the season since her injury, and the Gators were glad to know she would have their backs in defense! When Norfolk Collegiate finally arrived, all the players set up on the field. The entire game was back and forth across the field. Norfolk had a good transferring midfield and some strong fastbreakers. As usual, our defenders Budi ('12), Budi ('13), Curtin ('11), and Harlan ('11), kept our goalie from getting too many shots on goal. Budi ('12) and Harlan ('11) worked together even better than last season! Wyatt ('11), our goalie, is new for the season, but to watch her in a game, you would never know! For the last few years, she has been out with an injury, and has been our manager. This season she was healthy, and we are certainly glad we tried her out in goal! After last night, she has a total of 40 saves in just 3 games! Our midfielders really pushed forward last night and were able to get back to help out defense too! Caudill ('12), Puccinelli ('13), and Wolpert ('13) were relentless in the very difficult and exhausting job of midfield. Caudill ('12) in particular, had a lot of action on the left side and was able to stop them dead in their tracks. In offense, senior captain Albright ('11), Curtin ('12), and Phipps ('12) had several shots on goal! Curtin ('12) and Puccinelli ('13) brought the ball up from center field several times all the way to their 16 circle to make Norfolk cause a short corner! Albright ('11) has such a strong shot on goal, their defense did not even want to come to close! Twice Puccinelli ('13), Curtin ('12), Albright ('11), and Caudill ('12), pushed the ball into the goal, but each time it was denied due to a delayed whistle and malfunctioning of the goalie's equipment. The game ended in a 0-0 tie, but it wasn't over yet! We went into a 10 minute round of 7v7 over time! We almost scored and they almost scored, but after 10 minutes, it was still a 0-0 tie! We went into a final round of 5v5 strokes. Our five strokers were Curtin ('12), Albright ('11), Caudill ('12), Budi ('13), and Puchalski ('13). Wyatt ('11) did a fantastic job of blocking Norfolk's strokes! After strokes were over, the game ended with a 0-0 tie! The Varsity record is currently 1-1-1! They travel to DC this weekend for the Fragile X Classic Tournament held at St. John's College High School!

The JV Game was next, but because Norfolk was late getting to our field, they wanted to cut the JV game short. We ended up playing two 15 minute halves. The JV Gators looked very strong! Sophomore Captain, Moore ('13), Spicer ('14), and L. Gregory ('14) pushed the ball upfield and had several shots on goal. Our defensive stars of the game were M. Gregory ('14), Morgan ('14), and Sophomore Captain, Aiken ('13). They kept the ball away from our goalie, Sophomore Captain, McDonald ('13), in her first season as goalie. McDonald ('13) currently has 15 saves to her credit in four 30 minute games. Graham ('13) had a nice run up the field and shot towards goal, Spicer ('14) went in for the cherry pick, but the Norfolk JV goalie kicked it out. Veillette ('14) also had a nice fast break up the field, but again, the Norfolk defense was on their toes. All of JV fought hard to get a win, but the game ended in a 0-0 tie. Certainly not a bad result for team made up of only 9 experienced players, and 14 players who picked up a stick less than a month ago! With another week of honing their stick skills, getting to know each other, and improving their conditioning, I know that this team will be impossible to beat! The JV record is currently 0-2-2. They are looking for their first win in their next game! I have no doubts that they will make it happen!