Field Hockey tops Langley: 1-0 victory puts 7-2 in districtMonday, October 28, 2002 By Ben Eisenburg
The varsity field hockey team snapped a three-year losing streak against Langley on Tuesday by beating the Saxons 1-0. Heather Payne scored the lone goal of the game early in the second half. The team is 7-2 in district play, and is riding a six game winning streak. "We've really clicked over the last six games," defender Eleanor Ennis said. "Now that we beat Langley, we have a lot of confidence." The defending Liberty District champs are counting on current juniors and seniors to step up and lead the team back to another district title. Led once again by longtime coach Demby Banbury, the team looks to fill voids left by such departed seniors as Kate Haffey, Katie Keener, Shawn Sullivan and Meghan Punaro, all of whom were large contributors to the team's success last year. Haffey and Sullivan provided much of the scoring last year, as each had noses for the net. Despite losing of much of the team nucleus, Banbury believes that the team hasn't lost a step. "We are no longer missing anything that we were missing before the season began," Banbury said. "In terms of leadership, chemistry, game sense and stickwork, everybody across the board has improved this year. All of the juniors and seniors have stepped up to take on new roles." Among those that will be asked to take on new roles will be seniors Meghan May and Taylor Lyttle. Lyttle will be counted on to move the ball up the field, a role occupied by Haffey last season. She will have to get the ball onto the stick of scorers such as May, who will be counted on to replace Sullivan as the leading scorer on the team. The team's ability to score will probably be the determining factor as to whether or not they can enjoy the success that they did last season. In a 1-0 loss to Langley and a 3-2 loss to Woodson, McLean often dominated the games, dictating the pace of play, starting goaltender Bridget Devlin said. However, they failed to put the ball in the net when they needed to. Above all else, the girls will need strong team chemistry this season, an aspect upon which they improved in a recent trip to Florida. On the trip, the team competed in a tournament against teams from all over the East Coast. The team finished up the tournament in a first place tie among four other teams. They were scheduled to go last year, but had to put off the trip due to the September 11th attacks. "There were a lot of new girls on the team this year who many of us didn't have chemistry with," Devlin said. "But now we all seem to be on the same page. We can read each other better on the field than we could before the trip to Florida."