The student news site of Wilmington Friends School

The Whittier Miscellany

The student news site of Wilmington Friends School

The Whittier Miscellany

The student news site of Wilmington Friends School

The Whittier Miscellany

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A Defenders Defense

Defenders Earning Their Recognition

Everyone says, “offense wins games, defense wins championships.” But when it comes to real life, do defenders feel that this statement encompasses their place in sports?

Defenders feel that coaches, social media, and announcements should give equal credit and attention to defenders as they do attackers. Coach Clothier, head coach of field hockey and girls soccer at Wilmington Friends says, “Unfortunately, what is attractive in sports are points. It’s about what people remember, they remember the goal. The average fan sees the result, and unfortunately, that result is generated in point scoring.”

Kaeden Fleming, a varsity boys soccer player additionally says, “Defenders definitely receive the least amount of recognition. Traditionally, defenders are not as flashy as the other positions.”

When Sara Clothier, a Varsity girls soccer player was asked to share an instance where she felt that defenders’ contributions were overlooked during a game or season, she said, “I don’t have a specific time, but I feel like in normal day-to-day instances you see it a lot. For example, if you play a good team and someone scores the winning shot, that person gets a lot of credit, however, the defenders who just worked the whole game to stop the other really good team from scoring are a little overlooked. It isn’t always fair with the amount of work defenders put in on any normal game and then not get a lot of credit for preventing goals from being scored on.”

There are numerous qualities that make up strong defenders that go unnoticed, both physically and intellectually. Coach Clothier says, “It takes a lot of coordination experience and communication for a defense to work effectively, which is only going to be understood by those players. That’s why I rarely change defensive units, because it will change their chemistry, which is the opposite of offense. Offense is expressive. I can put different players into attacking positions in order to score as many goals as possible.”

Grace Terrell ‘24, a Varsity girls lacrosse play- er, says, “A lot of times when fans and spectators don’t know much about a sport, they don’t really understand how difficult the defensive position is and only focus on what looks like an impressive goal to them. Things like interceptions and ground balls are two huge ways to turn the ball over in lacrosse, and I don’t think that people understand how winning a ground ball could be game-changing.”

When spectators and fans go to sports games, they must understand how much effort and coordina- tion goes into playing defense. Though it may not be the flashiest of positions in any sport, defense is still one of (if not the most important) positions on a team.

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