Pressure in PA- Field Hockey Responds

St. John’s Field Hockey went on uncharted territory midway through the season, competing at the inaugural Max Field Hockey National High School Invitational held in Conshohocken, PA. St. John’s has traveled to St. Louis and Kansas City in the past few years, but the invite to be a part of 36 top teams in the nation was too good to pass up. The Mavericks were the lone SPC school in attendance, and hold a ranking of 6th in the West-Midwest region.
We were invited due to Max Field Hockey’s familiarity with our program, our history in the SPC and also from results against other top teams in the midwest, who frequently play some of the other teams that were there from Louisville, Chicago, etc,” said Head Coach Craig Chambers ’81.

The Mavericks started off with a 4-0 loss against The Hill School, currently ranked 7th in the country.  After a 4-1 win over Pingree School, St. John’s finished with a 2-0 loss to Greenwich Academy, now ranked 9th nationally. 

The competition was at the highest level, and we had no issues on the field,” said Chambers.  “The games were all closer than the scores indicated, even the win.”

“It’s better for our team to play better competition,” said captain/midfielder Sadie McCabe ’20. “While a lot of our players compete against many of the top players in the country in individual club competitions, when we are playing a team of very good players, it makes us a stronger team by working together.”   

The trio of Maverick goalies had their work cut out for them as team defense was on display non-stop.

“We went from scenarios where we don’t face a lot of action to scenarios where we were tested, said Amelia Williams ’20.  “It was very exciting for me.”

“We saw a lot more shots and we matched the intensity of our opponents, said Sofia Castore ’20.  “There was a lot more to do defensively and the team rose to the challenge.”

“In these games, the ball was in our own 25 constantly so we had to communicate and be organized,” said Tyler Kennedy ’21.  “It was  a lot of fun.”

“The goalies did a great job talking to the defense, defense to midfield and midfield to forwards,” said captain/midfielder Kate Ainbinder ’20. “We had an adjustment period and had to focus, listen and communicate.”

“In these games, we were constantly getting pressure and it was important to keep our composure and structure,” said captain/defender Sinclair Mott ’20.

The Mavericks would need that composure in their most recent game back in Houston against cross-town rival Kinkaid. Down 2-0 at the half St. John’s was feeling that pressure.
“We realized we were not out of the game,” said McCabe, who scored two goals to tie it up.  “We have a really good line of subs and we came in with a lot of strength in the second half.”

Forward Sloan Davidson ’22 scored the game-winner with 30 seconds to go.

“How we worked hard as a team against challenging opponents is going to benefit us for the rest of the season,” said McCabe. 

St. John’s plays its first SPC counter game vs Houston Christian at home on October 10th. On October 3rd, the Mavericks will host a D1 NCAA field hockey game on Finnegan Field, as the Towson University Tigers will take on the Miami of Ohio RedHawks, coached by St. John’s alumnus Chip Rogers ’88.  

Sam Chambers -Athletic News
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