It could be said big things are expected of the New Milford High School field hockey team this fall.

Yet, considering the Green Wave's rich tradition of success, that might almost be a given.

Never too far from the players' consciousness can be the upcoming South-West Conference playoffs and the Class L state tournament.

Still, coach Dawn Hough and her highly-charged squad are doing their best to take it one match at a time, finding improvement where there's room to improve and building on their momentum.

The Green Wave is a gaudy 9-1 overall and

7-0 in the SWC following Tuesday's 4-0 waxing of host Immaculate in Danbury.

The only defeat was Sept. 22 to defending state Class M champion Wilton.

With six matches remaining on the regular-season schedule, the NMHS girls had built a 34-7 goals for/against margin.

Highlights of the season's first half were home-and-away sweeps of New Fairfield and Pomperaug and wins over Newtown and Joel Barlow.

Seven players have scored goals for the Green Wave.

"The team has been forming a more cohesive unit every game," praised coach Hough, "finding new ways to score... the defense has been steady and solid."

Coach Hough is cognizant of the pitfalls of post-season action and reminds her squad it needs to fortify areas of relative weakness.

"We are very pleased with the first half, yet are aware the second half depends on everyone continuing to improve," she reflected. "We knew we had a great team coming in, so we set up a very challenging schedule."

"The girls have thrived on the challenge," concluded the Green Wave mentor, "and come back working to improve daily. We are excited for a great second half."

The future looks bright for NMHS field hockey, too, as the freshmen team was 4-1-1 and the junior varsity owned a 4-0-3 ledger early this week.

The Green Wave was slated Thursday, Oct. 11, to host state power New Canaan and will visit Weston today (Friday) for a 6:15 p.m. match.

Home matches are set Monday at 4 p.m. and Tuesday at 6 p.m. vs. Lauralton Hall and Masuk, respectively.

For more photos, visit www.newmilfordspectrum.com.