by Camilo Illanes ‘22
Field hockey faced off against Paint Branch on November 1 in the Warriors’ first playoff game. Sherwood was the clear favorite after defeating Paint Branch 4-0 in the regular season. A hat-trick from senior Carly Sefcilk, as well as goals from junior Kat Hansen and senior captain Kayla Larsen helped the girls win 5-0. According to Coach Walter Velasquez, “great teamwork” helped earn Sherwood the victory.
The stage was then set for the Blake Bengals to host Sherwood on November 3rd in a match to decide the 4A North Regional II Championship game. The Bengals were not an unfamiliar opponent as the Warriors earned a tough fought win in a 1-0 defensive battle earlier in the season. This match proved to go the same way, with both defenses dominating early. In the first half Sherwood maintained pressure on the Blake defense, and got close to scoring with strong shots towards goal from junior Lizzy Hermosilla, Sefcik, and Hansen, forcing the Blake goalie to make some difficult saves.
As the half time whistle blew the game remained scoreless. Both teams regrouped and prepared to leave it all on the field for 30 minutes, determined to become the 2021 regional champions. “Honestly I was so pumped, knowing that we had the built up intensity and determination,” said senior captain Greer Cohen. “I knew we could finish.”
The Bengals came flying out of the half, keeping The Warriors on their toes. Fearless defensive play to stifle and block shots from Larsen, senior Ella Joliet, senior Lauren Turner and senior Rose Gottschalk kept the game tied. The teams continued to go back and forth, both defenses making great stops preventing any goals from being scored. At the full-time whistle the game remained 0-0, meaning that a sudden death 7 on 7 overtime would be required to decide the 2021 4A regional champs. Four minutes into the overtime period Hansen made a long run down the field and was able to dribble around a diving defender, and shoot one right past the Bengal goalie. This goal gave Sherwood the victory over Blake, and made them regional champs for the second straight season. “When I saw it go in I immediately jumped up,” recounted Hansen. “And the next thing I knew the whole team was jumping together and screaming.”
Winning regionals qualified Sherwood for the girls Field Hockey state tournament. The Warriors were given the last seed in the event with an overall record of 8-6 for the year. A tough state-quarterfinal matchup against the No. 1 seed, Churchill Bulldogs did not go the Warriors way, as they dropped the match 6-0. While the team did not get the result that they were hoping for, the Warriors fought hard and were proud of how they performed.