Lynnfield field hockey celebrates Senior Night

Lynnfield senior Grace Klonsky (left) battles for the ball with Ipswich player Julia Moseley during a field hockey game Thursday night in Lynnfield. (Item Photo: Olivia Falcigno)

LYNNFIELD — The Lynnfield field hockey team had a chance to celebrate its eight seniors before Thursday evening’s game against Ipswich, and the group — Jeanne Carpenter, Maddie Cooke, Grace Klonsky, Charlotte Mihalchik, co-captain Madison Murphy, co-captain Ava O’Brien, Bella Scalla and Riley Slaney — was praised for their contributions to the program over the past four years.

“A lot of these seniors have been instrumental to the team’s success over the past few seasons, so it’s almost like they’ve been seniors for a few years now,” said Lynnfield coach Samantha Pindara. “Even the newer seniors they’re just stepping into their roles as if they’ve been here forever. It’s such a great group of girls.”

Pindara — who is in her first year as head coach after taking over for the legendary Mamie Reardon — noted that the leadership of her senior group has been especially critical in this pandemic-shortened season.

“Their leadership has been huge for us,” said Pindara. “We had a two-week delay (after the district moved back into the “red”) and these seniors kept everyone motivated through practices and everything else. We wouldn’t be here without their leadership.”

As for the game Thursday evening, it was a bit of a struggle for Lynnfield in a 3-1 loss to Ipswich. But after getting off to a slow start, the Pioneers rallied to gain some momentum late before the final buzzer sounded. Murphy scored the lone goal for Lynnfield.

“We always play hard, and that was not different (Thursday),” said Pindara. “Our intensity showed in the second half and we battled back, got a goal and gained some momentum. That’s attributed to these seniors too, they’re the ones who turned on the intensity at halftime. Now we’re going to look to bring that intensity to the whole game and not just the second half.

Lynnfield now sits at 0-2-1 on the season, but the Pioneers continue to improve day by day.

“The two-week delay was a blessing and a curse in some ways,” said Pindara. “Obviously we would’ve loved to start right away, but the delay helped us really work on things in practice and get them how we wanted. Then we came into a game situation, saw what worked and now we’re adapting. We played better in the second game and we played even better (Thursday), so we’re only going to keep improving.”

Lynnfield will play on the road at Hamilton-Wenham Friday afternoon (3:45).

“Even though we lost (Thursday), a lot of good things happened out there,” said Pindara. “We can now take those things and bring them into the next game and continue to build up that momentum.”

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