Underfunded But Fully Determined


Written by Matt Gusmerotti, Puneet Kaur , and Ryan Keebaugh

Instead of celebrating their impeccable 15-1 season, the Woodgrove Field Hockey team is trying to collect money through fundraising and donations just to keep playing. Unlike fully funded sports such as football, baseball, and basketball, Field Hockey is a tier two sport, which means the team is not funded by the school system to pay for things such as transportation and uniforms.

While most would think the $150 activity fee would cover these costs, that money actually goes directly to Loudoun County Public Schools and not Woodgrove. For this season, the Field Hockey team borrowed the Girls Varsity Lacrosse Team’s uniforms in order to compete.

Despite the stress, there is still great excitement amongst team members. Sophomore Adeline Furlow said she is, “excited to be a part of a new team to make history as the school’s first Girls Field Hockey Team.”
Of the 30 players on the roster, there are only two seniors, Captain Isabel Thompson and Catie Cavallaro. Cavallaro has never played field hockey before, but was encouraged to play by the Woodgrove assistant girls’ lacrosse coach, Keri Reid, who is also head coach of the field hockey team. Cavallaro played last year for the Girls Lacrosse Team and helped them win states.

“It stinks not being fully funded because sometimes we can’t get the buses to go to games. We have to drive ourselves to games or get our parents to drive us,” Cavallaro said.

Having to raise their own money and having to wear a different team’s uniforms could have set the team back, but they persisted. Senior Isabel Thompson said, “Having to wear the Girls Lacrosse uniforms is not ideal, but we have to do it in order to play.”

When the team played cross-town rivals, Loudoun Valley, on August 23, 2016, the girls shut out Valley by a score of 8-0, which led to a mercy rule. In that game against Valley, Thompson scored four of the eight goals for Woodgrove.
Junior Ally Widzinski said, “Playing the first ever Woodgrove Field Hockey game was unforgettable enough, but beating our crosstown rivals was really the cherry on top.” Sophomore Captain Jensen Bury currently leads Woodgrove with twenty two goals and Isabel Thompson is second with fourteen goals.

Even before Field Hockey was recognized as a high school sport, many players played on club teams. Isabel Thompson has played on club for nine seasons, saying, “Club is different from high school because more people who play in club want to play in college.”

Widzinski also played on a club team, but several years ago. She said, “high school is a bit more competitive because you’re representing your school.”

The Field Hockey team has kept an impressive record and a positive attitude, maintaining chemistry even with a remarkable amount of underclassmen. The girls finished the season strong, with a shut-out win in another game against Loudoun Valley.