Currently in third place in the SUNYAC standings, the Geneseo field hockey team has a strong chance of winning the championship. With only a few more games left, the pressure to succeed and the conclusion of the season can draw out several emotions from players.
Even though there may only be a small number of seniors, losing them will definitely impact the whole team. For the seniors, this calls for making the most of their final moments of their collegiate field hockey careers.
Senior goalkeeper Dayna Mercer explained that she does not plan on continuing to play after she graduates. Instead, Mercer plans on teaching in Spain and possibly working in the non-profit field.
“It seemed like I would always be playing field hockey forever, but I’m not,” Mercer said. “It’s definitely a sad thing. I have been so proud of all of the accomplishments that me and the other seniors have made on this team. I think that it is going to be a good rest of the season, but it is definitely going to be emotional.”
While these seniors may be gone from the team, their spirit and influence will undeniably remain with the rest of the players. The team currently has two goalies—Mercer, being the veteran, has shown freshman goalie Hanna Sweet the ropes of playing a Division III varsity sport. Mercer noted that she and Sweet have become good friends throughout the season, bonding on and off the field. Mercer explained that she had been in the same position as Sweet before and wanted to help her out.
“I know what it was like as a freshman goalie; it is really scary and a different game than high school. The shots are faster and everything is just a lot faster and I wasn’t used to it when I transitioned,” Mercer said. “So I really understand how she feels and I am really close with her. She reminds me a lot of myself when I was a freshman—she has the same mentality and we both have more natural abilities as opposed to technical abilities. I have tried to take her under my wing throughout the course of this season.”
Having a close relationship between two goalkeepers is an essential part of the team dynamic, especially as they are both key figures in the game. Mercer has approached being a mentor with a positive attitude—one that is needed to have a successful season.
Mercer also expressed her belief that the team bonding exercises that head coach Jess Seren implemented at the beginning of the season have certainly helped bring the team members closer together. With all of the new players, team bonding had has benefited them immensely by strengthening their team dynamic.
This Knights team has become a close family during the course of this season and the graduation of their seniors will be an emotional experience for all.