Field hockey gears up for conference play

First-year forward Grace Dempsey chases down a loose ball in a 2-1 loss in double overtime against St. John Fisher College on Wednesday Sept. 12. Dempsey is second on the team in goals with two on the season. The loss puts the Knights at 2-3 on the season and the women will look to bounce back in their upcoming contests (Josie Kwan/staff photographer).

Just over two weeks into the regular season, the Geneseo women’s field hockey team has split their first five games with a 2-3 record. The team is coming off a 1-0 loss at Skidmore College on Saturday Sept. 8 and a 2-1 loss in double overtime on Wednesday Sept. 12. 

The team is focused on playing hard for their entire games, according to captain and senior defender Madison Albrecht. 

“We will be ready from the time warm-ups start and we won’t stop fighting until the last whistle,” Albrecht said.

Not playing a full and focused game may have been the problem in the match against Skidmore. In the first half, the statistics for the game looked exactly the same; each team had six shots and four penalty corners. The second half saw a lot of possession time for the Knights but not a lot of shooting. 

Albrecht underscored the need for a stronger offense that scores more frequently going forward.   

The team has a united approach for upcoming games. Each player wants to see more shots in the circle in addition to dominating the offensive side of the field, specifically captain and junior defender Julia Kim.

“On defense, I would like us to keep our sticks on the ground to be able to intercept more passes and shots,” Kim said.

The team wants to build on their play from the last couple of games and continue to fight for every ball. In addition, the team is looking to strengthen their defense with sticks on the ground and layers in the field. Competing as a unit in the back field and having layers can be essential, especially on a fast break from the opposing team.

The team similarly couldn’t shake its slump in the second home game of the season with a 2-1 loss to St. John Fisher College on Wednesday Sept. 12. The Knights pushed the game into double overtime, but ultimately couldn’t come out on top. 

In another more successful game, Geneseo beat William Smith College 4-1 on Sept. 5. This home win against first-year head coach Margaret McConnell’s alma mater marked her first home victory. It also marked Geneseo’s first home victory against the Herons.

“It felt better than beating them on their own turf the prior year,” Albrecht said. The team came out ready to go, as was shown by the first goal, according to Albrecht.

Not even five minutes into the game, junior forward Erin Nolan scored her first goal of the night. Nolan had been working on deflections in practice the day before and was more than ready to score a goal with a great cross.

“It was nice to be able to put our hard work into actions on the field,” Nolan said. 

Kim was also excited by the win against William Smith as she believes the energy will continue on into future games, especially conference games. 

Winning the conference matches that begin in a couple of weeks is the ultimate goal. First-year forward Grace Dempsey feels confident moving forward because of the team’s commitment to practice.  

“We have been putting in so much hard work and every game it has been showing more and more,” Dempsey said. “We are growing together and building every day.” 

The Knights will continue their fight on the road with a game at Keuka College on Wednesday Sept. 19, followed by a contest at SUNY Morrisville on Sept. 22.