Field Hockey Eyes Playoff-worthy Record

A Hawk takes a shot in practice against one of the freshmen goalkeepers.

Brett Johnson, Sports Editor

In the church during her wedding rehearsal, Head Coach Meghan (Farrelly) Blais streamed on her phone the field hockey team’s last game of the 2017 season. The Hawks were already eliminated from playoff contention and were facing one of the toughest conference opponents, the Endicott College Gulls. 

The Hawks entered the second half down 3-0, but did not want to see their season end in a shutout. In the last three minutes, then-freshman Lea Peterson scored two goals, one after the final buzzer, to cut the deficit in half. 

“[It] was nice to see her step up and end the season a little more positive than the record might look,” Coach Blais said.

The 2018 Hawks are looking to carry the momentum of last year’s final 35 minutes into this season. While last year’s 5-12 overall and 3-9 Commonwealth Coast Conference records may not be encouraging, the Hawks are more motivated and more competitive. They were picked fifth in the CCC Preseason Coaches’ Poll but Coach Blais doesn’t plan on ending the season there.

 “I think looking back at our record and where we came in the conference last year, I guess I’m not surprised,” said Blais. “But we’re not going to accept it as reality.”

Although four impactful seniors graduated in May, 11 new faces have been added to this year’s roster—10 freshmen and one assistant coach.

Keighan Richardson, a Bryant University alumna and current first year student in the Roger Williams University School of Law, has joined the coaching staff this season after years of communicating with Blais and former head and assistant coach Tracey Hackley.

“The team is really happy to have her,” Blais said. “It’s nice to have somebody, especially for me, here to bounce ideas off of, make sure we’re on the same page and wanting to go in the same direction.”

“Coach Richardson has definitely brought a new and different perspective to our program,” junior Sydney McCarthy said. “From her experience of playing for a Division I program, she is able to easily transfer skills and ideas to us and has really been able to advance our play.”

Even after only a few weeks, the new arrivals on campus have already made their mark on the squad. McCarthy, who led the team in goals last season with six, thinks the freshmen will contribute greatly to a successful season. 

“[They] have each brought a new and different skill to the team. Each of their strengths have continued to contribute to a program that is constantly improving,” McCarthy said.

Of those 10 freshmen, two are goalkeepers which is refreshing for a team that has relied on a sole goalkeeper. Coach Blais has noticed that the addition of Callie Flanagan and Sophia Mottola, who is currently injured, has brought a new competitive level to the position that wasn’t there before.

The goal for the Hawks is simple: “We are collectively hoping to have a better record than last year and make the CCC playoffs,” said McCarthy.

The Hawks have started their season 2-2. They begin conference play against Endicott College Saturday at home.