Beach Middle School Field Hockey Team Wraps Up Spirited Season
Photo's provided by Brian Boos
The Beach Middle School field hockey team ended their 2020 fall season playing strongly in games against skilled opponents Saline and Dexter, with both games ending in a 1-1 draw.
On October 13th, the Bulldogs hosted the Saline Hornets at the middle school field. Their most recent matchup at Chelsea’s Play4TheCure event concluded with a 1-1 tie, and the Hornets had edged out the Bulldogs 2-1 at their first matchup earlier in the season. For eight graders Arianna Reginaldo, Braiden Scheffler, Grace Kapolka, Kahlen Eckert, Kaitlin Kubicki, Lily Spiess, and Sabrina Wescott, this was their last game of their middle school career. The first half of the game saw the two evenly matched teams taking shots on both goals, with Reginaldo, Scheffler, and Azlyn Eckert working aggressively to move the ball into the shooting circle, and Kubicki and Cecilia Bayer helping the Bulldogs to maintain possession of the ball in the midfield. K. Eckert, Kapolka, Westcott, Maddy McCollum, Brenna Taylor and goalie Spiess all contributed to a strong defensive effort. The score remained 0-0 at the half. Saline pulled ahead with a goal in the third quarter during a corner play despite persistent efforts by goalie Emma Woodard. A re-energized Chelsea team tied up the game in the fourth quarter with a shot into the corner of the goal by Lucy Taylor following an offensive corner.
Later that week, the Chelsea team traveled to Dexter’s twin turf field for the final game of the season. When the teams matched up earlier in the season, Dexter prevailed 3-0. The Bulldogs were determined to have a stronger showing, especially since this would be the last middle school game for eighth graders Ava-Reese Hagen, Abbie Nye, Teresa Smith, Keygan Monahan, Slater Boos, Lindsey Partyka, and Naomi Ratliff. During the first quarter, the Bulldogs’ defensive line was put to the test defending four penalty corners, successfully keeping the ball out of the goal. The Dreadnaughts kept up the pressure during the second quarter, breaking through to score one goal. During the first half, skilled stickwork in the midfield by B. Taylor, Partyka, A. Eckert, and Boos helped the team transition the ball down the field, and Smith as center forward attempted to convert a breakaway opportunity to a goal. In the third quarter, Hagen’s strategic pass to Smith created another breakaway opportunity culminating with Smith lifting the ball past the Dexter goalie and into the net, tying the score 1-1. Efforts in the midfield and offensive lines by McCollum, Brinna Wenzel, Boos, and Monahan also opened the field of play for the team. Despite the constant pressure on Chelsea’s entire defensive line throughout the game, and especially in the fourth quarter defending against five penalty quarters, the determined Bulldogs allowed only one goal the entire game thanks in large part to the effective combination of Ratliff, who had a tremendous game as goalie, paired with Hagen as sweeper; big hits and proficient stickwork by L. Taylor, Monahan, and Nye also proved to be key components of Chelsea’s success in the defensive end. Hagan, who had missed several games because of an injury, played a crucial role in the successful outcome of the game for the Bulldogs against a skilled and fast Dexter team.
At the final practice, the team celebrated the season with revealing the identities of their Secret Sisters, competing in Field Hockey Olympics, and giving out Paper Plate Awards created by the squad captains Smith, K. Eckert, and A. Eckert. The Paper Plate Awards acknowledge the individual contribution of each player to the team’s success and enjoyment during the season. Although playing a team sport during the current pandemic presented unique challenges, Coaches Brian Boos and Angela Menegay will remember the season more for the opportunities for camaraderie, growth, and resilience provided by being part of the field hockey team. Field hockey is a sport that players can join as seventh and eighth graders without prior experience, so the coaches look forward to seeing both returning and new players next year!