Huskie field hockey loses opening playoff match


Katie de Waard, Staff Writer

Naperville North’s field hockey team played a historic first playoff game at home on Saturday against the Lakes Community Eagles. Unfortunately, the Huskies fell to the Eagles, eliminating them from this year’s playoffs.

The Naperville North Huskies (4-9-1) were defeated by the Lakes Community Eagles (5-13-1) by a final score of 2-0.

The team started the first half strong, but despite many opportunities in the other team’s circle, were unable to score a goal. The Eagles scored 12 minutes into the half. With nearly 50 minutes left of playing time, the Huskies were not worried.

“This is not our last game,” the team said at halftime. They also joked about coming off for substitutes, telling each other, “Your asthma can wait.”

By the start of the second half, the team was rearing to turn the game around, as they had in previous matches. Just a week ago on October 2, the Huskies defeated St. Ignatius in overtime 3-2 after coming back from halftime down 1 for a satisfying conclusion of the regular season.

For the second half, the team took a more offensive approach, spending more time on the opposition’s half. The forwards, led by Donna Pitock (#14), Melissa Chiou (#10) and Khora Finch (#9), forced the ball upfield for many attempts on goal but were unable to complete shots. In spite of their best efforts, the Eagles once again scored with nine minutes and 48 seconds left on the clock.

The Huskies scrambled to find the back of the cage and even the score. With seconds left in the game, the Huskie offense made a breakaway downfield. On a penalty corner, with eight seconds on the clock, the Huskies made a final shot at goal but were unsuccessful before the match ended.

“I think we all connected our passes and played to the whistle, and it just didn’t go our way,” senior captain Lorri Pitock said.

Saturday’s game might not have gone as hoped, but the team is still optimistic about its future. This year’s team only has three seniors, leaving much of the starting lineup time to hone and develop skills over the next few years.

“I wish the score would’ve reflected our hard work,” goalie Catherine Fleming said, “but I’m also really glad about how far we have come. With the incoming freshmen, I think we will have a fighting chance next year.”

Although this is the end of the 2018 field hockey team’s season, coach Maria Brewster spoke fondly of the other aspects of the sport.

“[What’s important] is that young women learn to be confident and find that other women can be their friends instead of a constant competition in a society that pits women against each other,” Brewster said. “That’s the real message.”