IR field hockey readies for season with scrimmages and play days

The field hockey team at Indian River High School is already showing ambition and strength through play days and scrimmages. With plenty of fresh faces and some returning athletes, head coach Julene Williamson is gearing up for what she hopes will be a successful season.

“I’m learning that these girls work well together, overall,” she said, following a 2-2 tie in a scrimmage against Stephen Decatur earlier this week. “They trust each other well and have shown good communication. They have the desire to work hard and to win, and that will help us a lot this year.”

Her offense is already showing signs of being aggressive and ambitious, as shooting and scoring were some of the weaker aspects last year.

“Our girls did really well,” Williamson added. “They’re scoring, and they worked off corners [in the scrimmage]. Our offense and mids got the ball down the field. We struggled at both ends last year, so that’s definitely a visible improvement.”

Last year’s season fell short, as the Lady Indians only picked up victories against Lake Forest and Sussex Central. Indian River was outscored 17-3 in the first seven games last season, leaving plenty of room for improvement this year. Williamson is looking forward to a full week of practice before the schedule starts up against Red Lion Christian Academy, a team she hasn’t faced as a head coach.

“It will be a little difficult,” she said, “especially getting started with school and adjusting to a schedule. We have the whole first week to practice. We played our scrimmages and have all this week and next to work on everything we need to. There’s plenty of time to make adjustments.”

The team this year is relatively small, with 15 players on the varsity roster.

“We don’t have a whole lot of subs,” she acknowledged, “but they’re in good shape. That should give them lots of time in the game.”

In the upcoming week of practice, before the girls travel to Red Lion on Monday, Sept. 14, they’ll have plenty of time to fix a number of issues.

“We just need to focus on scoring,” said Williamson. “I’d like to get them working on transition, too. We need to be getting back and recovering if you’re beat. Overall, the girls are looking good. They’re ready for this season.”