Best in Decades: How the Varsity Girls Field Hockey Team Defied Expectations During Their Historic Season


The field hockey team posing for a post-game win on the Wilson Turf

The Latin varsity girls field hockey team dominated the turf this past season, ending with a monumental 16-4 record. The ladies’ impressive performance led them to win the Independent School League for the first time in over 20 years.

When the season began in early August, captains Vivie Koo, Charlie Williams, Jane Baer, and Carly Warms sprang into action, planning frequent team bonding events to supplement the team’s training schedule. Whether that included watching other Latin sports teams, making sweatshirts, or having sleepovers, the team—consisting predominantly of upperclassmen—demonstrated leadership on and off the field.

Senior captain Vivie Koo said, “I think that this year, especially as a team, we utilized our team bonding activities to our advantage because last year we didn’t have those opportunities. We were eager to get back and be with the team in any way possible. Through these events, we got to learn more about each other and how we worked as a team on and off the field.”

As the girls became closer and closer, the team atmosphere on the field changed significantly; the energy was felt among both the coaches and the girls themselves.

Head coach MacKenzie Mick said, “Our team environment is electric. We push each other to grow while having fun, but also maintain a competitive mindset.”

Echoing Coach Mick, junior Vanessa Block explained how the competitive mindset significantly benefited the team. She said, “As a team, we use each other as motivation to get better and get our heads in the game, and it helps that our coaches aren’t afraid to be blunt or hard on us. Others might perceive it as harsh, but it’s exactly what we need to boost our play.”

Casey Mitchell cherished the togetherness and motivation to succeed as she was the only freshman on the varsity squad. “Everyone made me feel like I was a real part of the team, even if it was in the smallest ways, like saying hi to me in the hall,” she said. “As for intensity, I oftentimes needed pushing from my coaches encouraging me to play my hardest.”

Ultimately, the culture of the team and guidance from the coaches encouraged everyone to push their limits as athletes. Senior Lucy Norris said, “It was just fun to see how far I could go and how much better I could get.” As she plans to continue her field hockey career at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, Lucy added, “A big thing I am going to take to Bates is my love for team dynamics and the lessons you learn from being on a team.”

With strong team chemistry and natural talent, the Romans went on to win the last 13 games of their regular season—including beating competitive teams like Loyola Academy and Evanston Township High School.

The team’s success culminated in a historic ISL championship.

Vivie said, “Winning the ISL hasn’t really been something the team has strived for in the past. Not only did we win, we won the ISL with an undefeated record of 7-0. This just goes to show that this team can achieve greatness without limits.”

As the regular season ended and the playoffs loomed, the Romans brought intensity in both practice and games. The first playoff game for the Romans ended in a 5-0 victory against Highland Park High School. After the win, Coach Sanjay Kodali commended the team’s grit and subsequent success. “Field hockey is on an upward spiral,” he said.

Unfortunately, the Romans fell 1-0 to Glenbrook South during their sectional playoff game on October 22, leaving them seventh in the state series. Although this wasn’t the outcome the team was hoping for, the players still recognized their spectacular season.

Carly said, “Everyone surrounded each other as our eyes flooded with tears. Tears not because we lost, but because that was the last game the 2021 season’s team would play together. I will never forget our very last game, where we left everything we had on the field that day.”

In true Roman fashion, the varsity girls held their heads high as they walked off the field as a team unit.

Carly concluded, “I am so proud of all our team has achieved this year, and the standard we set for the rest of the Latin field hockey program for years to come.”