Up-and-coming players prove valuable to field hockey

As the season begins to pick up its pace, Geneseo’s field hockey team stands at a 2-3 record. Coming off a 3-1 loss against St. John Fisher College on Wednesday Sept. 13, the team is focused on developing their organizational and positional tactics in addition to helping freshman teammates acclimate and adjust to the collegiate level of play. 

Like the beginning of the season, cultivating defensive strategy endures as a focal point of the program. 

 “A good offense depends on great defense,” head coach Jess Seren said. 

The team was not able to follow through with this philosophy against Skidmore, in which neither defense nor offense succeeded in the 4-0 loss. Nevertheless, Seren claims that the team has made strides and adjusted their play even after things didn’t start off the way they wanted. 

While Saturday Sept. 9’s game served as a tough reminder of what the team needs to work on, the memory of the team’s first game—a 7-0 blowout against Manhattanville College—still lingers and encourages the team onward.

Moreover, in the spirit of forward progression, Seren said she believes the team is improving in all areas—both offensively and defensively.

“It is always nice to see the day-to-day work come together,” Seren said. 

Seren hopes for constant improvement every time her players step off the field, whether it be after practice or a game; she repeats this sentiment often when speaking of the team. Such emphasis on amelioration seems to be a key aspect of the team’s attitude, as it brings positive light to any situation—since no matter what the players are doing, they are improving their game. 

This philosophy also extends to the new players on the team. The transition from high school field hockey to collegiate level is certainly intimidating, but Seren recognizes this obstacle and deliberately works to provide a comfortable environment for the younger players. 

While the advanced standard of play acts as a hurdle to be reckoned with, according to Seren the freshman players stepped in rather quickly, according to Seren. 

All of the freshman athletes have had a significant amount of playing time. Filling in for the loss of three senior athletes who graduated in May, the new arrivals are making the best of their situation by quickly adapting to Geneseo’s style of play.

Yet, the departure of these three senior players when compounded with the fact that the Knights won the 2016 SUNYAC Championship—an accomplishment that the women would like to repeat—have brought some stress to the team. Winning the championship is no small feat, and other SUNYAC schools will surely be looking to rob Geneseo of its reigning glory. 

Rather than focusing on the past, however, Seren is simply concentrated on the current season—specifically on constantly improving as a team. Under Seren’s leadership, the team has a clear path to follow.

“Last year is in the past, and has no bearing on this year,” Seren said. 

The women have another home field advantage on Friday Sept. 15 at 4 p.m., where they will be playing against conference rival SUNY Cortland at the New College Stadium.u

 Junior forward Gabriella Clare waits for a pass from her teammate. The women are preparing for their upcoming home game on Friday Sept. 15 against SUNY Cortland, where they hope to add another win to their record. (Lamron Archives)

Junior forward Gabriella Clare waits for a pass from her teammate. The women are preparing for their upcoming home game on Friday Sept. 15 against SUNY Cortland, where they hope to add another win to their record. (Lamron Archives)

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