Feeling the vibe

| 13 Oct 2016 | 01:22

"We the team."
That is the theme, the slogan, the motto of the 2016 field hockey team, and it shows.
This group of young women, from the youth league all the way up to the varsity level, is showing just what a cohesive, selfless group they are. And, according to varsity coach Krista Provost, that's just how they want it.

'A new vibe'

"This season there is a new vibe on the team and a new focus. The players are not worrying so much about individual stats and being the best player out on the field," said Provost. "This year the girls are more concerned about their team and being the best they can be for each other."
And it's showing. The varsity team, as of Monday, Oct. 10, has a 9-2-1 record and is the number one seed in the Passaic County tournament. The finals are Friday, Oct. 14.
But it's off the field where Provost sees so much magic.
"Basically, over the past four to five years I have been working to implement good character into the full program, from the youth level to the high school teams," said Provost, who has been coaching for the past decade on different levels. "I submitted a proposal to this national organization in the spring last year, which highlighted big things that my team has done on and off the field."
As a result, the West Milford Field Hockey team has been nationally recognized by Character.org, an organization "advocating for integrity, honesty, respect and other core ethical values to be fused into education for the betterment of our nation."

Self motivating

The girls are consistently demonstrating the benefits of teamwork and chemistry, Provost said.
"It is finally coming together and we are enjoying the benefits," she said.
The girls come to every practice more determined than ever, she said, requesting drills, sprinting and pushing themselves through every exercise and drill like it's game day. The atmosphere has changed, with players giving out motivational messages to their teammates.
Even past players contribute. Provost tells the story of a player who graduated last year who sent a surprise treat with a message to the team about never giving up.
They've learned from their coach. Provost used to send around a team "pump-up bag" during the school day with motivational notes - for example, gum with the message "Chew up Pompton." Now the girls are doing it on their own.
Provost is incredibly proud of the comments she gets about her team, and the entire high school field hockey program, from officials on game day, noting how connected the team is.
And they are playing that way. Each wants to play their best, not for the individual stats but for the team. That being said, there are some standouts so far this season.
Bianca Cano (senior captain) 12 goals, 4 assists
Danielle Dellapi (junior forward) 10 goals, 2 assists
Maeve Gordon (senior captain) 4 goals, 11 assists
Sydney Lamothe (junior midfield) 3 goals, 9 assists
Megan Lamb (senior goalie) 11 goals allowed, 6 shutouts

A family vibe

The program had its fifth annual WMFH Family Pasta Night where the entire youth and high school programs, parents, siblings, and friends converge on the high school cafeteria for a pasta potluck dinner. This year more than 250 people were there.
"It's an amazing night, probably my favorite night of the year," said Provost. "Seeing the support from the parents, which is truly amazing, and the girls come together is a great feeling. I love watching the girls spend time together off the field, because that's where the 'magic' happens. My players train year round in various leagues and I know they can't get enough of field hockey or time with their friends."

In the pink

Last weekend, the field hockey family got together for their fourth annual Pink Breakfast. They sign up to bring food and drinks as well as painting supplies. They have a yummy breakfast and then decorate and paint pumpkins to sell at their annual Play 4 the Cure game, which was scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 13.

Looking to Friday

Right now, it's Friday night's game that the team is focused on. They beat Passaic Valley in the semi-finals to get them to the finals to play third-seeded Pompton Lakes. The game is at 6 p.m. on Friday at Wayne Valley High School. Provost said her athletes are ready.
"The athletes are beyond excited and I am planning structured, yet fun, practices throughout this upcoming week to get them prepared both mentally and physically," she said. "After coaching for 10 years, I've learned what the athletes need on big game days and that's to keep calm, be relaxed, and go into the game knowing they can do it. I believe in this team and the best part about this group is that they believe in themselves as individuals and as a team."
We the team.