Defensive struggles for the varsity field hockey team result in a 7-1 loss versus rival East Grand Rapids


Common rivalries in sports include Michigan vs. Ohio State, North Carolina vs. Duke, and Lakers vs. Celtics. For the West Michigan high school athletics scene, Forest Hills vs. East Grand Rapids is the primetime rivalry.

On Tuesday, the varsity field hockey team took on its biggest rival, East Grand Rapids. Forest Hills lost against East last year, and it haunted the team. So, head coach Gabriella Coty wanted to emphasize getting out to a brisk start.

“We have to get out to a fast and physical start,” coach Coty said. “If we can keep the ball on the offensive side of the field, then we will have an appreciable amount of shot.”

Although coach Coty put an emphasis on getting out to a fast start, the girls started the game of static. The girls struggled to get the ball on the offensive side, which correlated with multiple EGR goals. Communication and ball movement was the problem for the team; East took advantage of it. In the third quarter, the girls finally found the net thanks to an assist from junior Shannon Murphy and a goal from senior Brooke Toigo. After that goal, FH turned up the intensity, leading to a strong defensive performance in the fourth quarter. Seniors Julia Brown and Sophie Hartl made multiple hustle plays that motivated the team. As the clock turned zero, the score read 7-1, in favor of the Pioneers.

Forest Hills moves to 2-3-1 on the season. The girls will take on Ann Arbor Skyline in their next game this Saturday on the road. The team looks to take advantage of multiple days of practice to prepare for the Eagles.