Great Oak High School’s varsity girls’ field hockey team ran into a perennial powerhouse in Harvard-Westlake High School in the school’s first-ever playoff appearance in the sport Tuesday, Oct. 29. 

Though the Wolfpack lost 8-0 to the defending champions, head coach Katie Gerfen was pleased with her team’s effort. 

“Today was a great opportunity for our program to become familiar to the playoff atmosphere in sport,” Gerfen said. “Harvard Westlake is a highly skilled team with poise, control, and a high level of urgency on and off the ball. Their ability to take shots anywhere in the circle off any foot was dangerous for us. Great Oak fought hard and played with a lot of heart and grit today in which I am proud of each and every one of them.”

The Wolfpack came into the match with a 5-5 league record, finishing as the fourth seed in the Southern Section of the Sunset League.

Harvard-Westlake finished the season as the first seed in the North Division. Harvard-Westlake went on to defeat Huntington Beach in the finals of the tournament. 

“Our girls got a lot of jabs in to get their heads down while trying to create attacking opportunities,” Gerfen said. “We had our chances on the counterattack, moving the ball around them, but could not finish the ball in the cage. Credit to both teams for a clean, well-skilled game.”

Gerfen said senior captain Abbey Savin stood out for the Wolfpack. 

“She is competitive by nature and sets the tone well for her teammates,” Gerfen said. “Abbey made great adjustments from first to second half controlling the ball.

“Susanna Ko played very smart today. Her use of simple skill to move the ball away from the defender and creating space to attack was helpful to spread the great defense of Harvard Westlake,” she said.

Jeff Pack can be reached by email at