Field hockey sets up success for playoffs

The team rings the victory bell after winning their first playoff game in program history.

Megan Julian, Sports Editor

Field hockey placed as the fourth seed in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) this past weekend, after their loss against Salve Regina University on Saturday, Nov. 2.

Anna Vasaturo, senior defensive player, said the team has some things to work on going into the playoffs. 

“One thing we could work on before heading into the playoffs is clearing our heads before each game and realizing playoffs is an opportunity to start fresh from regular season play, recognizing that we are a whole new team. As seen in the regular season, we’ve shown that we can contend any opponent and are excited to do so in the playoffs,” Vasaturo said. 

Callie Flanagan, sophomore goalkeeper for the Hawks, said the team needs to focus on the small things.

“If we work on the small things, the big things will come easy,” Flanagan said. 

The regular season was a pretty big success overall, according to Coach Kelly Blackhurst. 

“I think the team has done a tremendous job all season of making adjustments if need be. This season we have won the most games in the program’s history. We have held teams to very tight scores,” Blackhurst said. 

“This year when we went up to the University of New England, we ended up losing to them in double overtime. That was the tightest score in program history against UNE. The team has continued to believe and work hard. I have been very pleased with how they have come out to every game and every practice just to compete.”  

Vasaturo does not believe the team has acquired any weaknesses, but she said it has faced some challenges during the season.

“Instead of weaknesses, we see challenges that we continue to work through and overcome,” Vasaturo said. “Something we are especially proud of is taking UNE into double overtime at their home turf. Although the outcome wasn’t a win, what the score didn’t reflect was the effort and tenacity that I think embodies this team.” 
Flanagan believes their tenacity is part of the team’s strengths.

“The team’s strengths were communication, intensity and fighting back. We held our own this season and set a tone for playoffs. We never gave up on winning and finishing out the game.”

For playoffs, the team is going in with positive spirits. 

Blackhurst said the team needs to pay attention to the little things and make sure the girls always set up their teammates for success.  

“I have full confidence that our team will dominate and show the CCC what we are made of. We play our best games when faced with a team that is challenging our play,” Flanagan said.

Vasaturo believes the team will be the most successful in playoffs if they play their own game.

“We know what our game feels like and looks like. Our game has the ability to compete with whoever we face,” Vasaturo said. 

Blackhurst wants the team to set the tone in the first five minutes of the game.

“Come out hard, right away,” Blackhurst said. “It is something that we are good at. If we can earn a corner and put the ball in the back of the net, it sets a tone for us, so I think as a unit we can focus on that.” 

Flanagan is looking forward to how the team will compete. 

“If we play our own game, focus on our skills and what we can control, I have full confidence we will do great.”

Blackhurst couldn’t be more excited for playoffs. 
“These are the moments you live for,” Blackhurst said. “There is so much passion and determination during this point in the season and it is on the line in these games. It shows who has the grit and who has the heart.”
On Tuesday, Nov. 5, the team competed against Western New England University in the quarter finals. The Hawks won the game 3-1, achieving their first ever playoff win in program history.
The team plays in the semifinals against number one seed Endicott College on Thursday, Nov. 7 at 7 p.m in Beverly, Massachusetts.