by El Gato News
This season, the Los Gatos Field Hockey team managed to go undefeated for 15 season games and three post-season games, winning the CCS Championship for the first time since 2010. El Gato News interviewed the captains of the team, Seniors Jamie Leong and Juniors Keats Iwanaga, Melina Moore, and Kaitlyn McLaren to get an inside look on the leaders of one of the most successful teams LGFH has seen in years.
Describe this season in three words.
Jamie Leong: the best ending
Keats Iwanaga: Blood, sweat, and tears
This season, the teams you played weren’t decided by division or skill, but rather by region. What would you say to someone who said, “The only reason they went undefeated was because they were in an easy league?”
JL: We beat Mitty and saint Francis, and they weren’t easy teams. Our league was different this year, but we showed up when we had to and we played our game. That’s the reason why we were undefeated.
KI: There’s no such thing as an easy team in our league. Every game we played was hard fought and every win was well earned
Melina Moore: Even though our league changed we still had to come out everyday and play. We never thought one game would be easy.
Kaitlyn McLaren: Every game we won was a battle. We were undefeated because we put everything we had into every game, not because we played “easy” teams.
Do you have a favorite LGFH tradition?
JL: Our pasta feed the night before CCs finals. It’s the time to reflect on our season and really bond as a team and come together to get in that mindset for the next game.
KI: My favorite tradition is definitely our cheer in the beginning of the game. I’m sure other teams look at us as we do it and grimace, but that’s what makes it great.
MM: My favorite tradition is the belly talk. It’s nice to be able to sit down and talk about our goals for the next game.
KM: My favorite tradition is the huddle we have in the middle of warm up where we pump each other up and get in the mindset to win.
Your Head Coach, Henry Reyes, is famous for his sayings, what he calls “isms”. Which is your favorite?
KI: My favorite ism is “water is for the weak. Gatorade is for the weaker”.
MM: My favorite ism is “sports comes from the advent of war”
KM: My favorite ism is “it will feel better when it stops hurting.”
What was your favorite memory?
JL: right after we won, when the six of us on the field just collapsed in and started jumping up and down hugging each other.
KI: When the ball hit the back of the net in the finals. I don’t actually remember anything after that, but I’m pretty sure that’s the happiest I’ve ever been.
MM: In the last 7v7 when everyone on the field was so tired but we just motivated each other and tried to forget about the pain.
KM: The second Mel scored the goal in overtime, the whole team sprinted onto the field and we dogpiled on top of each other. We were all so elated. I don’t think I stopped smiling for a long time.
What were your thoughts going into the semi finals against St. Francis?
JL: honestly I was so nervous for semi finals–more nervous than I was for finals, which was weird, but it was our first big test. It was the game that set the tone for the final game.
KI: Yellow and brown, flush ‘em down
MM: I thought semis were going to be harder than finals. Saint Francis had different techniques that I was nervous for. The rain helped us a lot and made the game more exciting.
What was the feeling after beating St. Francis?
KI: I was ecstatic. All the gossip that was going around about us only being undefeated because we hadn’t played the privates was proven dead wrong.
KM: After beating Saint Francis, I had a lot more confidence. We had passed our first big test. We had proven all the haters wrong and I knew we could do it again against Mitty.
What was your first thought when you woke up on the day of the finals?
MM: I told myself losing wasn’t an option
KM: I am ready to kick some a**
What was the energy like on the field during the finals?
MM: I think the energy of the fans made us more confident and pumped to play.
KM: The energy on the field was crazy. There were so many fans pumping us up and we all had our adrenaline pumping.
What got you through those last 11 minutes of overtime play before Mel scored?
KI: A co-championship was never an option, and neither was losing. I just tried to ignore how tired I was and how much my body was hurting.
JL: like Keats said, co champions is not an option during finals. Tying is terrible–just as terrible as losing. The thought of winning was what got me through.
MM: After the first 7v7 I was on the verge of crying. I’m not sure why but while Henry was talking Marcia and I had our own conversation that really helped me strive in the second overtime.
What was your first thought as that ball hit the backboard, and you knew you had won the game?
JL: I don’t remember. All I knew was that we won and then I was screaming and jumping up and down and hugging everyone
KI: Thank God. And then KJASLDKFJICALKDJFJHSDL;JKASFI and some screaming and running and I threw my stick, I don’t really remember.
MM: It was a big relief. I knew everything we had worked for was worth it. I don’t really remember the play very well
Describe what it was like to hold that trophy after all you’ve been through this season.
KI: For the first time, I got to hoist a trophy, rather than just hold it
KM: When they presented us with the trophy, and we held it up together, it was the best feeling in the world. Everything we had worked so hard for all season had paid off.
How can you carry on the same success next year?
MM: We need to keep up the intensity of practice and train harder throughout the year. Next year will be a big year for us because if we win we will have taken over the most ccs wins, right now we are tied.
KM: This was the first time for our class to win a championship. Now that we know what it feels like, we will want to repeat it more than ever.
You can read more about the field hockey team’s success this season in our December Issue, available in all classrooms around campus!