Looking back at the past season for the Westbrook field hockey team, senior forward Alexa Mulvihill still can’t believe the success the Knights had from the first preseason practice to the final second that ticked off the clock in the CIAC Class S championship game.
“It still hasn’t quite sunk in yet, it’s still such a surreal feeling,” Mulvihill said.
In 2015, it was a rebuilding year for the Knights who ended up 4-11-0-1 and didn’t qualify for the Class S tournament. But Westbrook coach Janet Dickey played a lot of girls, developed a lot of players and at the end of the season, believed all the experienced players returning would make an impact in 2016.
Dickey was right.
The Knights defeated Valley Regional 1-0 in the Shoreline Conference tournament championship game. In the Class S championship game, Westbrook tied Shoreline Conference rival Haddam-Killingworth 1-1 in double overtime to come away as CIass S co-champions.
The Knights finished the special season 19-1-2 and one of the many key players in the middle of all that fun and excitement was Mulvihill.
Mulvihill ended the season with a school record 33 goals and added 18 assists. Her ball-handling skills and knack of knowing when to pass or shoot allowed her to finished her career with a school record 60 goals and 58 assists. The two highlights of the season for Mulvihill were scoring the lone goal off a low reverse chip shot in the victory over Valley Regional in the Shoreline Conference final and scoring Westbrook’s goal in the 1-1 tie with HK in the Class S final.
For her effort, Mulvihill has been selected the Register All-Area field hockey MVP.
“Throughout my high school career it was always my goal to have a season like this,” Mulvihill said. “From the first day of preseason practice we were all willing to work hard to get there. Our school is small with about 250 students and our entire team was small with only 19 players.
“Every girl worked hard. A huge reason our team was able to connect so well on the field was because of how much we enjoy and love one another off the field.
We are like sisters. Our entire team was so close in and out of season.”
Mulvihill credits the coaching staff for her development as a player.
“Our success shows how amazing our coaching staff has been,” Mulvihill said. “As a freshman I wasn’t nearly as good a goal scorer as I was this season. The coaches molded me into a good player, it’s amazing what they do.”
Being the team’s prolific goal scorer came natural for Mulvihill but it was also a team effort.
“I don’t think about scoring, it just happens,” Mulvihill said. “It comes naturally. It all comes down to what is most important and that is to do anything I can to make my team better. It also comes down to my teammates and their distribution skills to get me the ball and their ability to score whenever I can get them the ball.
“Last year I had five goals. I never thought about setting a scoring record this season, I didn’t know what the goal record was at the school. It’s just another thing that was great about this season.”
Mulvihill has also been named the Shoreline Conference Player of the Year and Connecticut High School Coaches Association Class S Player of the Year.
“Her success has never been about her personal notoriety,” Dickey said. “She has always been a team player. Her success, which ultimately contributed to our overall success, was her uncanny ability to know when to shoot, when to pass or when to hold the ball.”
Mulvihill hasn’t made a decision on college and would like to play field hockey at that level.
“I am beyond fortunate that I have been able to play with some of my best friends,” Mulvihill said. “It’s going to be hard to part with the young ones but I cannot wait to come back and watch all of the underclassmen carry on all of our Westbrook field hockey traditions.”