The Geneseo field hockey team anticipates a strong season after embracing a new philosophy and mindset. During the preseason, the team emphasized getting all of the players—both new and returning—on the same page in terms of the thoughts and strategies, both offensively and defensively.
Having players understand the goals and values of the program not only allows the field hockey team to bond with their teammates, but also to have a clear sense of purpose.
The team won the 2016 SUNYAC Championship—a feat that the women must move on from. Head coach Jess Seren and the rest of the team are focused on the present, rather than their previous accomplishments.
“Coming into this year, we have to refocus,” Seren said. “We have a completely different team.”
A big part of this new philosophy is taking the season one day at a time. Seren firmly believes in the power of improvement. Every drill, practice and game are equally important for the team to learn from, no matter the result.
“Every time we step on the field, we want to come off a little better than when we stepped on,” Seren said.
This creates a hard-working atmosphere where players can collectively work on their individual play, which will lead to improved team cohesion and performance. This mindset also embraces resilience, showing that any progress is good progress and that great results take time and patience.
Many of the athletes on the roster this season are returning players; only three seniors graduated in May. While the team will certainly feel their loss, Seren said that the freshman athletes are a very strong class.
“[The freshmen are already] doing a good job meshing with the team and understanding its values,” Seren said.
The team has a new look moving into the semester, and the main goal is to assess the team’s strengths and put people in the best positions to succeed on the field, according to Seren. Formations and strategies change every year, making each player responsible for putting in the individual effort to improve.
The team travelled to Vassar College for their first two games of the season, where they competed in the Betty Richey Tournament and went 1-1. The Knights won 7-0 against Manhattanville College on Friday Sept. 1 and lost 3-1 on Saturday Sept. 2 against Vassar.
The tournament served as a positive function to help the women prepare for the next part of their season, when they will compete against nationally ranked opponents. Seren believes that these games will allow the team to see the nature of the competition as well as improve their own game.
This season the team hopes to concentrate on defensive strategies more than they have in the past.
“If our defense is good, then the offense will take care of itself and translate into good offensive play,” Seren said.
The team will host its first home game on Saturday Sept. 9 against Skidmore College. The team always encourages fans to come out and watch, because nothing beats a home-field advantage.