On to States, Again

Field hockey faces rival Thomas Worthington in semifinal tomorrow


Michael Better

Senior captain Javiera Baeza, who is headed to Indiana University on an athletic scholarship next year, will lead the Raiders in an effort to avenge last year’s state semifinal loss to Thomas Worthington tomorrow.

It’s November. Leaves are falling. Skies are gray. And the field hockey team is about to compete for a state title. Again.
After going 16-2-1 in the regular season, the Raiders are now the No. 5 team in state and are headed to the state semifinals tomorrow to face off against the Thomas Worthington Cardinals.

Last season, the team made it to the state semifinals, falling to the Cardinals, 1-0. Even though they lost last season, sophomore Jo Rich is looking forward to winning it all this year.

“I would love to win states. I think we have to see how we do in the upcoming games,” Rich said. “I think it would be great if we won regionals and make it up to states.”

Rich believes it’s not just about the players. “I contribute most of last season to our coaches,” said Rich, “having them both play at super high levels – Coach [Ashley] Boorstein for Northwestern and Coach [Jennifer] Clarke for MSU – they have so much knowledge and experience.”

Senior captain Javiera Baeza said she has learned so much from her coaches. “I personally think over the past four years I have become a better athlete just from what I have learned from my coaches and teammates,” Baeza said. “I do have to recognize that thanks to Shaker, I would not be the player I am today.”

Baeza said coaches are essential to the team’s success. “They all know the sport so well. Without them our team wouldn’t be where they are,” Baeza said. “Thinking about how many girls their first time playing field hockey is their freshman year, and how much they grow throughout the season is insane.”

Junior Halle Searby said she has high expectations for the team. “I expect us to go pretty far in playoffs,” Searby said. “We’re a very strong team, and I think the team has a really good culture. It is very connected, and I think that really helps out on the field.”

Searby attended Hathaway Brown, an all-girls private school, last year and switched schools this summer, although field hockey was not the main reason. “It wasn’t the reason I moved schools,” Searby said, “but part of my deciding was I knew a lot of the people from club on the field hockey team, so I knew that it would be an easy transition.” Searby plays club field hockey for Field Hockey Life.

The Raiders’ season has met Baeza’s expectations so far. “Given that last year we made it all the way to states, I expect us to make it to the same level, if not higher,” Baeza said. “Our team has some great potential and over the past few years we have really grown as a team and I can see us going really far.”

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