Field Hockey season ends with defeat in quarterfinals

Taylor Spencer, Sports Editor

Officially‌ ‌ending their playoff run,‌ ‌the‌ ‌Falcons‌ fell ‌5-0‌ ‌to the Villa Duchesne Saints during‌ ‌the‌ ‌Midwest‌ ‌Tournament‌ ‌quarterfinals‌ ‌for‌ ‌field‌ ‌hockey on Oct. 27. ‌

The‌ ‌Falcons‌ ‌advanced‌ ‌to‌ ‌play Villa ‌after‌ ‌shutting‌ ‌out‌ ‌Ladue‌ ‌3-0‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌previous‌ ‌round.‌ Coach Andrew Neil said the team had to make special plans approaching the game against the undefeated Saints.

“The team played well, we had a plan to contain a specific Villa player and the girls were able to do that. To Villa’s credit, they have a lot of talented players that we struggled to contain,” Neil said. “We also focused on matching Villa’s speed on the field with our own quick self starts and not having any of our players holding on to the ball too long.”

Senior Tessa Suellentrop said she feels she played well individually in addition to the team’s success, and that Villa having the advantage of playing on their water turf challenged the team.

“I feel like I played decently as an individual, but it’s hard to transition to water turf because it’s so fast compared to regular turf. As a team I think we played really well and worked hard to try to keep them from scoring too much,” Suellentrop said.

Sophomore‌ ‌Ali‌ ‌Findley‌ ‌said‌ ‌making‌ ‌it‌ ‌this‌ ‌far‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌playoffs‌ in ‌her‌ ‌first‌ ‌year‌ ‌on‌ ‌varsity‌ ‌was‌ ‌an‌ ‌amazing‌ ‌feeling and‌ ‌the‌ ‌team‌ ‌put‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌work‌ ‌and‌ ‌played‌ ‌hard‌ ‌even‌ ‌when‌ ‌facing‌ ‌a‌ ‌challenging ‌competitor.‌ ‌

“I‌ ‌think‌ ‌the‌ ‌team‌ ‌did‌ ‌great.‌ ‌We‌ ‌definitely‌ ‌had‌ ‌a‌ ‌lot‌ ‌of‌ ‌tough‌ ‌competition,‌ ‌and‌ ‌we‌ ‌learned‌ ‌a‌ ‌lot.‌ ‌It‌ ‌was‌ ‌‌nerve‌-‌racking‌ ‌going‌ ‌into‌ ‌a‌ ‌game‌ ‌against‌ ‌such‌ ‌a‌ ‌difficult‌ ‌competitor,‌ ‌but‌ ‌we‌ ‌held‌ ‌our‌ ‌own‌ ‌and‌ ‌just‌ ‌kept‌ ‌playing. It‌ ‌was‌ ‌definitely‌ ‌a‌ ‌lot‌ ‌of‌ ‌hard‌ ‌work,‌ ‌but‌ ‌it‌ ‌paid‌ ‌off‌ ‌because‌ ‌we‌ ‌managed‌ ‌to‌ ‌get‌ ‌so‌ ‌far,”‌ Findley said. 

Suellentrop also said she is happy to continue the team’s three-year streak of making it to the quarterfinals and that the team had the right amount of planning going into the game.

“It feels really good to make it this far in the playoffs especially since we made it this far the past two years. It feels like I’m leaving the program with success,” Suellentrop said. “It took a lot of strategic planning to prepare ourselves during practice since we had already seen some of these teams and needed to plan out ways to play better against them.”

Neil said during this playoff season, the Falcons were able to hold their own and prove to private school teams that they are a competitor to look out for.

“I am super proud of the girls for making it to the quarterfinals for the third year in a row. We have been able to show the other field hockey teams that Summit is consistently a strong team and is able to compete with any field hockey team in the area,” Neil said.