It is one of the rarest feats in sports. Many teams come close, but few are actually successful. The 1972 Miami Dolphins did it. As did the Indiana Hoosiers basketball team in 1976, and the University of Connecticut’s Lady Huskies in 2002, 2009, and 2010. I’m talking—of course—about an undefeated season, and Bullis School’s varsity girls field hockey team took a significant step in that direction after finishing a perfect regular season with a 4-0 win against Potomac School last Thursday afternoon.
“We’re extremely excited about the regular season banner, but we can’t lose sight on what’s next,” said Nadia Fallahi (’13.) “One of our goals this year has been to go out and win the next game. So far it’s worked well, but we are just trying to stay humble and focused for our [ISL first round tournament game] next Thursday.”
“We are going to play the tournament like we’ve played our entire season,” said Alessandra Clark (’13). “We are going to focus on each game individually and play our game the best we can.”
To keep themselves humbled, the girls need to look no further than last season. The team jumped out to a 7-0 record early in the season before devastating losses to Sidwell Friends, National Cathedral School, and Episcopal left them tied for second place in the ISL regular season. Still poised to contend for a tournament championship, the team took on Holy Child in the first round. Holy Child shockingly defeated Bullis 1-0, abruptly ending their season and their hope for an ISL tournament championship.
However, it seems as if the team has learned from last year’s mistakes.
“Coach Delinsky continues to tell us that we need to stay humble this year because last year we got a little to excited.” Added Fallahi.
“We aren’t satisfied with just the banner,” confirmed Idrienne Walker (’13.) “The tournament means just as much, and we want to prove to this entire school that we can win it.”
The two girls reinforced their belief in this year’s team and cited the team’s camaraderie as one of its strongest attributes:
“I’m so happy and excited to be part of such an amazing team,” said Fallahi. “I really wanted to get the banner because everybody works so hard day in and day out to get the job done. I’ve been a part of this program since 6th grade, so going undefeated in the regular season and tournament with this team would mean the world to me.”
As they move into their game next week, it is no secret that the team is the heavy favorite to win an ISL banner.
“If we focus on possession, moving the ball around the field well, and taking lots of shots inside the 25, we will put ourselves in a good position to win,” agreed Fallahi and Walker. “Last year after we beat St. Stephen's & St. Agnes and reached a certain undefeated streak, I don’t think we knew how to handle our success and the pressure really hit us hard. But now, we know how to handle the pressure, stay focused, and mellow out.” Added Clark.
One thing is for sure; after every minute the girls play, they are 60 seconds closer to perfection.
Images courtesy of Nadia Fallahi and Dana Daniels.