Falcons girls field hockey optimistic after disappointing loss to Tam Hawks


Carolyn Morris

Goalie Jessie Gauna dives to prevent the Hawks from scoring.

On Sept. 9, 2022, the Falcons’ girls varsity field hockey team headed to Tamalpais High School to take on the Hawks. In spite of their positive energy and enthusiasm for their first game of the season, the Falcons suffered a disappointing 0-10 loss.

The Hawks took control of the game early, scoring their first goal with 9:48 left on the clock in the first quarter. As the second quarter began, the Hawks took off, scoring 4 more goals to end the half 0-5.

Though the Falcons looked to make a comeback in the third quarter, the Hawks’ strong defense shut them down. The Hawks scored their first goal of the third quarter with 9:54 left on the clock. The Hawks scored two more goals later in the third quarter, while the Falcons’ defense began to run out of steam.

The Falcons tried to break their scoring deficit and created several opportunities to score. However, the Hawks blocked these attempts, leading to another scoreless quarter for the Falcons. After two more goals from the Hawk’s defense, the Falcons ultimately lost 0-10.

Defender Mikayla Silverstein guards a Hawk player, looking to steal the ball. (Carolyn Morris)

Michelle Boutwell, the new Falcons’ girls field hockey coach, was eager to battle the Hawks in this year’s season opener. A former coach for the Hawks’ girls varsity hockey team, Boutwell wants to treat the loss as a learning opportunity for new players.

“If our defense can find an open person to mark so they have less of an opportunity to get the ball and score on us, that would be great,” Boutwell said.

Boutwell wants to make sure that all players are in peak physical condition for future games. 

“We’re not in the best shape, and I think just conditioning and just being able to run up and down the field [will help us improve],” Boutwell said.

Despite the loss, senior goalie Jessie Gauna shined throughout the game, blocking over 40 shots on goal. She believes that certain strategies can improve the Falcons’ defense.

“I think we need to practice communicating as a team, getting back on defense, and marking a player. And we need to start just playing as a team, as a whole,” Jessie said.

Goalie Jessie Gauna fends off a Hawk attempt to score. (Carolyn Morris)

Most of the Falcon’s roster are rookie field hockey players, with most having one or two years of experience. Regardless, Boutwell wants to make sure every member of the team improves and grows during the season.

“I want them to take away a love for the sport of hockey, and I want them to take away this concept of challenging themselves,” said Boutwell.

The Falcons now turn their attention to Monday, September 12, when they will take on Berkeley High School at Berkeley.