For the Barrington High School girls’ field hockey team, winning and losing is a family affair.
On Thursday afternoon, the Eagles advanced to the state Division I semi-finals after defeating visiting St. Mary Academy Bay View 1-0. The game’s lone goal came off the stick of Elizabeth “Libby” Dolan. Not only is Dolan one of her team’s sophomore forwards, she is also one of six players with a sister on the varsity roster.
There is Elizabeth’s older sister Kelly, for example, a senior mid-fielder and team co-captain. Then there’s Nicole Smith, the other team co-captain, a senior defensewoman and sister to junior midfielder Madison Smith.
The final sister-sister pairing belongs to a pair of sophomore twins, Jillian and Eliza May, a defensewoman and a forward, respectively.
“It makes you a lot closer as a team,” said Nicole Smith of the line-up.
Head coach Lee Markowski said its a unique situation that definitely helps team chemistry.
“I think they’re sisters that get along well,” Markowski said.
“I think it’s fun for them.”
Kelly Dolan, meanwhile, said the family ties definitely bolster competitiveness among players but in a light-hearted fashion.
“It’s fun because we all trust each other so much. We communicate well, there’s a lot of energy,” she said.
“We joke around. It’s competitive fun.”
Dolan added, however, that the bonds among players don’t end with relatives. She said the group as a whole spends a lot of time together and is “really close.”
“I feel like we’re all sisters,” Dolan said.
On Saturday, Nov. 3, this group of “sisters” will continue its quest for a second straight state title following a tight match with Bay View. After a back and forth first half that saw numerous squandered offensive opportunities for both sides, Barrington started the second half with a burst of energy.
The Eagles put near unrelenting pressure on the Bengals for almost 15 straight minutes before Dolan slapped in a close shot off an assist from freshman midfielder Julia Soares.
The Eagles’ win is their fourth straight against Bay View including two this regular season and a 1-0 playoff defeat in 2011.
“I think Bay View has come a long way since the beginning of the season and they’re playing good field hockey,” Markowski said.
“I think at this point every game is going to be close.”
The Eagles will take the field Saturday against Lincoln School who they have not beaten this season. The two battled to a 0-0 tie earlier this year before Lincoln handed Barrington its only lose of the year, a 1-0 defeat in mid-October.
The game will be played at Cranston Stadium beginning at 6:30 p.m.