‘Comfortable’ and ‘capable’ are two words that describe the women’s field hockey team this season.
Junior Alex Coppinger believes that the team has a lot of potential this year. This season, the team has 12 returning players and 10 new freshmen. Head coach Meaghan Blais said she wasn’t sure how it was going to be with all these new freshmen coming in, but the upperclassmen were very welcoming which made the freshman feel comfortable.
“The freshman have a say in things, they aren’t seen as being behind the upperclassmen,” Blais said. “It is so nice that they act as equals and they are all friends. They enjoy one another on and off the field, it is so good to see.”
Coppinger explained how this season has been nothing but positive so far and she really wants to keep that up throughout the season. During practice, she does anything she can in order to keep the team’s energy level up. In her role as captain, she plans to lead by example and help everybody stay motivated.
“If I can go out and give my all, then that will make everyone else want to, too. We feed off one another and being able to push myself to be better — that is helping everyone else out, too,” Coppinger said.
Coach Blais says the team will be working on having high energy during the time spent on the field during practice.
In addition to keeping the intensity and positive attitudes up during practice, the team is also working on communication. Coach Blais explained that communication is important within the sport of field hockey because the players need to know where everyone is on the field and be able to know which passes are open and which are not.
“Preseason was a great time for the team this year. It was where they clicked well,” Coppinger said. “Everyone came in a little nervous, but everyone did really well. First day was hardest but once we got past that, we all clicked.”
Coppinger was pleased with how the 10 freshmen were able to settle in with the team so quickly during preseason.
“I was nervous,” said freshman Hannah Palmer. “The anticipation was a lot and then getting through first session together was super prominent and we knew it was hard, but we were going to get through it together.”
Palmer said she was relieved when she figured out the drills during preseason were difficult for upperclassman, as well. It made her feel more comfortable coming into the season.
Another freshman, Taylor Woodbury, said she was nervous coming into it as well, but once she began practicing with her new teammates, she relaxed.
“My nerves didn’t stop until preseason was over, but it was good.” Woodbury said.
During their run test, Woodbury discussed how she became tired and wanted to stop but she saw her teammates running and she knew that she could finish. Seeing her teammates by her side pushed her to compete.
“I said to myself ‘I can do this’,” Woodbury said. “I may have wanted to stop, but you know you couldn’t because you didn’t want to leave your teammate behind.”
This made the freshmen bond with the upperclassmen even stronger.
“The team and coaches all have the common goal of making it into the playoffs this season and making sure that the team stays positive even when things get tough,” Coach Blais said. “This year we have good shot of making the CCC’s. We will continue to work hard and keep this experience positive.”