Field hockey strives to improve quality of play for playoffs

Dribbling up the field, junior Mary Jane McNary focuses on the ball during her game on Sept. 12 against Loyola. Photo by Maricel Lehner

Dribbling up the field, junior Mary Jane McNary focuses on the ball during her game on Sept. 12 against Loyola. Photo by Maricel Lehner

Ashley Desserich, co-sports editor

The varsity field hockey team, led by Head Coach Tom Rosenbaum and Senior Captains Sophia Bruno, Megan Chin and Shannon Schmitt, started off their season this fall with a 8-0 record and hopes to find the momentum that will take them far into playoffs.

This year’s team is mainly led by seniors, but still has depth, meaning there are many strong underclassmen as well, according to Rosenbaum. Specifically, he says the seniors on the team have gained a large understanding of the game in their years of playing field hockey on varsity and that their knowledge is key for a successful season.

“[Our strength] is the depth that we have on the team,” Rosenbaum said. “Their field hockey IQ is very high and [we have] kids who have been playing at the varsity level for three to four years [and] are aware of the speed and understand the process.”

One of these experienced players is Bruno, who stresses the importance of communicating with the team on and off the field. As a leader of the team, she explains that she wants to improve this aspect of her game.

“Sometimes when you’re younger, you don’t want to communicate as much because you’re more shy on the field,” Bruno said. “I was the same way when I was younger. As one of the older girls on the team, I need to step up and take that role in communicating where everyone should be, [off] and even on the field.”

In addition, Chin says that honing in on small details such as communication can lead to a stronger team and can allow them to work better together.

“We’re on such a big field and there’s always so many of us on it at once, so communication is a really big part in knowing who’s going to go get the ball or who’s going to go defend or who’s going to go help out our defense,” Chin said.

Along with communication, both positioning and consistency can set the team up to win even in their toughest games, says Rosenbaum. In practices, Rosenbaum emphasizes working hard and putting the athletes in game situations so that they can be prepared for games.

“During practice, we strive for the kids to work 100 percent because if they are working 100 percent, the people around them [also] have to work 100 percent,” Rosenbaum said. “[Because of this], they’re used to game speed, [and] when they get into a game, they are not surprised by anything.”

Similar to Rosenbaum, Bruno notices that how the team plays during practice mimics how they play during games. As a captain, she tries to motivate her team during warm-ups in the hopes that it will get them excited and ready to play their best in the game.

“If I see that people are lagging in warm ups, I will try and get them hyped up because if you lag in warm ups, you’re not going to do good during the game,” Bruno said. “If I see people are down, I will try to goof around and get them smiling.”

Rosenbaum says he has noticed this team attitude and loves to see players working hard for themselves, but also for the team.

“You can remember how the goals were scored, where the kids [were] on the field and how excited they get [when they win],” Rosenbaum said. “It’s contagious. They want to perform for each other and themselves. It’s just really neat.”

The team’s ultimate goal is to make it further in playoffs than they have in past years, according to Rosenbaum. He expresses his confidence in this year’s team and wants to see them continue to work hard for what they want.

“The ultimate goal we have is to continue to be successful, beat the teams that we’re supposed to beat, but [also] beat the teams that we’re not supposed to beat,” Rosenbaum said. “Now, [the athletes] see [that goal] and they’re excited about it and want to go out there and work hard.”