The teams are inviting as many Raider fans as possible to pack into the stands. “The more purple we can see and the more cheering for Raiders that we hear—it really helps with our energy and our adrenaline,” explained field hockey Head Coach Alyssa Dudzik. “Being able to look up and see the crowd is going to give them that extra boost they need.”
Tennis Head Coach Glenn Golden agreed. “Having support always builds confidence, makes a player want to play better, do more,” he said. “You might be by yourself on the court, but it’s great to know there are people out there who want you to do well.”
The Raiders made history this season when the varsity field hockey team beat New Trier 1-0 on Sept. 8. It was the first time North Shore Country Day School had toppled the Trevians in any varsity sport—ever.
“Beating New Trier was awesome,” Alyssa explained. “Especially this year. Our girls are really committed and came into the season in shape, with great attitudes and ready to work together. For these girls, in particular, it was really special to be a part of this win. It was really heartfelt and hard-fought.”
Their girls’ first and only loss to date came from Lake Forest High School, last year’s state champions. But the season is far from over.
Alyssa said that teamwork has been a major focus this season. “We call ourselves a spider web because we move together,” she said. “Teamwork is in the forefront of all our minds. It wasn’t just one girl on our team doing all the work to score the goal against New Trier. It was very much a team goal.”
The tennis team is also having an excellent season. The girls are going into the tournament tied for first place with Latin School of Chicago and University High School.
“In my time at North Shore this is the strongest girls team that we’ve had,” Glenn said. “As a coach, I take no credit for that. We have some newcomers that are exceptional this year and some returning players that are very good, as well.”
Glenn said his focus from day one of preseason has been on process, not outcome. “The goal for every kid and the team as a whole is to be a little bit better than you were yesterday. You can’t always control the outcome, but what you can control is how close you come to your potential on a given day. You can control your effort, attitude, what you do on your side of the court. Do those things to the best of your ability and good things are going to happen.”
If all goes well this weekend, hopefully good things will continue to happen for both teams.
North Shore field hockey made it to the final four last season and Alyssa said that little taste of victory is motivating the girls to go even farther this year. Beating New Trier for a second time would be a big boost to the team’s confidence.
“New Trier’s a huge school,” Alyssa explained. “There are 4,000 people there. It’s their Homecoming. It’s a Friday night before their football game. I know how pumped up they’re going to be. They’re going to want to get this win at home in front of their fans.
Come cheer on Raider Field Hockey this Friday at 5 p.m. at the New Trier Northfield Stadium, 7 Happ Rd., Northfield. Show the Trevians that September’s win was not a fluke. You can also catch the Raiders at home this Thursday at 4:30 p.m., when they take on the Highland Park High School Giants at Skokie Playfield, 600 Hibbard Rd., Winnetka.
The girls ISL Tennis Tournament begins at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Nielsen Tennis Center, 530 Hibbard Rd., Winnetka.