Congratulations to Winsor Varsity Field Hockey! The team played lights-out throughout the 2018 season to bring home the first ever NEPSAC Class C Championship title in Winsor history!
Ending the regular season with an impressive 11 - 3 - 0 record, WVFH outscored their opponents 49-11, and tallied 8 shutouts. After coming up one game short in the EIL Championships (losing in overtime to undefeated Pingree,) they went on to earn one of 8 coveted spots in the Class C NEPSAC tournament. When the post-season wrapped, the team boasted a 16 – 4 - 0 record and a NEPSAC Class C Championship title that secured them a place in the record books.
The road to the championships was something of a Cinderella story, paved by hard work, dedication and a genuine love of the game. Following a sub .500 season just a year ago, senior co-captains Nancy Kaneb '19 and Talia Ward '19 helped the players focus on the fundamentals – and reshaped the culture of the team in the process.
"We went in to the season with a plan to focus on team building, kindness, and friendship this season because we had a pretty rough season last year," says Nancy. "Winning was never really on our agenda until the tournament - it just happened naturally because of our emphasis on teamwork and how much we all loved to play together.'
In fact, "at the beginning of the season, the team decided that our motto would be 'all it takes, is all you've got.' That really turned out to be true," adds Talia.
"The girls were never really focused on the outcomes," agrees coach Erin Calamari. "Rather than setting a goal to earn an EIL title or go to the NEPSAC tournament, they committed to being positive, working hard, and enjoying the journey together. And as coaches, we believed that if we took care of the basics and the team kept improving, the wins would eventually come."
The wins did come, and the Wildcats turned in an unforgettable season, securing a seat in the NEPSAC finals by defeating #1 Pingree with just over a minute to play on the Highlander's home turf.
"That win against Pingree was incredibly emotional," recalls Talia. "The entire sideline was lined with Winsor fans carrying pom poms and signs and wearing flashes of red. When the mob of fans (students, families, teachers and even administrators) trekked across the field after our win, we all felt in that moment how much support and love we were receiving from everyone in the Winsor community."
"We had been holding our breath for that last minute," adds coach Meghan Hazard. "When the game was finally over, we all broke down. I was so incredibly proud of what the team had just accomplished in that moment." The girls went on to make history when they took the title with an impressive 3-0 win in the championship game.
"We'd like to say thank you to all the fans who traveled North and South to cheer the team on, who watched intently online, and who offered congratulatory emails, texts, and hugs," says coach Calamari. "We are so very lucky to be supported by such an amazing community."