GHS field hockey seniors Christina Guanci (left) and Molly Harding (right) are captaining the Guardians this season
Guardians field hockey had an unblemished record last fall, ending the perfect season with a resounding (7-0) win over Hall to win conference.
Hall got a measure of revenge in the 2021 season opener, winning 2-1 in overtime at Glastonbury High School, yet the team-focused Guardians have rebounded quickly and efficiently.
“One of the things that you have to do is move on. We certainly don’t let them wallow and we knew if we had done certain things better that we had a chance to win that game,” head coach Maureen Perkins said of the loss to Hall, “We put ourselves in position and we used this game and the Hamden game to work on some of the things that we didn’t do that well. We’re still trying to work on those things.”
Perkins was referencing the team’s back-to-back shutouts over Hamden and East Catholic, winning both games by a score of 10-0.
After scoring only one goal in the opener, the Guardians tallied 20 over the next two games thanks to a balanced offensive attack.
Senior captains Molly Harding and Christina Guanci have been producing on the field and mentoring off it.
“They have been really good leaders. They have taken a lot of responsibility,” said Perkins, who is coaching her 23rd year at GHS, “I’m really happy with what I have seen from them.”
The co-captains, who are close friends, are embracing the added responsibilities.
“We had really good leadership on the team last year,” said Guanci, “One of our best friends was a captain on the team last year, so I just tried to emulate what she did and try my best to be a good leader.”
Harding added that shaking off the loss to Hall was important, “We know Hall is always a good game. They are a great team and most of the time it’s us at the end of the year, so we just told [the team] to keep their heads up and use it as motivation for the rest of the season.”
The double-digit win over East Catholic last Tuesday marked the team’s first home win of the season. Harding scored twice and Guanci added a goal and two assists.
Junior forward Alicia Choquette led the way with four goals, upping her season total to seven over the first three games. Choquette and senior Kaitlyn Welsh each dished out three assists.
Welsh also scored a goal, while Hannah David and Grace Boehning each tallied a goal and an assist.
With comfortable leads in each of the last two games, Perkins has been able to play her entire roster.
Sophomore goalie Alex Edwards was able to finish the game between the pipes, replacing starter Kaitlyn Parent
“The deeper we are the better we are,” stated Perkins, “What it does is gives other kids a chance at getting game experience and to show what they can do. It’s really valuable, for younger kids it gives them more confidence to see what they practiced go over to the games and they can see that success.”
Perkins likes the team’s balance, particularly the different skill sets of the eight seniors --- Harding, Guanci, Welsh, Parent, Boehning, David, Grace Mooney, and Kathryn Murphy.
“I’m happy with what I’ve seen from my seniors because they all want it to be successful. I’m really proud of the entire team and we still have a lot of work to do and we’re still figuring out what everyone’s role is going to be, but I think we’re all moving in the right direction,” stated Perkins “Collectively we have seen a number of kids that have improved from this time last year until now. The more we as a group improve, the better we are. We just focus more on the team part of it.”
Perkins’ team ended the week with a 3-1 triumph over Hand on Saturday. The Guardians fell behind 1-0 in the first half before Guanci and Harding connected on the equalizer and again with the insurance goal late in regulation.
Guanci finished with two goals and an assist, while Harding dished out two helpers. Welsh scored the team’s other goal.
With three straight wins, the captains like the direction the team is headed.
“We have a lot of new people in new positions, but as a team we’re just really growing and developing really well,” said Harding, “I feel like we’re going to have a good rest of the season.”
Christina added, “We want to make our team really close, because we play so much better when we’re close. I wanted to make us more of a team and family.”
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Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin