The field hockey team has picked up their stride after a record of 1-8 in September, as they work toward having incredible success for the month of October. The team has won their last six games, three of which were against SUNY conference teams SUNY Morrisville, SUNY Brockport and SUNY Oswego. By winning against Oswego on Saturday Oct. 15, the Knights clinched the third seed in the SUNYAC Tournament.
Throughout the slump, head coach Jess Seren said that her team would be “a force to be reckoned with” and that they had not given up on the 2016 season. She was right.
Even though the Knights’ success has shown on the field, however, the team has not changed their overall outlook on the game. “We are maintaining the same objective we’ve had all season: take one game at a time and focus on improving each time we step onto the field…whether that be in practice or in a game,” Seren said.
The Knights have looked at their tough schedule not as a burden, but as an asset. “[We] really look at ourselves critically, which hopefully allows us to really connect and peak at the right time,” Seren said.
Keeping that attitude in mind, the Knights continue to fight to have their hard work pay off. They are looking toward the end of their regular season and ahead to conference play.
Seren credits the recent victories not to an outburst of luck, but to the dedication the players have been putting forth all season. Their efforts together as a team have clicked. “After making some player adjustments throughout the first part of the season, we’ve found a lineup that really suits our strengths as a team,” Seren said. “They’re reading each other well on the field and have a lot of confidence in one another’s abilities.”
As a team, they are working efficiently, but certain players have stepped up and continue to shine. Senior midfielder and defender Maria Premo was named SUNYAC Field Hockey Defensive Athlete of the Week after her impressive four defensive saves in a single game against Oswego, which set the school’s record.
“I think our focus and consistency is really coming through—our success has been a total team effort,” Seren said. “We rely on a strong possession game to put us in the best possible position to win games and aggressive defensive pressure that starts with our forward line—both require execution and diligence from everyone.”
This record will not go to the players’ heads; they all know that there are still critical games to be played this season before the SUNYAC Tournament. They will continue to play by Seren’s philosophy of taking it one game at a time, though.
The Knights look to maintain their success at Utica College on Thursday Oct. 20 and Keuka College on Wednesday Oct. 26. Overall, their conference play will help them to prepare for the SUNYAC Tournament.
Their story this season has been one of a classic underdog, and the field hockey team’s patience and dedication finally seems to be paying off.