The Westport field hockey team is dominating teams with their stout defense and ferocious offensive attack. The Wildcats have won three in a row after walloping Wareham 6-0 in a home game last …
The Westport field hockey team is dominating teams with their stout defense and ferocious offensive attack. The Wildcats have won three in a row after walloping Wareham 6-0 in a home game last Tuesday afternoon. Kaylin Pacheco scored two goals and tallied an assist, and Avery Avila, Bella Babb, Maddie Melnyk and Miranda Perry also scored for the Wildcats, who previously beat Carver 3-1 and Fairhaven 6-0.
“I think that we have a great dynamic going for us,” said Avila, the Wildcats’ senior captain. “Our team chemistry is excellent this season and I am excited to see what we can do.”
The Wildcats’ offense consistently applied pressure on the Wareham defense and took control of the by scoring three goals in the first half.
“My offensive players, Avery, Kaylin, Bella and Makayla (Grace) have been outstanding this season,” head coach Jacquelyn Legendre said. “Their skills are very tight and they consistently give 100 percent effort.”
The offense is strong through the middle with the speedy Avila playing center forward. She was second on the team in goals last season and leads by example on the field with her gritty, tenacious play.
When transitioning to offense, the Wildcats like to carry play on the right side through Grace at center midfield, Pacheco at right midfield and Babb at right forward. Then cross to Avila in the circle with Melnyk at left forward and Sophia Rego at left midfield.
The offense is working very well together as a unit,” Coach Legendre said. “They have all impressed me so far,” said Coach Legendre.
Avila sets a good example as the lone senior, but she credits her her teammates for the team’s strong start and spirited camaraderie.
“They have been playing really well and they are really gelling this year,” Avila said. “I am a little shocked because we have a lot of young players. But they are melding together.”
The Wildcats are youthful with six juniors, four freshmen and five eighth graders.
“We have such great leaders,” said Avila. “The underclassmen are learning from the juniors and sophomores everyday.”
“A lot of it has to do with us having such a small school,” she said. “We see each other in the hallways. We are always talking. We have pool parties and theme practices. We have a Halloween theme practice coming up soon. It’s fun.”
Defense didn’t allow a shot in the second half
As strong as they are offensively, the Wildcats maybe even stronger defensively. Against Wareham, they didn’t even give up a shot on goal in the second half.
The defensive squad is anchored by junior Emma Bessette at center back, with Colleen Smith at right back, Molly Costa at left back, Jada Thurston at sweeper and Hannah Abrams at goal keeper.
“Hannah has been our starter for two seasons,” said Coach Legendre. “She is a good leader and the girls trust her. Though she hasn’t had to make too many saves so far, our defensive unit has been really strong. They know how to handle the ball, get it out of the circle and feed it to our offensive players.”
She feels that the season is lining up to be a special one for the Wildcats.
“The girls have been very positive and very team oriented,” said Coach Legendre. “We are trying to really build a culture this season. It’s been a full team effort and it is showing out on the field.”
Psyched to play on the new field
The Wildcats were elated to play their first home game on their new field behind the junior/senior high school.
“The field is very beautiful,” said Coach Legendre. “It’s nice to be on campus. You build that camaraderie with the community. Fans are able to come and watch the games and more of the student body will come. We are very fortunate to be playing here.”