Game Recap

25 Sep 2014 by admin, No Comments »

As seen in the Daily Pilot:

Field Hockey: NHHS Chix off to hot start
Sailors field hockey team improves to 10-1-1 with convincing win over Westminster to open Sunset League play.

By Steve Virgen

Here’s what you need to know about Newport Harbor High’s field hockey Sunset League opener on Wednesday at Davidson Field: It was a blowout, as the Sailors won, 9-0, with seven different scorers. Newport Harbor won its 10th game and senior Jordan Blanchfield has scored at least a goal in each of them, as well as at least another goal in a tie game.

Here’s what you need to know about the Newport Harbor field hockey team: Wednesday’s win was an apt reflection of the program, guided by Coach Amanda Boyer, a former player on the squad known as the Chix With Stix.

This team is much more than just a cute nickname. With the dominant win on Wednesday, the Sailors improved to 10-1-1. Their lone loss was to San Pasqual, 3-0, in the title game of the 16-team Otay Ranch Tournament in Chula Vista this past weekend.

Newport Harbor opened its season with a 2-1 win over defending Tournament of Champions winner Harvard Westlake Sept. 2.

That victory and the Sailors’ hot start has given the team belief that this has the potential to be another special season for Newport Harbor. The team is seeking its first Los Angeles Field Hockey Assn. Tournament of Champions title since 2011, when the Sailors completed a run of four straight crowns.

Last year, Newport Harbor finished third in the TOC.

“They have been consistently getting better with each game,” Boyer said. “We started out with little tweaks and we still have little tweaks, but as each game goes by it just keeps getting better. It’s nice to see their hard work.”

Their hard work was tested at the Otay Ranch tourney, as the girls endured high temperatures while competing on artificial turf.

They kept working hard, together as a team doing their best to meet and surpass the challenges set out by Boyer.

“I told the girls when we started out that we have the potential [to win TOC],” said Boyer, who played goalie for four teams that reached the TOC final and won one in her senior year of 2003. “If we rise to the potential, we have a very good chance of doing very well. I think we started out with so much potential so to see them get better with each game I think we can reach that potential and maybe surpass it.”

There appears to be great pride among the girls on the team to maintain tradition and have the Sailors return to winning championships. The participation numbers on the teams is quite healthy, as 15 girls are on the freshmen team, 16 on the junior varsity and 20 on the varsity.

Yes, 51 girls are out for field hockey, running around with a stick, chasing after a little orange ball, in Newport Beach of all places.

“It’s a really fun sport that the girls enjoy,” Boyer said, explaining why there are so many girls in the program. “It’s a program that holds a lot of tradition. So the girls really enjoy that. There’s a lot of camaraderie. They like to carry that through.”

Players like Blanchfield and junior Peyton Groves also sense that this could be a special season, but more tests are coming ahead. The Sailors play at Fountain Valley on Thursday, then next week is huge with Huntington Beach on Tuesday and rival Edison on the Chargers’ artificial turf on Oct. 3.

“I want to get it back,” Blanchfield said of winning TOC. “I don’t want to be the [seniors] who didn’t win one.”

Groves was a key part of the defense that continually stuffed Westminster on Wednesday. She also noticed a strong determination from the Sailors since the beginning of the season.

“Our program has had a successful past,” Groves said. “Coming on to this team, you can just feel the intensity. We are all working toward a common goal.”

Pity Westminster on Wednesday. The Lions dropped to 1-5.

The Sailors jumped out to a 6-0 first-half lead and never looked back.

Daniela Vazquez scored two goals and had an assist, and Caroline Gels added two goals. Blanchfield contributed a goal and an assist.

Mia Baigiu, Cameron Dewan, Haley Martinez and Alexandra Vasquez scored a goal each, while Noelle Hubbard and Sophie Schwarzenbach finished with an assist each.

Newport Harbor Junior Varsity Field Hockey also shutout Westminster 9-0. Go Newport!

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