Field hockey makes an incredible playoff run

Junior Ally Hilligoss helping Walter Johnson get their 1-0 win over Whitman.

Junior Ally Hilligoss helping Walter Johnson get their 1-0 win over Whitman.

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Our Wildcats have made a very impressive postseason run this year. Progressing all the way to regonials against Churchill HS. The team defeated four opponents on their road to regionals. Their first playoff game was against Wheaton HS and the Wildcats won that game with a commanding shutout, 6-0.

Freshman, Reese Delp said, “Getting such a big win for our first playoff game was a huge confidence booster to the team.”

Next up, the girls had to face BCC in the second round of the postseason, a team that they had fallen too during the regular season. The girls stepped onto the field with vengeance. After an exhausting 60 minutes of playing time, the score was tied, with junior, Ally Hilligoss scoring in the last 8 minutes. Then, in double overtime, captain Lauren Kane scored during a penalty corner and was greeted with her teammates rushing to her side. The entire team had a very emotional group hug as this was the first time WJ had beat their long time rival BCC in playoffs in as long as any of the athletes could remember.

Third round of playoffs was set to be against Whitman. After falling to the vikings 2-0 in the regular season, the team would be expected to feel nervous at going against them again. But, with the momentum of their last two wins, the girls instead felt exhilarated and excited to prove themselves to be the better team. And prove they did, with midfielder Sammy Phelps scoring a beautiful goal soon into the second half. Once again, the girls rushed the field as the final whistle blew, ecstatic to have qualified for regional finals.

Come the big game against Churchill, nerves were running high. No other WJ field hockey team had come this far in years and, despite feeling confident in themselves, the team knew this could be their last game. And, despite giving 110% the entire game and defending countless corners, the wildcats lost to the bulldogs 0-2.

Head coach, Karen Mata said, “I am extremely proud of my girls and how much they have grown as players throughout this season.”

 It was an emotional end, with nearly every team member in tears, especially the seniors who knew that this would be the last time wearing the WJ uniform.

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