By, Rani B. ’21
You may have received some emails about the 2018 Winsor Varsity Field Hockey’s Class C NEPSAC championship, but you are probably wondering, “How on earth did this group of field hockey-loving girls become champions?”
Winsor Varsity Field Hockey ended their regular season with an impressive 11-3-1 record, but to get there, they had to battle tough opponents like Governor’s Academy and Pingree. This team was truly a family and did a lot of bonding over team dinners, goofy drills, amazing apparel, UTL, lots of red hair dye, pre-game Trillers, long bus rides, and countless inside jokes and memories. Head Coach C. commented that “what made this team so special was the simple fact that everyone was committed to putting the team in front of their own individual goals. Whether we won or lost, we celebrated or sobbed together.” Assistant Coach H. added that “what was wonderful about this team was that no one player did it all themselves, and no one relied on any one player for the win. They worked together as a unit and had faith in each other.”
These team qualities combined to form a nearly unbeatable Winsor squad, which earned the #2 seed in the EIL tournament. After beating Berwick, Winsor lost to Pingree 4-3 in the EIL finals in overtime in an emotional and well-fought game. Nevertheless, the team’s record, goals, and strong schedule helped Winsor to earn the #5 seed in the NEPSAC tournament out of eight teams selected from the total 34 teams in the Class C division. After beating the #4 seeded Greens Farms Academy, Winsor faced #1 seed Pingree for the third time in the NEPSAC semifinals, a tough team to play both physically and mentally. Winsor pulled ahead of Pingree 2-1, with a goal scored in the last two minutes, but Pingree came right back with several penalty corners in Winsor’s defensive zone, finally ending with Winsor moving onto the NEPSAC finals! The semifinal game against Pingree was one of everyone’s favorite and most emotional moments of the season, with Winsor fans driving many miles to get to Pingree. At the end of the game, tears came to everyone’s eyes as they ran to goalkeeper and co-captain Nancy K. ’19, an essential and reliable leader in these victories. In the NEPSAC final game, Winsor played #3 seed Ethel Walker, won a decisive 3-0 victory, and celebrated another memorable moment. This is a historic achievement for Winsor, as this is the very first time WVFH has ever won a NEPSAC championship. Director of Athletics Ms. G. reflected on the last time Winsor made it to the NEPSAC finals in 2012, commenting that “I’m so proud of everyone, both experiences were special, and it was especially great to see everyone come together this year. I think that one of the biggest contributing factors to our win was to see everyone step onto the field confident and together.”
Reflecting on the season, co-captain Nancy K. ’19 said, “[This was the first time] I’ve been on a sports team that clicked as well as we all did and, getting to be captain of something as great as WVFH made me so proud.” Co-captain Talia W. ’19 added that “My favorite part of being a captain this year was being on a team where everybody contributed to our success, and our love for each other and for field hockey was visible at every practice, at every game, and especially at our NEPSAC win.” From its successes to its incredible sense of camaraderie, Winsor Varsity Field Hockey’s 2018 season was certainly one to remember!