Not often can a team roll through two defending state-champion teams in one weekend, reel off six wins to start a season and still look forward to one of the biggest challenges it would face all year.
The Trinity Episcopal field hockey team doesn’t appear to be like most, and it showed again Thursday night against visiting St. Catherine’s.
Behind goals from Mollie Schuma and Callie Srader, the No. 1 Titans (7-0) blanked No. 2 St. Catherine’s 2-0.
“We were under the impression that that this would be the toughest team we faced,” Titans coach Margie Snead said of the Saints. “They did not disappoint. They gave us a great game, and we really had to work on the things we hadn’t been challenged on yet, so that was great.”
If Trinity Episcopal still has another gear to hit, look out. And if the Titans had anything left to prove, they’ve done a good job hiding it.
Thursday’s triumph was another in a run of impressive wins for Trinity, victories which mark back to a Sept. 7-9 trip to Fairfax, when the Titans swept the Bulldog Invitational at Westfield High School.
The Titans exited that tournament with wins over Westfield, Madison (Vienna) and Mountain View. And while early-season wins might be the expectation for Trinity against most public school foes, victories over Westfield and Mountain View represent wins over the reigning Class 6 and Class 5 VHSL champions. As a state semifinalist in 2016, Madison wasn’t a pushover either.
Graduating 11 seniors from last season’s team, the Titans were left with plenty of shoes to fill.
Where this season’s squad lacks experience, it’s made up in team chemistry, Snead says. She also said her team’s “hockey IQ, maturity and synergy” are “light years” beyond what her other teams exhibit at this point of most seasons, leading the team to a number of high-profile wins.
“They have the things going for them that carry you through to that last game of the season and we’re not hoping that we have to develop that,” Snead said.
Having come up with nearly a season’s worth of accomplishments in the first seven games of the season will be a tough act to follow for Trinity. From the outside, the only logical hurdle for the Titans to gauge where they’re at this season is to play two-time defending state champions Norfolk Academy.
“While everybody asks us about Norfolk Academy, [the team] really does think about the next team they’re playing and what they need to do be ready,” Snead said.
“If you ask them, they’ve probably couldn’t even tell you who they play at the beginning of the next week and I do love that about them.”