A senior-led Lee High girls’ field hockey team is leading the way to a successful season thus far for the Lancers, who carried an impressive 4-1-1 record going into this week.
“I have nine seniors that really hold the team together and each of them play with such heart and have great leadership on and off the field,” said Lee head coach Lindsay Jones.
Lee lost its first game of the season this past Monday night at West Springfield High where the host Spartans won in overtime. Lee senior forward Kyoung Park forced overtime with a goal off a stroke. Park has been outstanding for the Lancers all season. In a Lancers’ 1-0 overtime win at Lee last Thursday, Sept. 16, the clutch Park came up with the extra session game-winner.
“She is my top senior,” said Jones, of Park. “She’s our leading scorer and controls the ball well on the forward line. I really count on her for leadership on the field and in the circle. And she has done just that, scoring the game-winner against Annandale. She has such great focus and drive during practices and games. She is hungry in the circle to score and it clearly shows with what she has done thus far.”
Park is one of three Lancer team captains, the others being fellow senior forwards Nikki Paculan and Elian Zarour.
Lee has received stellar play in the net from junior goalie Laura Geter.
“My goalkeeper has been phenomenal,” said Jones. “Laura gets better each day and keeps us in the game with her great saves. She controls the defense and really shows leadership with her knowledge of the sport.”
Lee’s wins thus far have come over Falls Church, 3-0, Hayfield, 2-1, Wakefield, 5-0, and, last week the Atoms in the overtime thriller. The Hayfield and Wakefield victories came at home. The Lancers’ tie, 1-1, came against visiting Yorktown on Aug. 30.
“They’re off to a great start,” said Jones, of her squad. “They have put in such hard work preparing for the season and it's great to see them find success as a team.”
Now, Lee has begun play within the Patriot District with the recent contests against Annandale and West Springfield. Jones indicated the Lancers will have their work cut out for them versus Patriot opponents.
“My expectations for the rest of the season are high,” she said. “I want the girls to consistently push each other every day to get better. We are two games into district play and each game has shown us where we are and also where we need to be. It's a tough district but in order to compete we need to keep the level of hockey high, and I think we are doing just that.
“At this point in our season these games are intense and extremely competitive and we have to remain composed with our play and stay strong to our style of hockey,” said Jones. “District games can get crazy and it’s important to stay focused and smart.”
The coach was pleased with her team’s effort and intensity level in the loss to West Springfield earlier this week.
“It was a tough loss to West Springfield,” she said. “A couple of my players got emotional and it was good to see how much heart they put in these games. I think it's going to come down to who wants it more and these girls are not going to let anything stand in their way.”
Jones, a former collegiate player, said good ball possession skills and working as a unit are critical to a team’s success in field hockey.
“I try and focus on using each other, possessing the ball, transferring back and forth to create space and opportunities to attack,” said Jones, of the Lancers’ style of play. “Transitioning from playing in college to now coaching high school is different, but I want to carry over certain aspects of the college game to high school.”
Lee, following Monday’s game against the Spartans, were scheduled to play two more contests this week - a home game versus West Potomac on Wednesday, Sept. 22, and a road outing at W.T. Woodson this Friday evening, Sept. 24 at 5:30.