Senior Eva Oppenheim sweeps the competition on the field and in the classroom

Ella Green

As a field hockey letter winner for the past four years, field hockey MVP for the past four years, National Merit Semifinalist, president of the physics club and a member of the homecoming court, senior Eva Oppenheim embodies the ideals of a model Redwood Giant. Whether it is excelling in the classroom or beating out competition on the field, Oppenheim truly does it all. 

Oppenheim smiles outside of Redwood on a sunny day

Jen Reidy, one of Redwood’s field hockey coaches, remembers Oppenheim from the first day of her freshman year tryout. Oppenheim had never touched a field hockey stick until that day, but her extensive athletic history helped her adapt right away. 

“She made a great impression. I was really blown away by her skills and attitude right away,” Reidy said.

Aline Copp, a Harvard field hockey graduate and another Redwood field hockey coach, feels similarly to Reidy about Oppenheim’s character.

“You can tell that she just had it, and that was what was different about Eva. If you tell girls at tryouts to ‘take the stick home, you can practice, take a ball,’ she would come back weekend after weekend better because she had been practicing the plays over and over again,” Copp said. “She really lived and breathed ‘practice makes perfect.’”

Despite her late start in the sport, Oppenheim’s quick rise to leadership has led to her playing an influential role in developing Redwood’s field hockey team, which began in Oppenheim’s freshman year.

“She has helped fundamentally shift the program and elevate [it] and shown all these young women what beautiful field hockey can look like,” Reidy said. “She’s a person of tremendous character and hard work. She’s very dependable. She is a workhorse, and I continue to be impressed by her.”

Copp remembers a specific game in which Oppenheim demonstrated her skills on the field.

“We were tied 0-0 with Berkeley high school and at halftime I told her ‘don’t feel like you need to give the ball away.’ So when she goes back into the game, if you can imagine, there’s a pass back from the 50 yard line and she takes it and literally maneuvers past 10 people and then shoots on the goal all by herself,” Copp said. “I’ve never seen that in any field hockey sport before. As coaches, we basically fell to the ground screaming happy tears.”

In addition to her involvement with Redwood field hockey, Oppenheim also created her own field hockey program called Rip Tear Kill Marin Field Hockey (RTK), which aims to teach young girls field hockey skills before high school.

“There was really no youth program in place in Marin so I thought it would be cool if there was some sort of clinic-like program for elementary and middle school students,” Oppenheim said. “I’ve gotten a whole lot out of field hockey, so helping to get other people involved and showing them how fun [field hockey] can be will help Redwood improve later on, as more experienced players will come in.”

In addition to her extensive field hockey success, Oppenheim has also excelled in the classroom from an early age. Oppenheim’s academic successes include being named a National Merit Semifinalist, serving as the president of the physics club, being a cabinet member of the physics club, earning over a 4.0 grade point average each year of high school so far, being selected to the College of Marin Alpha Gamma Honor Society and winning the Marin County Science Fair’s Grand Prize. 

“I think I’ve always just been one of those people who always wanted to do their best in school,” Oppenheim said.

Furthermore, Oppenheim has donated much of her time to helping the community around her. She has aided the Marin County Stormwater Pollution Prevention Initiative and volunteered with the National Parks Service.

While she’s earned impressive accolades and accomplishments, Oppenheim believes her teammates have played a large role in her achievements.

“Honestly, I credit my success to the people around me,” Oppenheim said. “My teammates have been so inspiring. I’ve been so lucky to be surrounded by the people I am.”

Oppeheim lunges for the ball during field hockey practice

One of those teammates, Camille Goodhart, Oppenheim’s fellow senior captain, has witnessed Oppenheim’s growth since elementary school.

“I’ve known Eva since about fifth grade. She’s always been someone who’s worked really hard in everything that she does,” Goodhart said. 

“She’s not the loudest, most vocal person, but she commands a lot of respect. I think everyone really admires her,” Copp said. “She’s elevated the level of play. When you play with people that are better than you, it makes you a better player. When you have someone on the team that’s an example of what your skills can be, it makes everyone else rise to that. It makes the other girls believe if Eva can do it, you can do it.”

Oppenheim led her team to a 13-1-1 overall record this past season and the MCAL title on Oct. 25.

Oppenheim will be continuing her field hockey career in college starting in the fall of 2020, where she hopes to continue her success both in the classroom and on the field.