Davis High field hockey coach Sandie Marotti-Huckins hopes her girls have long memories, but stay in the moment.
After rolling through the second half of the conference schedule unbeaten in 2011, the Blue Devils stumbled in the Eastern Athletic League tournament. In an upset by Pleasant Valley, DHS was knocked out early on Day 2, missing a chance to play in the championship game (won by Chico, 3-1, over Yuba City).
This weekend at Ron & Mary Brown Stadium, DHS comes into the season-ending event on an even bigger roll — 16-4 overall and perfect in EAL play — and with a sense of some unfinished business.
So what worries Marotti-Huckins?
“That we become comfortable and complacent since we beat all of these teams three times already,” the coach explains, adding that if there can be a downfall it would be “stupid mistakes (should) we relax.”
Pool play begins Friday and Davis has four games slated, beginning at 11 a.m. with the final regular-season EAL contest against Lassen. Other contests follow at 1:30, 4:40 and 7:15 p.m.
Surviving that, the Devils could play from 11:15 a.m. Saturday until the championship contest about 4:30 p.m.
With mainstays like high-scoring duo Emily Barber and Kylie Drexel, midfielder Kayla Robinson and solid defenders Malia Fujisawa and Ariana Enzerink, DHS has made opponents’ lives difficult.
Between the pipes, Ally Weir has been a formidable last-line of defense.
Olivia Haas and Rachel Foley, up from junior varsity, will give the Blue Devils even more flexibility during the long, two-day competition, which will play out on Halden Field, adjacent to Susan Beaton Field.
Despite recent rain, weekend weather is expected to be ideal: high 70s and sunny, according to the National Weather Service.
Beaton Field is grass, while Halden Field is a synthetic surface. The difference in speed of play on the two fields will be significant, but Marotti-Huckins says if her girls just keep their eye on the prize, all should go well to end the season:
“We just need to play our game. Keep control of the tempo.”
Defending champion Chico — which finished second behind Davis during the regular season — is the perceived top threat to a local title-winning performance. There is no section playoff in field hockey.
— Reach Bruce Gallaudet at email@example.com or 530-747-8047.