The student news site of Francis W. Parker School

The Parker Weekly

The student news site of Francis W. Parker School

The Parker Weekly

The student news site of Francis W. Parker School

The Parker Weekly

Field Hockey’s Big Wins

Parker Girls Field Hockey Win Two Critical Games
Photo credit: Franny Adami
Varsity Field Hockey celebrates after a 2-1 victory in Latin Homecoming game.

Among the many wins of this year’s Field Hockey team, two games are notable. On September 30, Parker varsity girls played against its rival school, Latin, in Latin’s Homecoming game. On October 18, the team beat Antioch High School with a score of 7-1 to advance them to the Elite Eight in the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Sectional finals. 

At Parker’s Homecoming, Field Hockey lost against Latin in a double overtime shootout, 1-2. 

In Latin’s Homecoming game, the week after, Parker won 2-0 in double overtime

Parker senior Monet VanVooren is one of this year’s varsity Field Hockey captains. VanVooren compared Parker and Latin’s Homecoming games. “We were prepared for [the Latin homecoming] game a little bit better in that we already went into double overtime. We stayed more calm and more defensive.” 

Varsity junior Gemma Franco described the differences between the energy in the two homecoming games. “[At] our Hoco, we came out strong, but after we scored, the energy kinda went down. Versus Latin’s Hoco, I think we came out with a lot of energy to begin with and sustained that energy throughout the whole game.”  

Franco said it’s difficult to keep up the energy during shootouts because there are fewer people on the field. “For the team, we are probably most proud of keeping the energy up during overtime shootouts with only seven people on the field while the regular game has 11 people on the field,” she said. 

VanVooren saw the team’s strong mental game. “I’m most proud that we didn’t let Latin get in our heads,” she said. “We played exactly how we know how we play. We didn’t play down and stayed mentally strong.” 

“We played to win rather than to not lose,” Franco said.

VanVooren believes that  trust in her teammates allowed the team to stay calm and focused. She said, “We knew that Ellie would do a great job so if we stayed calm, we knew we could do it.” 

Franco thought the best part of the game was towards the end, before shootouts. This was when the team realized that they had come this far and could finish this game with a couple shootouts. 

“It was kind of a team bonding experience of ‘we can push ourselves to win this together,’” Franco said. 

VanVooren noticed the teammate culture of Latin’s team. “I think the best part of the game is always seeing them get frustrated,” she said. “They almost immediately start yelling at their teammates, and the best thing we can do is stay calm, and it’s the best part of playing Latin.” 

The other big win Parker Field Hockey had was against Antioch High School. In this tournament, Parker got a first round bye because they were ranked in the top ten. Antioch is ranked 11th in Illinois, while Parker is ranked 8th entering the postseason. After playing Antioch in the round of 16, they advanced to the quarter finals, the Elite Eight.

Natalie Drake, a senior at Parker and one of this year’s captains said, “This game allowed us to shine so much as a team.” Drake said that in the past, the team has struggled with losing energy in the second half of games. However in this game, that wasn’t the case. 

Varsity sophomore Lilah Laser said, “The energy was so good. We were very hyped up. Sometimes when we play, we get down on ourselves but this game, we kept the energy high, and I think that was one of the reasons we won this game.”

Despite Parker being a stronger team than Antioch, they still took the game seriously. Laser said, “We were really determined, and we didn’t get into our heads. We played a really clean game.” Drake said, “We took control and showed we were the better team. There weren’t any moments where we felt out of control of the game.” 

“Despite the fact that they were a much bigger school and we are drawing from a smaller school really shows the strength of our program regardless of our size,”said Drake.

For Drake one of the biggest challenges of that game was the stress of the possibility that this could be her last game on the Parker field hockey team. Laser said, “It was scary because it could have been our last game, but we all came together and it was like we were all a family.” 

High scoring games have a positive effect on the team’s energy according to Laser. “Every single time we scored, we got more hyped up. We were all lifting each other up and it was such a positive environment,” she said, Drake also noted that Sonia Pettinelli, a freshman on Varsity scored four of the seven goals. 

The field hockey team is proud of both of these wins and remains the favorite moments of the season.

Franco will miss the community of the team most once the season ends. “I think of it as I spend the whole day at school and our practice and games are my relief times, to have fun and compete,” she said.

Drake said that field hockey is her favorite Parker sport, and that her proudest moments of her high school field hockey career were beating Latin and scoring a stroke on Senior Night. She took pride in captaining one of Parker’s best sports teams. After graduation, “I will miss the sense of having a constant goal within athletics. Field hockey is such a strong team at Parker,” Drake said.  

VanVooren speaks very fondly about her involvement in this sport. “Field Hockey has the most incredible experience,” she said. As a senior, this will be her last year of field hockey. She looks back on when she joined the field hockey team as a freshman. “I came to Parker as a brand new freshman. The only advice I got was to join Field Hockey. It was the best decision I’ve ever made. Now I’m able to be a captain of this incredible team.”

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About the Contributor
Ava Lin
Ava Lin, Sports Writer
Ava Lin is a sophomore and is a sports writer for "The Weekly." She plays volleyball and runs track for Parker and loves all sports. At Parker, she is the head of the Phaedrus art magazine and a head of the women of color affinity group. Outside of school, she loves painting and playing squash. Her favorite part of "The Weekly" is interviewing people.