WEST HARTFORD >> There is a long day to go in the regular season but the Hall High field hockey team is off to a promising start under first-year coach Sarah Chaves.
Taking over the varsity coaching job after spending two years as a varsity assistant and JV coach, Chaves has the Warriors off to a 3-1 start this season.
“I think we are off to a good start,” Chaves said. “We had a really competitive game on Monday against Simsbury and that was tough, our toughest, most challenging game of the season so far. I think we will grow from it and I am looking forward to the rest of the season.”
The game against Simsbury ended up being Hall’s first loss of the season. The Trojans improved to 5-0 with the 3-0 victory and they have not been scored on yet this season.
“We did some good things against Simsbury and we saw some things we need to work on,” Chaves said. “We need to work on communicating on the field, knowing where we are and to complete more passes. The girls worked hard and we had some players with outstanding games, we just need to bring it together as a whole.”
The season started with a 6-0 victory over Windsor that included a hat trick by Kailey Kennedy. Jenna Behan, Lessie Mitrano and Josie LaForte also scored goals for Hall.
Kennedy then scored the lone goal in a 1-0 victory over Newington and Kathleen Keegan made two saves for her second straight shutout.
The Warriors ran their record to 3-0 to start the season with a dominant 7-0 victory over East Catholic. Jenna Behan scored a pair of goals for Hall, which got scores from six different players. Kennedy, Laurine Polak, Caroline Grant, Emily Rossini and LaForte all added a goal apiece for the Warriors.
Hall went 9-6-2 last season and lost eight seniors to graduation, including five starters. There were some holes in the lineup that needed filling, but being a first-year coach, Chaves came in and let things play out in setting a lineup.
“It wasn’t a huge loss to me as a first-year varsity coach since I was starting off fresh,” Chaves said. “There have been some challenges being a new coach and I am learning practice to practice and game to game with things like articulating what I see on the field to the girls and having it enhance their play.”
With a strong start under their belt, the Warriors are now focusing on growing as a team and improving each day. Plenty of tests remain on the regular season schedule, including games with Farmington, Avon, Glastonbury and Conard.
“The girls are picking up things from practice and applying them in games and we are building on each game and increasing our knowledge and ability,” Chaves said. “We want to build and bring what we learn to each game.”