It was an exciting year for the Solebury School field hockey team.
The Spartans opened up the season with a 5-2 victory over Morrisville, their first win in recent memory.
They notched a second victory over Morrisville later in the year, shutting out the Bulldogs, 2-0.
Those triumphs helped to build confidence in a program that is changing under the guidance of first-year head coach Juliet Dillon.
“I’m really excited to see how this team develops over the next couple of years,” said Dillon, who was an assistant for two seasons before taking over as the head coach. “Our team has improved drastically over the last few years. We won our first game in like 10 years this year and we’ve been scoring goals so I am just so excited for the future.”
The Spartans did not compete in 2020 due to the pandemic.
“We practiced but we had no games,” Dillon said. “They were excited to play games this year so I think that the excitement is what drove them to play. Last year we were really just trying to condition them so this year it’s really been a lot of technical stuff. Also, this year we have a lot of new girls, which is great because we can start them off the way we want them.
“We lost a year of development as a team and we started a volleyball program this year so we lost a couple of girls to that too but we have a great team. They’re really cohesive, and that’s what we want.”
Junior captain Daniella Shore agreed that the lost season was a setback.
“It was really difficult,” said Shore, who also plays basketball and lacrosse for Solebury School. “I was really upset because I thought we had a good team so it’s like we missed a chance. We had a lot of practices but no games and that was tough because I thought we had more potential on that team than we’d had in a long time. We missed a chance to grow together as a team.
“I was so happy to get back to playing games. We have a lot of new players who are really good, like Ruby, so we have a lot of young, good players and we have girls who have been here for four years so we have a good team now and it was our first time winning a game in a long time.