ENDWELL, N.Y. – What does it take to win a championship?
It’s mostly a combination of hard work, skill, and teamwork.
When it comes to the Maine-Endwell field hockey team, they have all three of those, and now, two state titles to prove it.
“They definitely have left a mark at Maine-Endwell and have definitely raised the bar for some of the younger players below them,” says Head Coach Heather Doyle.
It’s been a heck of a two year run for the Maine-Endwell field hockey team.
The Spartans celebrated their first state title since 2004 last fall.
Now, this past weekend, M-E won back-to-back state championships for the first time since the late 1980s.
These two teams have been stacked with talent, including a trio committed to play at the Division I level.
Having all that success in high school has prepared not only those three, but every one of the girls continuing their careers in college for what comes next.
Those moments made for lasting memories for all of them as well.
“Final Four weekend, both weekends, has been one of the most memorable weekends of my life. It’s so fun, staying in the hotel with the team, going to dinner, traveling. Just being with your best friends 24/7,” says Senior Defender Meredith Rose.
“I’m definitely going to miss all the girls, playing with them, it’s just the best thing ever. And just high school hockey, the games. Just competing. I’m going to miss that,” Forward Anna Castaldo said.
Competing together is something that this team has done for many years now.
“They’ve been together. They were the young ones, you know, for years on the team. They got the opportunity to travel into postseason together. And then, just for them to slowly take over now, as leaders, and just really kind of guide the way into the championship-level caliber team that they became.”
After years of working towards that championship-caliber level, finally reaching it and winning it all is a feeling they’ll never forget.
“Honestly, I feel like it kind of starts when there’s like 10 seconds left on the clock and everyone’s just like checking, watching it count down. You just get that, like, adrenaline rush and you look around at all your teammates faces, and you’re just like, oh my gosh, we did it. Again! It’s just crazy,” Defender Sam Palmer says.
“It’s an unreal feeling, honestly. You just look around at all your teammates and you’re like, we did it. You look at the clock and it starts counting down. You just look around at all your teammates, all your coaches, and you just see their faces light up, and you’re like, we got it,” says Midfielder Jenna Zunic.
Of course, victory doesn’t come without sacrifice, even if that sacrifice is a piece of your own tooth.
Just ask Mary Cook, who had her front tooth chipped during the team’s celebration.
“So, the stick hit my tooth, and right away, I put my tongue through where my tooth usually is, and it wasn’t there. So, I turned around to my coaches and I go, look. Then, we had a bunch of people taking pictures of us. So, I turned to them and I go, someone take a picture of me, because I want to remember this moment. I think it’s a great story,” she said.
It also led to some great puns as well.
“We got the state chip, and I got a chip in my tooth. I guess I could say I really left a piece of me out on the field,” said Cook.
That was one of the funniest interviews I’ve done by far.
A great group that deserves everything they’ve achieved.