Taking Down the Oilers


Written By: Delaney Knipp

The Newport Harbor Field Hockey Girls have capped off yet another amazing season this year. They played in two demanding San Diego tournaments, hosted several rivalry games at home, Played for the Cure and at the end of all this, made it back to the Tournament of Champions Championship against Harvard-Westlake. While the field hockey girls, unfortunately, lost to the Wolverines 3-1, it was an incredibly hard fought game. Junior Kate Davison scored Harbor’s only goal five minutes into the game during a short corner which was assisted by junior Chanse Hill.

One of the most memorable games this season, however, was the semi-final game against the Huntington Beach Oilers, a long time rival of the field hockey program. It had been 4 years since the Sailors last defeated the Oilers, but this year the team was determined to make a change. Huntington Beach started the first half with possession, but defense played strong and was quickly able to get a stop and turned the ball over. “It is important to get low if you want the ball,” says junior defender, Maddie Vargas. The ball went back and forth between the two teams the entire first half, and while each team had scoring opportunities, neither school could get the ball in the back of the cage. Then, during the second half, things started to change.

After a motivating speech by senior team captain and goalie Sarah Sheldon (1), who was later named Sunset League MVP, Newport Harbor took the field with fire in their hearts. Immediately after the whistle blew, attackers and midfielders sprinted down the field to try to achieve a scoring opportunity. While the Oilers were able to drive to goal a few times, the defense, led by Sheldon, were able to stop any advances. Sheldon had 8 saves during the game. Later in the second half, the sailors had an opportunity and they took it. After a defensive turnover made by Vargas, the ball was passed upfield to junior Kate Davison, who dribbled upfield. While Davison was getting to the lower right corner of the circle around the cage, junior Chanse Hill posted herself at “peaches”, a name for the position right in front of the opposing goalie, which puts the attacker in a good scoring position. Her positioning paid off, and soon Davison sent the ball into the middle with a reverse sweep feed, Hill collected it, turned and shot it around the goalie into the opposite corner (2). “That moment of scoring went so fast but so slow,” says Hill about her goal. The team was ecstatic but had to play strong defense to secure the win. The whole team played their hearts out, and at the end of regulation time, they came out on top with a final score of 1-0. “I started to cry with out of pure excitement and gratitude because we finally beat Huntington after all these years,” said senior Rylee Warmington.

Along with Sarah Sheldon and Rylee Warmington, the program is saying goodbye three other seniors: Annie O’Connor, Tristen Warmington, and Sam Kerrigan. These five seniors (3) were honored with a Senior Game against Marina which was won 3-1.

Photos Taken by Drew Warmington