Thirds Field Hockey Seeks Repeat Victory Against Taft

After being robbed of the oppurtunity to play on Taft day last year, the Thirds Field Hockey team remains focused and motivated in the week leading up to Taft Day.
Last year, Thirds Field Hockey played for less than five minutes on Taft day due to snow, mud, and puddles on the field. Two years ago, Taft won the game 1-0, which tragically ended the team’s undefeated record for the season.
This year, the team looks forward to redemption and is maintaining the work ethic that has been an asset throughout the season. After walking away with a 1-0 victory against Taft in September, the team hopes to achieve a similar result on Saturday.
Despite a lineup of almost all new players, the team thrives by focusing on improving and learning game strategies together. The team only has three returners this year –co-captains Sophie Davis ’22, Sydney Kosoy ’21, and Madeline Chang ’22–who have endeavored to emphasize friendship and inclusivity this season.
With eight Preps on the team this year, the returners have prioritized teaching new players how to have a good feel for the game and communicate effectively with each other on the field. Davis reflected, “It’s been a challenge for the team [to grow accustomed to working] with each other and the ball,but [seeing] the progress that [the players] have been making throughout the season has been really rewarding.”
In addition to integrating new players, Thirds Field Hockey underwent a coaching change this year. After Mr. David Bolmer ’73 stepped down from coaching in the fall, Ms. Letty Roberts has stepped up to serve as Head Coach. Ms. Ashley Suan now serves as Assistant Coach.
As a faculty member at Hotchkiss for over 30 years, Ms. Roberts has extensive experience teaching students in the classroom and on the field. Ms. Roberts said, “Positive psychology, encouraging each other, and being a close-knit team is important. Trying hard with a positive attitude [and] being a kind and humble teammate are the most important aspects of Thirds Field Hockey. I’ve been really appreciative of the program that Mr. Bolmer has passed on.”
During practice, the team has been focusing on developing a solid base in fundamental skills and working hard to implement those skills in game situations. The team starts every practice by running and stretching and then progresses into shuttle groups, where players practice dribbling, dodges, and passing. Thirds Field Hockey applies these skills to game-like situations with 3 vs. 2 drills, shooting drills, and scrimmages.
The coaches also like to diversify practice by trying activities beyond the ’49 Fields to promote team bonding. Ms. Roberts said, “At this level, we really value improvement and try to have variety. We’ve tried to engage with each other in activities off the field like hiking [Lion’s Head], swimming at the lake, [and] playing with JV to improve skills.”
The Thirds Field Hockey team looks forward to its next game on Taft Day, where it hopes to earn a long-sought win.