Varsity field hockey begins rebuilding with young talent

Cam Roth

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With a young team going into the 2019 season, a year of rebuilding and growth as a program was the goal. The Forest Hills field hockey team continued to achieve this goal with each game they played.

“The field hockey season was amazing, especially because everybody improved so much both individually and as a team,” FHC’s sophomore Olivia Booth said. 

The first few games of the season presented the biggest challenges given that the team was still figuring out how to be efficient at communicating and positioning.

 “This year we had a mix of players as well as some returning players,” FHC junior Claire Bieniewicz said. “In the first couple of weeks, we really had to lean on each other’s strengths and learn to play as one unit,”

Coming together to form a family as well as a team was something that head coach Andrea Shaner emphasized strongly through the duration of the season.

“Practicing at night as the sun is setting and seeing the girls coming together were some of my favorite moments of the season,” Shaner said. “I thought our girls improved in many key areas including communication, passing, hard hits, and spacing.”

In Claire’s opinion, after the first few games, the girls really started to come together and find success against their opponents. 

“I feel that we had made major improvements by mid-season and consistently improved to round out a great year. Even though we didn’t make it to states, the relationships and the FH family we created is something more than a trophy could ever represent.”

The Forest Hills girls went head-to-head with some of the top-ranked teams in the entire midwest; these teams proved to be the toughest challenges the girls faced all season. The Forest Hills team’s efforts were lead strongly by FHE seniors Ellie Korest and Katie Noom. Both of these girls played a vital role at midfield controlling the movement of the ball throughout the game. FHN senior goalie Lauren Termaat also had an outstanding season with 137 saves total and a 77 percent save rate. 

These three seniors especially were able to help the team both on and off the field. 

Two games that stuck out during the season included the 2-0 win over Detroit Country Day and the 2-1 victory over Mercy High. The game against Detroit Country Day was led by FHC senior Megan Raisch. She had an exceptional performance on offense, scoring both goals for Forest Hills. The match against Mercy was led by Netherlands exchange student Karlijn Gorter, who also scored both goals for Forest Hills during the intense match-up. 

The Forest Hills team faced substantial adversity this 2019 season. By the time they were nearing the end, the girls had found ways to come together and find success. The season was not marked by wins, but by the progress and advancements made to better the program.  

We have a wonderful on-field camaraderie during practice and games, our program prides itself on creating a cohesive, friendly, and supportive community,” Claire said. The most memorable moment of the season in Claire’s opinion was bonding with her team throughout the year and during the pool party for all three of the high school teams. 

Looking to next year, Shaner hopes to continue to work on tightening up the defensive unit and really improving on the front end when it comes to getting balls into the cage. The future for this team looks bright, as does the Forest Hills Athletics as a whole.