Field Hockey falters in district tournament


Senior Lilli Dalrymple inserts on a corner in the Atoms game against the Wolves on Sept. 18. AHS was defeated by a final score of 4-1

After entering the district tournament with a strong record of 9-7, the Atoms surprisingly fell to the Hayfield Hawks in a tight, low scoring game with a final score of 1-0.

The players were disappointed with the result and believed they had errors that they needed to fix. “We as a team put our hearts and hustle into the district tournament against Hayfield,” junior Sophia Williams said. “But [what] went wrong was the lack of communication and we were not as quick as we wanted to be when transitioning from offense to defense and vice versa.”

Despite the disappointing loss, the Atoms still have a chance for redemption to build on what has already been an impressive season.

On Oct. 26, they will play an away game against Alexandria City for their first round of regional tournament play.
The regional tournament will likely be a large step up in competition for the Atoms because rather than playing various teams in the district, they will go up against the strongest teams in the entire region if they are able to advance.

The team will have an opportunity to fix their mistakes and snap their two game losing streak, including their loss to Hayfield and a 3-2 loss to Edison.

“We have been reflecting on what mistakes we made during districts so we do not repeat any,” junior Correne Bellem said. “I think we need to learn to work together as a team better and play with confidence.”

Previous to the two losses, the team was on a two game win steak and had won six of their last nine games, including a 3-2 win over Mount Vernon and a 10-0 thrashing of Sterling.

Overall, the Atoms were dominant during the regular season and tallied high scoring games and shutouts of other teams. The majority of their losses have come during very close games, meaning they are capable of competing with most teams in the area.

“We have been working on scoring and trying to keep the ball on offense,” Williams said.

In order to do well during regionals, the team needs to replicate what it has done offensively during the regular season as many of their wins were by margins larger than 5 or 6 goals.

If their performances live up to their potential, they will be a very difficult team to beat. The players and coaches are optimistic that they can do well at regionals and that they can be as successful as they were during the regular season.

“The team’s goal for the rest of the season is to improve on our flaws and play the best game[s] we have played yet at regions,” Williams said. The players also believe that they have the ability to progress in the regional tournament as long as they iron out their mistakes.

“My goals for the team for the rest of the season are for us to get past the first round of regionals and improve together as a team so we can play our best,” Bellem said.