SPFHS Field Hockey team is confident for the 2018 season


Vanessa Handy

Embarking on the new program’s third year at Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School, the Girls Varsity Field Hockey team is ready to make a name for themselves this season. With more experience under the teams’ belt, head coach Alexandra Neidig is optimistic in her players’ potential for a successful season.
“Our hopes are that we really work together to grow as a team,” Neidig said.  
The Varsity team has four returning players this season, senior captains Sophia Iacona and Julia Barnes, as well as junior captains Erin Lay and Kelly Nitty.
With these returning veteran players and a brand new team roster for the 2018 season, Coach Neidig hopes for growth amongst her team.
“We are a new program and a lot of girls have never played field hockey before, so when playing a new sport, no matter what it is, it’s always going to be challenging,” Neidig said. “We can overcome those challenges and work together and grow together as field hockey players.”
While team collaboration is a goal for this year, Coach Neidig has set goals for the teams’ performance this season as well.
“We’re kind of hoping for this year to double our wins. I think if we could do that that would be really awesome. We are a serious sports program who is here to play hard, and work hard,” said Neidig.
Junior Captain Erin Lay also has goals for her team this season.
“As a second year varsity program, our goals are to win more than 4 games to beat our record from last year,” Lay said. “Also we want to improve on controlled quick give and go passes.”
Confidence in their abilities withstanding, Lay also realizes that the season will pose challenges to the team, which she is eager to overcome.
“A big challenge is having to adjust to different teams and their playing styles,” Lay said “Another challenge is making sure our feet don’t touch the ball, so we can avoid an obstruction/foul.”
Not only has the team been improving their field hockey skills, but senior captain Julia Barnes says that they have improved their team morale.
“The team dynamic is really good this year. Everybody has been playing really well with each other and we’ve all been connecting,” Barnes said. We did some team bonding stuff that definitely helps too.
With their sights set on overall development, the varsity team is currently 2-3. Julia Barnes is hopeful that the team and program will thrive this season, and in seasons to come.
“I see a lot of wins coming. I really hope that our team can improve, and we can possibly, in the future, win a county tournament and be able to compete with teams like Oak Knoll and ALJ, who have had winning programs for the last ten years,” Barnes said
The team will match up against Westfield for their next game on Thursday October 20 at 4 pm on Tyson Field.