CARVER- The Carver field hockey squad is back for more in 2019 following a historic playoff run to cap off last year’s season. Currently sitting at 3-2, Carver has a unique group of seven seniors and a group of underclassmen filling the holes and learning on the fly.
Last year, the team’s 11-5-1 regular season record and Division II South semifinals appearance brought the program to its newest, most unprecedented heights. Now, head coach Renee Grennell and her roster of 19 want a chance to remake history.
“We’re about .500 right now, but we have a lot of young kids trying to fill positions. Trying to fill Holly’s (Lauzon) and the Nickerson girls’ spots has been tough. They covered so much ground. We’re trying to get everyone some varsity exposure, but other teams seem to find our holes at times.”
Grennell and her program kind of stay under the radar, but they’re one of Carver High’s most successful programs in recent years. Their record is 21-13-2 over the past two seasons, and she is determined that her newest group of seniors can positively impact that record.
“They’ll all bring good leadership. They’ve all got different personalities. There isn’t much I can’t say about each of them, they work together, we bring in a very nice group of seniors this year.”
Goalkeeper Emily Strojny is back in front of the net. She comes off a stellar junior season and Grennell is more than impressed with how quickly she’s come out of the gate this year.
“When watching Stroj in practice, I’m kind of in awe, for lack of a better word. It’s really fun to watch her. She’s so smooth. I’m really impressed with how far she’s come.”
The team brings back two of its high-volume scorers, seniors Jesse Wilkins and Emily McGillicuddy. Through five games, they both have four goals and McGuillicudy has chipped in three assists.
“Jesse’s by far our best ball handler, he just puts his head down and plays. Last year, he used to stay after practice with Holly for hours, just shooting. She took him under her wing and pointed out how to do things,” she said.
This team loves the accolades and things of that nature, just like anyone would, but this team isn’t flashy. Playing from within, having a head-down attitude, and a unique sense of self-confidence keeps this team in the win column. Grennell has turned this program around in the past few years, and the ability to grind out wins is a major reason why. Although field hockey can get lost in the shuffle with other popular sports like soccer and football, let’s not forget that the field hockey team is subtly one of Carver High’s most successful programs.
“I love my kids. I love my team. They’re all unique and different. I really wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s been like that forever, but we’re low profile anyways. We go and do our jobs. We just like to compete and be proud of each other.”
Carver is searching for its third consecutive tournament appearance, but a 2-2 league record will have to improve as the season progresses in order to secure their spot.
“Hopefully in the season, we’ll be hitting the marks we want in terms of ball handling and defense. On defense, (those are) the kids that once they learn the skill, they’re coaching each other. They’re constantly schooling each other. Hopefully by the end of the season, we can make tourney, (and) we’ll be where we want to be and take on those challenges,” Grennell said.
Up next, a meeting with non-league opponent, Plymouth North on Monday, followed by a road matchup with Middleborough. The schedule does get tough as it moves along, but this isn’t a situation that Carver is unfamiliar with.