Three years after the start of coeducation at The High School, the 1993 field hockey team became the first ISL championship team in EHS history, winning both the regular season and tournament championships with an overall record of 14-1. The team clinched the regular season with a 2-1 win over Potomac before winning the ISL tournament with victories over Stone Ridge and perennial power St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes. The team was led by Head Coach Ruth Rainey, Assistant Coach Melanie Bartol, and the team’s captains, Augusta Brown Holland ’94, Amy Fannon Cupic ’94 (HOF 2011), and Jennifer Pohanka Nierle ’94.
Two years earlier during the team’s first season together, the Alexandria Post-Gazette Packet summarized an interview with Rainey: “Rainey fully expects the Maroon to improve each time they take the field. Without a senior on the squad, and with freshmen and sophomores dominating the lineup, the best is yet to come for Episcopal.”
“I have such fond memories of that first year and the team,” says Holland. “That first fall at EHS, since we were the first year of girls’ sports, I know I felt particularly impassioned to try and do my best. It seemed like we all felt that way. There was a special excitement in the air, and it bonded us a team.”
Two years later, that team brought home the ISL championship.
“With Ruth Rainey and Melanie Bartol’s unwavering support, we achieved the unexpected with grit, determination, and fervor,” says Cupic. “Developing an ISL championship team after a mere three years together was no small feat, but our collective dedication and desire to leave a legacy, not only for ourselves but for all the girls of Episcopal, defined us and motivated us to make history. It was imperative in those first years of coeducation to demonstrate our value among other time-honored EHS athletes and the school’s respected athletic tradition, and we did.
“Nothing will match the energy and emotion inside the bus as we drove onto the beloved High School grounds, in the midst of the Woodberry game, carrying with us the first ISL trophy. Our hearts were full and our smiles beamed, each of us feeling the pride of victory, and perhaps more important, a sense of belonging.”
Three of the players earned league honors for the 1993 season. Amy Fannon Cupic ’94 was named All-ISL and Washington Post First Team All-Met; Siri Pistenmaa Renier ’94 was named All-ISL; and Kristine Nelson ’95 earned All-ISL honorable mention honors.