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By James Kinneen
Hometown Weekly Reporter
After her team moved to 4-1 with a 5-0 victory over Weymouth at Weymouth’s Legion Field, Needham field hockey coach Stephanie Magni described the game by noting: “This was a good game for us. We had a rough first half because we had very little to warm up with, but I think the second half we came out and scored right away early, which built our confidence for the rest of the game.”
With goals from Maeve Hymovitz and Ashley Marshall, Needham dominated the first half and led 2-0 when the whistle blew.
So, what could Magni have been so upset with in such a dominant performance?
Apparently, the team was focused on finishing at the net, and while the team had plenty of scoring opportunities, she didn’t think they capitalized on them as well as she would have liked.
“We had a lot of shots on net, which is great - we were playing really well we had a really good corners that we did - we just weren’t finishing strong, which is something we’ve been working on. So in that sense, it was something I was hoping we would do more, which came in the second half - which is why I stated it like that.”
After three more goals from Grace Kelley, Emma Ferrara and Sarah Lissy in the second half, coach Magni was satisfied with how her team played overall, particularly the midfielders.
“We got everybody in. Everybody, overall, looked great today. I think our midfield is definitely huge for us; they controlled the whole field, both offensively and defensively. Kenzie Kelly, who’s our junior captain center-mid, and Britt Nawrocki, [who] is our left-mid and a sophomore, they really stepped up today. They typically step up for us … they’re big leaders out there, and they sort of push us up offensively and get back on defense”
As for the season in general, Needham has been dealing with a unique situation. Their fields are being re-turfed, so the team has yet to play a home game, and has had to practice on grass - or wherever they can.
All things considered, a 4-1 start (the Rockets’ sole loss was to Notre Dame - Hingham) is awfully good.
“It’s been a really good start. It’s been a weird start for us with our field issues, but I think we have a very new team - we graduated a lot of girls last year, and we’re coming together pretty well. [There are] a lot of kids learning some new positions, but overall, I’m really excited for the rest of the season. I think we’ve been playing pretty well. We’re strong. We’re a fast team. We redid our turf, so yesterday was our first day on our field.”
If the team is playing this well already, imagine what they’ll do with a home field on which they can practice.