On Wednesday, Sept. 12, the girls’ varsity field hockey team added another victory to their 2-0 record with a 9-0 win versus Drake High School.
The Giants pulled away early after forward Erin McCarthy scored two back-to-back goals. This gave the Giants the lead and an opportunity to give the bench players added playing time.
Additionally, this is Drake’s first year with a field hockey team, which gave Redwood a competitive advantage on the field. The expansion of field hockey teams around the district has provoked high hopes for the future of the sport, according to star player Eva Oppenheim, who finished with a hat trick (3 goals) in Wednesday’s matchup.
“The expansion to more high schools means more people will get involved with the game and it will develop more in the high school league,” Oppenheim said.
Redwood’s control of all areas of the game helped them shut out Drake. Oppenheim expected the outcome, as Redwood’s team holds four years of experience against Drake, but was happy regardless. She believes Redwood did a great job of switching the field and creating scoring opportunities.
Redwood field hockey, despite being fairly new has seen an influx of freshman girls that has helped increase the competitiveness of the team. Freshman defender Gabriella Levin-Meer started playing the sport this year, but is already a consistent starter on the varsity team. Levin-Meer is optimistic about the team’s future this season, but still feels they have work to do.
“I think we can improve on supporting from the sides and we can improve on connecting passes and switching the ball and also getting more shots on goal,” Levin-Meer said.
Levin-Meer attributes her success as a player to the upperclassman on the team.
“Playing with the other older defenders [has] really helped me, especially Jessica Jones. They have been like real leaders, they have helped me learn my position and know what to do, [especially] our goalie Vanessa. She has helped a lot and in the first game. I had no idea what was going on and she was able to tell me like ‘get back here’, ‘guard this person’ and it helped me a lot,” Levin-Meer said.
Assistant coaches Aline Copp and Sandy Pfaff are satisfied with team’s recent game as well as how the season has gone so far and the new freshman talent. Levin-Meer has particularly caught their eyes as an emerging leader of the freshmen.
“[Levin Meer’s] tenacity and grit, she is probably one of the players that hustles the most consistently throughout the game,” Copp said.
Both assistant coaches look forward to the league expanding with the addition of Drake and Tam. The league may not be as competitive now because the field hockey programs are still trying to learn the game, however Pfaff sees a bright future for the growth of competition.
“We really want [the Drake and Tam teams] to succeed and they [showed] a lot of heart out there. They have got some very athletic girls, they have got a great coach, there is just a lot of momentum. We hope that they are going to continue to grow over the next couple of years and the season is definitely a building opportunity for them,” Pfaff said.
The girls hope to continue to expanding their strengths on the field while growing their competitive edge against other teams.. Their next matchup is against Lick-Wilmerding High School in San Francisco on Monday, Sept. 17.