The Oak Park and River Forest High School field hockey team is off to a 2-1 start this season with victories over Antioch and Evanston Township and a loss to Loyola Academy.

Head coach Kristin Wirtz likes how the Huskies are faring so far.

“We’ve had some ups and downs, but I think we have a great team this year,” she said. “We’ve already learned a lot from our first few games, and this team is definitely willing to learn and fight for what they want.”

OPRF, which went 14-1-4 last year and fell a match short of consecutive trips downstate with a loss to Glenbard West in a sectional final, returns 10 players, including junior midfielder Rosie Ondria, senior midfielder Giovanna Aguilar-Ripley, senior defender Macy Callahan, and senior forward Eva O’Keefe.

Top newcomers to the Huskies are sophomore midfielder Clare Moroney and junior defender Madelief Goud.

“This team has quite a few strong leaders that will guide the team in the right direction,” Wirtz said. “What will be key is consistency to work as a group.”

OPRF will host its’ annual Huskie Invitational Oct. 6-7, which features several top Midwestern programs. Upcoming matches with Glenbard West, Lake Forest, and New Trier will let the Huskies know where they stand compared to those three, who are usually contenders for the state championship.

Wirtz feels OPRF is capable of getting back downstate, especially with the motivation the returnees have built up after last season’s near-miss.

“They remember the frustration and devastation from last year’s loss,” she said. “We don’t want to feel that again, so we’re fighting for every game and setting the expectation to make it to the state championship. I believe we can get there.”

OPRF has an away match at Glenbrook South Sept. 7, then returns home Sept. 9 for a noon match with Arrowhead (WI).

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