CARR, BLAKE, TSARSI, RESTIVO, REYES LED SCORING
Numerous close games highlighted the Westfield High School Field Hockey team’s season. Of the nine games decided by one goal, the Blue Devils unfortunately found themselves on the short side of seven of them and finished with a 6-12 record (2-4 in the Essex/Union White Division).
“This season we may not have finished as well as we originally intended, we still persevered and strived to do better each and every game. Self motivation and resilience can be difficult when you’re not seeing favorable results (especially when seven of our losses were by one goal) but that’s what makes not only great athletes but strong young women. I’m proud that the girls worked hard to the very last moment – blood, sweat, and tears,” Blue Devil Head Coach Corinne Varhley expressed.
The Blue Devils began their season with a 3-1 triumph over the Wallkill Valley Rangers but started a three-game slide that started with a 21 setback to the 14-6-1 AL Johnson Crusaders. Next was a 4-3 loss to the Millburn Millers, followed by a heartbreaking, 3-2, loss to Glen Ridge after a disputed call in favor of the Ridgers.
The Blue Devils got back on track and won big over the Cranford Cougars, 6-0, then followed up with a 20 shutout of the Columbia Cougars. But Montclair knocked the Blue Devils out of whack, 7-1, then the Hunterdon Central Red Devils dropped the Blue Devils’ record to 25 with a 2-1 nipping. After edging the Livingston Lancers, 2-1, the No. 2, 21-2-1 West Essex Knights, who won the Group 2 title, turned out the lights on the Blue Devils, 8-0.
The reeling continued with a 6-1 loss to the Summit Hilltoppers, who finished 15-5-1. A douse of relief came next with a 6-1 triumph over the Verona Hillbillies. Montclair Kimberly (14-7) got past the Blue Devils, 2-1, and so did the Scotch Plains-Fanwood Raider s with the same score.
The Blue Devils nipped the Governor Livingston Highlanders, 2-1, in two overtimes then lost, 3-0, to the SPF Raiders in the Union County Tournament. After falling, 3-1, to Newton, the Blue Devils’ season ended with a 2-1 loss to Old Bridge in the first round of the North Jersey, Group 4 Tournament.
Statistically, sophomore forward Riley Carr led the Blue Devils in scoring with six goals and three assists for 15 points. Junior midfielder Emma Blake was next with four goals and four assists for 12 points. Senior midfielder Sofia Tsarsi and sophomore forward Maren Restivo both finished with four goals and three assists for 11 points and sophomore midfielder Kayla Reyes finished with four goals and two assists for 10 points.
Sophomore forwardAnna Mangold finished with four goals and an assist for nine points. Sophomore midfielder Emma Schwarzenbeck had three goals and two assists and senior midfielder Katie Walsh contributed eight assists. Junior forward Nicole Gerckens had two goals and an assist. Senior forward Brady Lenner had two goals and senior back Erin Doherty netted one goal. Junior midfielder Becca Silverman had an assist.
Senior goalkeeper Maddie Caherly recorded 127 saves and junior backup Jolie Bruder had one save.
In the season opener against Wallkill Valley, Schwarzenbeck flicked in a pair of goals and Carr added a goal and an assist. Against Millburn, Blake had a goal and an assist. Restivo recorded a goal and two assists in the win over Cranford, while Walsh had three assists and Mangold had a goal and an assist.
Carr and Schwarzenbek each scored once in the win over Columbia. Tsarsi scored twice and added an assist in the win over Verona and Mangold scored twice. In the double overtime victory over Governor Livingston, Blake scored both goals.
“It’s important to reflect on this past season and see what worked, what didn’t, and make necessary changes or improvements for the future. ‘Be better than yesterday’ was a theme throughout the fall and it still holds true as we look ahead to the future,” Coach Varhley said.
Five of the Blue Devils’ top scorers were sophomores and one was a junior so offensively they should bring plenty of fire power to the table next year.
“We are thankful for all of our seniors and their contribution to the program. They set the standard for what hard work looks like. As for the future, we have a lot of underclassmen and an incoming senior class who are ready to step into their roles on the field and we’re looking forward to it,” Coach Varhley concluded.