On a night full of emotions, the J.E.B Stuart High School field hockey team came up short on the field, falling 4-1 to the Yorktown Patriots last Friday. The game, senior night for the Raiders, honored Jaimie Mason, Stephanie Zapple, Sarah Kilbourne, Emma Sheehy, Elizabeth Joyce, Veronica Sequeira, Fiona Weber and Jessica McQueen with a ceremony beforehand recognizing four years of dedication to the team.
“They played their hearts out,” said head coach Bonnie O’Day. “They wanted it so bad and played so well; the score doesn’t reflect the effort that I saw on the field today.”
Yorktown set out early to quiet the Raiders, taking a 1-0 lead in the first half before scoring three more goals, to go up 4-0 with 9:04 left in the game. However, the Raiders, whose bench remained standing and electrified throughout the entire game, refused to send their seniors out scoreless.
Junior midfielder Madeline Weeks finally broke the Patriots’ defense, scoring at the 3:30 mark of the second half.
“Our bench did a great job staying in the game,” said Weber, a senior captain. “We had great energy and good connection on and off the field.”
Co-captain Sheehy echoed the optimism after the game.
“This is definitely one of the better teams we’ve had,” she said. “We have a good coach and want to go as far as we can in districts; in our time here we’ve never gotten past the first round.”
The veteran Raider squad still has three games left in the regular season, including one more chance to play on their home turf. South County comes to town on Oct. 13 to make-up for a rainout last month.
O’Day hopes the Raiders can take the emotions of the game to Wakefield, where they traveled to play a district game on Wednesday. Results were not available at press time.
“We’re improving as individuals, but more important we are improving as a team,” said O’Day. “We need to work on clearing the ball at both ends of the field, but we have a strong middle.”
It’s that core strength that the Raiders hope will anchor them for the rest of the season.