PHOTO: Devils celebrate after senior Ella Simmons scores the first goal of the game, giving Davis the lead 1-0 over Chico High.
By Paige Ochoa,
The forty-five game win streak for the Davis High varsity field hockey team continued on Oct. 30, as the Lady Blue Devils defeated Chico High, 4-2.
This was the last time DHS seniors Averi Brayton, Jenna Christensen, Isa De Bruijn, Lucille Fineberg, Gia Fanucchi, Catie Fee, Regan Miller, Juju Miyamoto, Molly Nichols, Ella Simmons and Maya Wood would step on the Ron and Mary Brown Stadium in their Blue Devil uniforms.
Festivities began with large group of seniors walking onto the field with their families one-by-one, after being announced over the speakers. Each player was given a gift from the underclassmen, an assortment of flowers and a fathead of themselves for fans to wave in the bleachers.
“It was a very surreal moment,” Nichols said. “I guess I never really thought that I would be one of the seniors walking with my family on senior night, knowing it would be my last field hockey game.”
The game began as usual, with DHS controlling the tempo, and more importantly, the ball, keeping the pressure on the Chico defense for the majority of the opening minutes, and creating multiple opportunities to score from fast breaks, corners and strong passing.
However, it was not until the 18th minute when the tie finally broke, as Simmons collected a pass from Fee and fired it past the Chico goalie, securing the lead for Davis, 1-0.
The score stood strong until one minute before half when Chico High evened it with a goal of their own.
“In that moment it was a little stressful just because of how much we all wanted to win, but I knew we would find a way to win,” Miller said. “We always do.”
As the second half opened up, tensions on both sidelines were evident as possession was more evenly distributed for both teams. The first significant opportunity to score was by the Panther offense off of a clean corner pass, but DHS goalie, sophomore Lily Wiezerbicki held her own in the goal, denying Chico the lead.
Ten minutes in, Brayton broke the tie again from a Simmons’ assist, tipping the ball past the Chico goalie and into the goal, giving DHS the lead 2-1.
Strong passing by Fineberg and defense by Fanucchi kept the pressure on Chico, and seven minutes later, Wood scored a goal of her own, not wanting to miss out on the senior night fun, making the score 3-1.
Not giving up and backing off after a few uncharacteristic missed shots in the first half for Brayton, the four-year varsity midfielder took control of the game, giving her team a 4-1 lead after flying down the field and past the Panther defense, striping the ball into the goal.
DHS would not be denied victory, even with a final minutes goal by Chico, ending the game with the score 4-2, in favor of Davis.
“Playing all throughout high school, field hockey has taught me so much about teamwork and friendships and just life,” Nichols said. “It’s crazy to think that this part of my life is over.”
As the Lady Blue Devils rushed the field to congratulate Wiezerbicki after another victory and shake hands with their rival, the song “Hall of Fame” played over the loud-speakers, seemingly fitting for the record-breaking group of seniors saying goodbye to their DHS field hockey career.