Magnificat defeated defending Division I state quarterfinalist Hudson 4-1 on Aug. 25 in a battle of northeast Ohio tennis powers. Magnificat is now 5-1 on the season.
“I think it (the season) has been going great,” said head coach Chris Johnson. “We have a couple of inexperienced players at the varsity-A level and we’ve played some tremendous matches.”
Early in the season the Blue Streaks tied Westlake, who placed 2nd in the state last season, in the Rocky River Invitational.
“It’s a great accomplishment for everybody,” said Johnson. “We are definitely headed in the right direction.”
With the popularity of girl’s soccer on the constant rise, field hockey programs have been cut at most area high schools. Magnificat’s program has to be an exception to that rule. This year they have fielded both varsity and junior varsity teams, and the popularity of the sport at the school is rising every year.
“Field hockey doesn’t seem very popular here (on the west-side),” said head coach Oksana Fedorova. “This is the first year we had so many girls show up that we had to turn about half of them away. Two years ago we had to keep everyone who showed up just to field a team. I really hope our sport gets more popular.”
Magnificat ran a field hockey camp this summer to introduce girls to the sport. Over 30 girls participated this year.
“Of course I’m threatened by soccer,” said Fedorova. “They start playing at five years old. With field hockey we have to start from zero at the high school level.”
The team plays mostly against schools on the east side of Cleveland. Sometimes they have to travel for over 45 minutes to get to the match.
“The girls love the travel. I think it’s harder on me,” Fedorova said laughingly.