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Natalie Rocuskie and Julia Breneman In My Words

Rocuskie, left, and Breneman

This is our final article. As we find ourselves writing this week, we acknowledge that this is the first of many lasts. As hard as it is to believe that our high school field hockey season is over, we could not be more grateful for the season.

The past week brought us highs and lows. Acknowledgement that we earned a No. 6 power ranking going into playoffs was fantastic. But, we play in the heart of some of the best high school field hockey in the country, so the path ahead will be anything but easy. Practices on Monday and Tuesday consisted of fine tuning small details of our play to take it to the playoff level since we were slated to face Central York, a team that we faced earlier in the season. We beat them 5-0 in the first meeting. Since playoffs are sudden death, we did not want to underestimate them. Our goal was to get to round two.

Central York came out strong. We were up 1-0 going into the second half, ending with a 3-1 victory. It was a good game and Central York put up a fight — it was a pleasure playing them again. This is the deepest in playoffs our program has been in quite some time.

Now that we made it past round one, round two against Hershey was our new focus. Hershey’s field hockey program is one of the most elite and high level programs in the state. They are known for their speed, their skill and their hustle — they are a nationally ranked team. We knew this was going to be the toughest game of this season, but we were ready.

Late Saturday morning, the Cedar Cliff field hockey team loaded up the bus and headed to Lower Dauphin Middle School. The bus ride there was full of emotions, excitement, nervousness, anxiousness and determination. We were ready to play this game like our last, because it could be. The first minutes of the game were getting rid of the nerves, but after that, the matchup was pretty even. They scored in the middle of the first half, but it never got us down. The whole second half remained scoreless and it was a back and forth between both teams. We both had opportunities to score, but no other balls ever found the back of the net. The final second ran down and the buzzer sounded. Cedar Cliff fell to Hershey 1-0.

It was one of our best games. It was an outstanding performance by our team, as well as an amazing job done by our goalie, Kira Gorham. It was hard to believe our run was done. As we look around the postgame team circle, we saw teammates that we played with for two years to girls we have played with for six years. We want to thank everyone who has followed us on our journey, along with our teammates and coaches. The memories and lessons we have learned from this program and sport will forever hold a place in our hearts.

We are happy that more field hockey days are ahead for us and two of our teammates. Brinley Foster is committed to Indiana University, Anna Smith to St. Louis University, Natalie to UMass Lowell and Julia to Saint Francis University. We will forever be grateful for our years as a Cedar Cliff Colt.

Thanks to you, too, for following along these past few weeks. It might be the end of our story here, but the story of the rest of our lives has just begun.

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