The Fabulous Fourteen

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Sydney Pignone, McKinley Karpa, and Dzan Zirdum

A high school varsity sports team typically consists of a mix of freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors. The average Field Hockey team has between 14-and 16 players. The Ipswich High School Field Hockey team has fourteen players: one sophomore, one junior and 12 seniors. This team, a team that has been playing together for most of their careers, has an advantage because the chemistry is there, and the stats showed it.

 The team had a final record of 17-3. The Tigers scored a total of 84 goals in the regular season and only gave up eight. Eight shutouts to the stats book. The Team scored nine goals in the tournament and gave up five. Also earning one shutout in the Semi Finals.

That certain shutout earned them a spot in the North Finals to face the powerhouse team from Watertown. The Tigers knew going into that game that it was going to be a challenge. Watertown was known to score upwards of five goals a game and give up none. At halftime of that game the score was tied at zero. That was unheard of for the team that only had two goals scored on them all of the regular season. The Tigers changed that in the second half putting one past the Watertown goalkeeper. That is said to have been a highlight of the season.

For Ipswich forward, senior Izzy Primack, a highlight of her season is being named “player of the year”. We asked Izzy how that felt she said that,  “it was a great accomplishment for all the hard work I’ve put into field hockey”. We also talked to coach Merullo; we asked her what her expectations were going into this season. She said,  “I expected them to grow into their potential….. really up their game…..use the turf and we definitely did that.” Everyone in Ipswich was in support for the turf field, but none of us expected it to be as good as it ended up being. Last year, the field hockey team scored only a fraction of the goals they scored the previous season. As soon as the team stepped on the new turf field, they instantly improved. They took multiple teams to a 7-0 score at home.

When tournament came, they had all the skills necessary to beat everyone they faced. They took down Stoneham with ease and then they faced Wilmington which was a closer match but a clear control of possession. The next opponent was the notorious Fishermen from Gloucester. The game was back and forth but with the beautiful passing down the field, Izzy Primack did her magic and got it into the back of the net. The score was 1-0 and when the final horn blew, the tigers and every other team in the league knew they were here to win. Everyone in the field hockey world knows about the team that hasn’t lost a game in years, Watertown. With girls committed to division one colleges inhabiting Watertowns team, they knew this would be the ultimate test. Even though the outcome of the north sectional final game wasn’t what the tigers expected, there was an out pour of support for what they had accomplished. The program made history on that chilly Saturday morning and taking home a second place trophy wasn’t as bad as never getting to that game in the first place.