The Geneseo field hockey team is off to another great start, having played their first game at the New College Stadium. The turf stadium just opened this semester and teams—especially field hockey—are excited to get on it. Head coach Jess Seren explained that her team could not be more ecstatic about being on the new surface. “We knew going into the year we would be the first Geneseo field hockey team to play on this field, so we have been working hard to give people a glimpse of what they can expect from us,” she said. “We are blessed to have the opportunity to be on the field and with the talent our team possesses, I am excited to see what we can do.”
The new season also brings together a new team. The common goal, however, stays the same. The Knights were able to make it to the SUNYAC Tournament Championship last year, but came up short, losing to SUNY New Paltz 4-0. Seren noted that the team’s success will rely a lot on the energy that the underclassmen possess.
“Our underclassmen make up 17 of our 26 players this season, so we feed off their energy and enthusiasm every day in practice and that definitely translates over into the games,” she said. “The upperclassmen have done a great job of making sure these young players know what we are trying to accomplish and making sure everyone is on the same page. They provide the glue to our program and they really help behind the scenes to make sure everyone is coming together as one.”
The expectations for conference play this season seem to be just as high as last. Last year’s Knights’ team finished with a 9-12 record, but the team won six of their last 10 games—earning them a spot in the SUNYAC Championship.
“We designed our schedule this season to set us up for a tougher conference schedule that we know we are bound to face. We play a few nationally-ranked teams this year and they will really push us to bring our best,” Seren said. “If we can take one game at a time and keep fixing our mistakes and improve on them, then we can put ourselves to be in a position to successful just like we have done in previous years.”
Geneseo is looking for major contributions from senior goalie Dayna Mercer, who just became the school’s number one leader in saves Sunday Sept. 6 against Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. They will also look to junior defender Liz Doherty and sophomore forward Cara Stafford to have major contributions this season. Although there are new members to this team, the tradition, value and commitment to winning are permanent, guiding principles. Seren expressed her optimism regarding her new team’s work ethic and talent.
“We established from the start that each practice and game is a learning process, and that if we do not focus on the wins and losses, then we can improve as a whole on the field and peak at the right time,” Seren said. “The team is very talented, so we need to focus on putting these talents together, and the outcome should be equal to last season.”