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Field Hockey continues dominance, winning the TOC

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Field Hockey continues dominance, winning the TOC

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For Eastern Field Hockey, the word dominant is an understatement. The team has won the NJSIAA Group 4 State Title in each of their previous 19 seasons, and this year is no different. On November 10th, Eastern defeated Bridgewater-Raritan by a score of 11-0 to capture their 20th straight Group 4 State Titles.

   Winning is nothing new to Coach Danyle Heilig, who has coached the team for each of the 20 straight state title. The latest state title is just one of Coach Heilig’s numerous accomplishments this season as she also recorded her 500th career win as a coach. “It feels pretty amazing to have accomplished. I never envisioned reaching 500 wins. It really speaks volume to the great players that have come through Eastern over the years” said Heilig.

   Coach Heilig credits her success to the passionate players that give their best and dedicate themselves to the team. She also added that the support from players’ parents and the Eastern administration helped the team very much as well.

   As for this season specifically, Heilig talked about the blend of different types of players on the team. “The mix of team hockey along with individual star power has really helped us to success this season” said Heilig.

   One key player that has helped lead the team this year is senior Madison Guyer. Guyer believes the chemistry of the team has played a big role for the team this year. “This year our team has a very close bond, and I think it really shows on the field. We all trust each other and have fun competing together” Guyer commented.

   As the team turned their attention toward the postseason,

Coach Heilig said “It’s important that we continue to outwork teams and continue playing the game that’s brought us success.”

   During the Group IV State Championship against Bridgewater-Raritan, freshman Ryleigh Heck scored 6 goals to lead Eastern to an 11-0 victory.  Heck credits the coaching style of Heilig as a major reason for the success of the team and herself: “Coach Heilig is very different from my other coaches.  She’s very strict, and the way she wants us to play is the way we play.”

   Some other influential players include Ryleigh’s sister Kara Heck (‘20), Kylie Zielinski (‘21), Tara Somers (‘20), and goalie Nina Santore (‘20).  The team relied on contributions from all over to succeed in the postseason.

   The team capped off another stellar season with a Tournament of Champions victory against Oak Knoll, their first since 2015.  As the season ended, Eastern was ranked #1 in the nation, a testament to the continued success of the program.

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Field Hockey continues dominance, winning the TOC