Update (10/27/15 7:20pm)
The Cinnaminson Middle School field hockey team accomplished their goal and finished the 2015 season with an undefeated record. The Pirates defeated Northern Burlington 2-0 and Our Lady of Good Counsel 2-1 on Monday and Tuesday, respectively to finish 10-0-2.
The Cinnaminson Middle School field hockey team has played to a record of 8-0-2 and has just two games remaining in the 2015 season as they work towards an undefeated mark.
The final two games of the year are Monday and Tuesday this coming week against Northern Burlington County (NBC) and Our Lady of Good Counsel (OLGC), respectively.
Head coach Jennifer Good, a former middle school and high school field hockey player in Cinnaminson, is excited to see what the future brings for the girls who will be headed to the high school next year.
“It’s really exciting as a former Cinnaminson player to see what this program has become. A lot of it has to do with the township program that was started. This is the second group that we’ve seen that has played since kindergarten. The feeder program is incredible and that’s really why this Cinnaminson program is growing like it is.”
The team’s two ties came against Lumberton and Rosa (Cherry Hill). Of the team’s eight wins, Good said that the win against Moorestown was the biggest this season.
“Beating Moorestown was something I will never forget and these girls will never forget. It was only a 1-0 game and the goal was right off a corner. It really made history here at the middle school. It was regulation time, up 1-0 in the second half, had it for a good 20 minutes and held onto it.”
Good and her assistant, Maria McGuigan, have put major focus on one aspect of the sport this season.
“This season we’ve really just focused on having the drive and the will to win. You have to want it more than the other team. These girls are more dedicated than I’ve ever seen. They came in with the skills, they really did. We have aggressive practices everyday.”
The Pirates have posted seven shutouts this season, including a 0-0 tie in overtime against Lumberton. In those seven shutouts, field hockey outscored their opponents 19-0. Shutouts came against Bordentown, Delran twice, Pennsauken, Moorestown and Carusi (Cherry Hill).
“It’s been pretty cool to not let many goals in all season,” Good said. “To let two goals in all season feels good. Our eighth grade goalie, Hannah Shearer, goes for the ball and no matter where, it is, she’s aggressive. She talks to her defense. She’s gonna do great things at the high school.”
There are 15 eighth graders and two seventh graders on the middle school field hockey A team. The B team also has 17 players and is also undefeated this season at 5-0.
“Two years ago we invited sixth graders to start playing in the program, so the program expanded quite a bit,” Good said. “The program’s been a lot bigger since we let sixth graders join. And we really see, over three years, the girls learn so much more.”
The addition of the feeder program has put the middle school field hockey team ahead of the game.
“I remember on day one teaching the girls how to hold the stick when I first started,” Good explained. “They come in now and they know the sport. They know the basic skills so we can really work on strategy and work on those better stick skills that I would never have gotten to with newer players. Same with the high school. They don’t have to work on dribbling at the high school. They can work on double teaming and whatnot.”
Coach Good had high praise for her midfield.
“Our center and our links really know how to work the ball from our defense up to our attack. We sometimes have trouble getting the ball into the cage, but we can get it up there into that circle and keep it there.”
The game on Monday is at Northern Burlington. The season finale Tuesday, there are no playoffs for middle school field hockey, will be at home against OLGC.
“OLGC is a new opponent. We’ve never seen them before. We have not seen NBC yet this year. Our B team did see NBC and they beat them 5-0.”