Field hockey at Geneseo has come alive once again. Players reported back to campus on Aug. 19 only to have practice commence the next morning, a stark contrast to the majority of Geneseo students who usually sleep through their last few days of summer. Head coach Jess Seren made sure that the team had a tedious preseason schedule, which began Aug. 20 and ended Aug. 28. The team had two practice sessions every day, both of which were typically held in the morning and then later on in the afternoon. In addition to the routine field hockey drills, the team incorporated lifting time in the gym and yoga into their training.
Seren exudes confidence in the 2016-17 team, and this year marks her ninth year as head coach of the Geneseo field hockey team. Despite the loss of many important contributors, there still remains a talented core of returning players, including the entire starting midfield—not including all of the new skill from first year players.
“The first year players are working hard and are doing well adjusting to the team and our style of play,” Seren said.
There are also no concerns over how well all the players will mesh as a team. While there’s always the chance that different players coming in will lead to conflicting personalities and viewpoints about the game—which can lead to problems on and off the field—that isn’t a problem for this team. The freshmen, including forwards Erin Nolan and Elisa Arcara, are already looking to make a difference for the Knights in the upcoming season.
The field hockey team opened the season up in the first round of the Betty Richey Tournament at Vassar College. Despite the narrow loss for the Knights—as the team only lost by one goal—the long road trip created an excellent opportunity to bond. Two hundred eighty miles proved to have an invaluable benefit for connecting as a team.
“Expectations are to continue to improve with each practice and after every game … that’s how we measure success on our team,” Seren said.
This mentality—a staple of both Seren’s field hockey team and Geneseo as an institution—establishes a theme of constant progress and improvement. That doesn’t mean, however, that the team doesn’t give it their all right from the start.
“We put together a strong schedule to start the season off [against] our non-league competitors—it allows us to look at every game that much more critically, which we hope leads to a strong showing among our SUNYAC competition,” Seren said.
The Knights’ home opener this season was on Wednesday Sept. 7, where they had a 3-1 loss against William Smith
This was only the beginning of the Knights’ season, as the team will play seven home games throughout the fall.