For the past three years, the St. John’s field hockey team has dominated the conference, winning the WCAC championship each time. This year, they have started the season undefeated and hope to remain that way. “I would love to get this senior class a fourth ring – one for each year they were in high school!” Head Coach Corey Samperton said.
However, the team recognizes the difficulty in being defending champions, “Although we have won the past three consecutive championships, as a team, we know that nothing will be handed to us and being our best is a priority,” Captain Eloise Snedden ’19 said.
Luckily, the team has “amazing chemistry” and “they really love each other” according to Coach Corey, which is one of the reasons she believes they are able to perform so well on the field. The team has built this strong bond through many team meals together, as well as taking a class at Orangetheory Fitness, which was taught by the team’s two assistant coaches.
Snedden further explains the chemistry from a player’s point of view. “Since freshman year, the field hockey team has been my favorite thing about St. John’s. Year after year, the girls on this team show constant support for each other…We coach, collaborate, and work with each other like nothing I’ve seen before. Winning championships is great, but they are so much better when you’re celebrating them with girls like these. I want to win for these girls.”
It is not just chemistry that helps the varsity team reach their goals, it is also the support from the junior varsity team. “They keep the varsity girls on their toes, but they also look up to the varsity, so it’s a circular relationship,” Coach Corey said as she explains the dynamic of the team. “We do everything as a program, not as varsity or JV, but as SJC field hockey. We have created a culture, a family, and that begins on the first day of summer workouts.”
The whole team has had the championship on their mind since they began training, motivating them to work hard. Coach Corey said, “It inspires the girls to be their best every day. They are proud of what they have built and the championships they have won. So every day they come to practice or to games to represent and defend the championship-caliber program they have built.”