By Chris Volinsky
As a student athlete’s parent, you hope your children’s sports teams will be good. Maybe you even expect they will play well enough to win most of their games. But you never dream of this kind of success.
The Morristown High School Freshman Field Hockey Team is having an epic run through its Fall season. After Thursday’s 3-0 victory against Boonton, the team has a spotless 14-0 record, with victories over county rivals like Chatham, Millburn, Whippany, and Mendham.
Even more remarkably, every game has been a shutout — they have not given up a single goal all season.
Even for me, with the untrained eye of a parent who knows very little of the game, I can sense the dominance from the sideline. Most of the games are played on only one side of the field, where MHS is on offense.
It is telling that when the ball goes over the mid-field line into the other team’s offensive zone, something that only happens a few times a game, there typically is a cheer from the other’s side’s parent section — grasping at this small accomplishment.
MHS goalie Valencia Julien sometimes goes through entire games without a shot against her. It can be quite a task for her to stay engaged in the contest when she only has seen a handful of shots on goal all year!
The 18 girls are a tight-knit unit, bonding through their shared success and all experiencing their first year of high school together. These girls came from Frelinghuysen Middle School, where they played for a team in 8th grade that made it all the way to the county finals last year, losing to a very talented West Essex squad.
That loss must have stung, since they haven’t lost since that game!
The team is led by their vocal, energetic coach Robert Jordan, who teaches history at the high school. He is easy to spot at games, wearing his signature tie-dye shirt and booming at the girls: “Sticks down!!” and “Go get it!”
Once the team got on a roll, he realized he couldn’t break his habit of wearing tie-dye, so he has worn one to each and every game. Whatever it takes!
Unfortunately, as a freshman team, this group does not have a county tournament or trophy that it can win. But that’s okay. These girls will remember this remarkable season for the success they had on the field, and their friendships with teammates, for the rest of their lives.
Chris Volinsky of Morris Township is the proud dad of Kezia, a forward for the MHS freshman team, and Vienna, a senior also at MHS. The freshman field hockey team has five games remaining. The next one is today, Monday, Oct. 14, 2019, at 4pm at Frelinghuysen Middle School.