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ArlingtonO'Connell to face each Arlington field hockey rival

O’Connell to face each Arlington field hockey rival

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The Bishop O’Connell Knights are doing something historic in girls varsity field hockey this season.

The private-school team has matches scheduled against all three of its Arlington public-school rivals – the Washington-Liberty Generals at home at 4 p.m. Sept. 12, the defending Class 6 state champion Yorktown Patriots at home at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 19, and the Wakefield Warriors on the road Oct. 11 at 7:30 p.m. The Wakefield match was a late addition when the Warriors had an opening on their schedule.

Second-year O’Connell coach Megan Sullivan set up the matches. She initially wanted to schedule an all-Arlington tournament with the four teams, but that could not be arranged. She said scheduling each team was the second-best option.

“I wanted to do this from day one when I became the coach,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan began the Arlington Field Hockey recreation program in 2019, an organization for players in grades 3 through 8 with 250 players and a long waiting list. Since she has coached many of the players on the various rosters of the Arlington teams through that program, Sullivan thought it would only be natural if the four high-school programs played during the regular season.

“I know a lot of the girls, so starting Arlington Field Hockey sparked the idea for these games,” Sullivan said.

As for O’Connell’s season, the Knights opened their campaign with a 1-0 overtime home victory over St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes in non-conference competition. Ellen Kaht scored the tip-in goal off of a penalty corner and assist from Madi Sullivan.

Kaht, a senior, received the team’s Golden Ball Player of the Game award.

O’Connell hopes to continue its winning ways this fall after recording the first winning season in program history last fall with a final 8-7 overall record. The Knights also made the semifinals of their conference tournament last season, and qualified for the Division I state tourney for the first time.

The coach attributed the success to teaching the players the basics of the sport. Sullivan said the Knights will play a tough schedule with non-league games against the Arlington teams and match versus traditional state power Collegiate.

“To get better and be challenged, you have to play the best,” Sullivan said.

O’Connell’s other seniors are Olivia Mann, Meredith Peterson, Tara O’Brien, Mia Young, Mary Nachmann, Sawyer Carlitti, Aileen Kent and Nycole Steward.

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