Updated: Mar 17
By: Harshini Dinesh (‘23)
After practicing hard for several hours and playing admirably in many games, the South Brunswick Girls Field Hockey Team made it to the GMC semi-final on October 19, 2021. During GMCs, fifth-ranked SB lost against the number one-ranked East Brunswick with an overall score of 3-1.
New Jersey Local News reported that East Brunswick’s varsity player Natalie Arnold scored 6 points and all 3 goals, and Prisha Dhruve assisted and scored 1 point. South Brunswick’s varsity player Krista Oliver scored 2 points and 1 goal. Even though East Brunswick was able to come out on top with 3 goals, South Brunswick goalie, Amanda Aoun, had a remarkable amount of saves, coming in at 16, compared to the 9 saves made by East Brunswick’s goalie Kayla Balsamo. Although the team lost in the GMC semi-finals, the team had trained effectively during their practices and games and had played to the best of their ability.
Six-year head coach, Mrs. Ashley Schafer said, “Junior Varsity and Varsity did well this season. They were a very coachable team and made great improvements throughout the season. We had a mix of new and returning players, and they have really blended well together. Varsity played some great games this year, and the team put in a lot of hard work this season, perfecting their skills and teamwork.”
As Coach Schafer mentioned, both the varsity and junior varsity teams worked hard this season and played games adeptly. Unlike last year, sports became easier to play because, although the pandemic is still going on, many players and coaches got COVID-19 vaccines, and schools reopened. For many field hockey players, returning to near-normal field hockey practices and games made them happy.
Junior and Varsity player Shruti Mukammala said, “COVID affected practices and games in my sophomore year. I was constantly scared of getting COVID and ending up having to stop halfway through the season, which was extremely upsetting. As a junior though, field hockey is the same as it normally was because we are back in school.”
Mukammala’s concern of COVID has been a concern of many SBHS sports players, coaches, and people in general. However, everything is slowly returning to normal because of in-person school and school sports games. Aside from COVID concerns, sports players have to ensure that their time management skills are on point because they have to manage AP and honors classes, sports practices, and their sleep schedules. Although playing sports takes effort and efficiency, sports players enjoy playing their games, spending time with their teammates, and getting to relieve their stress. Every sports player has their own highlights and memories of their time playing their sport.
For Mukammala, these were the final moments of every game: “At the end of each game, no matter a win or a loss, the rest of the team runs up to the goalie. I play the goalie position and every time I hear one of the coaches yell “go get your goalie” it is the highlight of every single JV or Varsity game I have played. Even running up to the senior starting goalie, Amanda, is always a highlight of mine.”