After defeating the Summerland Rockets girls field hockey team 3-0 Wednesday, the Princess Margaret Mustangs celebrated by gathering in a circle and jumping simultaneously to bump their chests together.
Alaysha Funk, the Mustangs goalie, said the team played amazing on their home field.
“In the past few years we usually lose by 6-0,” said Funk, who was the beneficiary of strong defensive play by Kyla Lionello to preserve the shutout.
Funk said they have come so far and the fact they won in the fashion they did was “so good.”
The first half ended scoreless. Midway through the second, the Mustangs put pressure on the Rockets. Madison Cook scored the first goal causing her teammates to scream.
“I freaked out. I was so happy for her,” said Sinclaire Lovett.
Following Cook’s goal, Taylor Corrie scored two others in a short span.
When asked about their play picking up in the second half, Funk said they had a lot of determination.
“They are always our tightest competition,” she said of Summerland.
Lovett said their win was the result of playing as a unit instead of individuals.
“We were so inspired to win. There was so much team spirit,” said Lovett. “I could feel it.”
Motivating the players was assistant coach Mark Hartmann and his wife Brenda Kelly. Kelly helped out in the absence of coach Christy Bevington, who is away temporarily.
Kelly said the players performed exceptional. One thing the coaches worked with the players was utilizing the entire field, rather than just the sides.
“They started to do really well on their corners and defence,” said Kelly. “They haven’t had a lot of wins and so for them it’s really exciting.”
Among the players who stood out to Kelly were Kendra Penner and Cook, who were extremely strong on defence. She was also impressed with Lionello, who was playing defence, which isn’t her regular position. She made a key play late in the game. She said that Corrie, Lovett and Belle Grant were three of the strongest forwards.
The Mustangs are 2-2 and conclude their regular season at home against Okanagan Mission on Oct. 23. They will play in Valley finals on Oct. 28.