Oak Knoll Field Hockey Wins 12th-Straight Sectional Championship
Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child’s Varsity Field Hockey team defeated Pingry 8-0 in the North Jersey Non-Public A Sectional Final on November 7, 2023. It is Oak Knoll’s 12th-consecutive sectional final win and 16th overall.
The game occurred on the Royals’ home turf at Kemmerer Field at the school’s Chatham Fields sports complex. The Royals will now face Camden Catholic in the group finals on Saturday, November 11, 2023, at 2 p.m., at Bordentown High School.
The Royals are ranked No. 4 in the state with a record of 17-4.
Lillyana Venezia ’25 scored a hat-trick during the first half of the game and followed up with two more goals in the second half to drive home a remarkable five of the eight winning points. The remaining three goals went to Hope Russo ’25, Laila Pasic ’24, and Maxi Aranowitz ’24.
“It’s everything we’ve worked for all season — combining every practice, every hour that we’ve spent,” said Venezia post-game. “I feel like making it to the state final is a testament to Oak Knoll field hockey and all we’ve done and can accomplish. We did not underestimate Pingry. We knew they’re a great team, but we went into it strong. And once we got that first goal, that motivated us to keep going. This win is a perfect segue into this coming weekend, considering we’re playing a powerhouse team in Camden Catholic. We’ve won and lost to them in the past, but I feel like, coming off of this game, we are definitely on an upward trajectory for that game.”
Head Coach Ali Sumas Good ’95 said the team’s camaraderie shined on the field throughout the game.
“This team is all about each other, and they play really well together,” she said. “It’s never about one player, which you saw on display today. It might have been that Lilly was, in particular, finishing on her scoring, but all the plays that led up to that were such a team effort. We’ve been working on things that we like to call intangibles — things that don’t necessarily equate to field hockey, but, you know, being out there and communicating with each other and hustling and being tenacious on the ball. From the beginning of this game, I felt they brought that to the field. And I think that was the difference maker because we never quite gave up.”
Let’s Go Royals!