Scouts field hockey picks up where it left off

SHARE Scouts field hockey picks up where it left off

LAKE FOREST — In October 2012, the Lake Forest girls field hockey team won its eighth state championship in 12 years. It dominated the postseason, outscoring four opponents 18-1.

That dominance has continued in 2013. The Scouts have won seven of their first eight games. They have allowed one goal (in a 1-1 tie against duPont Manual of Louisville, Ky., on Aug. 31). Six of the team’s players have committed to Division I colleges. According to the Illinois High School Field Hockey Association, Lake Forest is the top-ranked public school in Illinois.

It’s safe to say the Scouts are on top of the sport, with no signs of relinquishing their lofty status.

“We are stacked with talent,” coach Melanie Walsh said. “We become baseball managers, deciding the lineup. They (the players) learn so much outside of our umbrella.”

The umbrella Walsh was referring to hangs mostly inside the Northbrook gym where Windy City Field Hockey is located and where the core of this Scouts team — senior captains Mackenzie Mick, Mackenzie Adams and Halle Frain — have worked for years.

In November, when the high school season ends, many field hockey players begin training for their club teams. The Windy City team owned by former Olympian Katie Beach features Mick, Adams and Frain, along with Lake Forest seniors Emily George, Payton Mickey and Katherine Kallergis. Players work three days a week over the winter on basic drills and techniques.

“Quick wrist (with stickhandling) to footwork to field vision, we do foundational skills,” said Frain, who plans to play for North Carolina in 2014.

Added Beach, “We train tactically and technically. Left-wrist development, footwork, decision making. They are mastering the skills sets needed to be successful.”

Beach said the east coast — primarily New Jersey and Pennsylvania — is where club field hockey is strongest. Part of her multi-tiered approach with Windy City includes scheduling. After spending the winter working indoors, teams play in national tournaments in the spring and summer.

“The biggest thing is we get to play against teams you don’t normally play against,” said Adams, who has committed to Wake Forest. “You go to futures or nationals and you get to meet so many different people, its good to get exposed to different friendships and relationships. And the competition is so much better.”

Adams and Frain said the exposure of playing in national events helped them land scholarships. They also said they wouldn’t trade the experience of playing for their high school, which offers a different level of fulfillment.

“This group of seniors, we’ve been together for so long. The chemistry we’ve formed you can’t match,” Frain said.

Adams added, “The biggest part is representing your school, putting on that jersey. The relationships you form are unbreakable.”

Just like the Scouts might be in 2013.

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