Women’s field hockey wins national ranking for first time

Anna Boris, Crier Staff

For the first time in program history, the Saint Anselm Women’s Field Hockey team is ranked on a national level. With a strong start to the season, the team hopes to maintain their lead in tenth place. The success is due to the hard work the team has put in throughout the season.

Junior Colleen Sears, the top scorer on the team, knows that the team’s mindset is pushing them towards their goals.

“We’ve been working really hard and we have a lot of really good freshmen,” said Sears. “We’ve been working well as a team and everyone is coming together and has the mindset that this year we’re getting to the playoffs and we’re going to keep making history.”

One of the biggest differences from last year was that the team would often try to defend the leading players on the opposing team, but now they defend as a whole.

“That makes us harder to defend because now other teams can’t focus on shutting down particular players,” said Sears. “Our team as a whole is so much stronger, both physically and mentally. Everyone wants nothing more than to win and do their best.”

The coaches are also to thank for such success this season. It is their hard work and drills that strengthen the team’s skills. This season, the drills have been more beneficial, as they have allowed the team to work together and hone in on specific skills.

“Coach will tell you about the drill you’re doing, as well as how you should use it in a game, so it’s not like you’re just going through the motions,” said Sears. “It’s really good information that has helped us all out playing-wise.”

Players’ positions have also been moved around a bit placing girls in positions they may not typically play in. Many have found that they are more suited for these positions. They have adapted well to the new structure.

The coaches also expanded the team to 27 players.

“I think one of our greatest strengths we have is strength of numbers,” said Sears. “I think that it’s very smart on the coaches’ behalf because we can have players substituted so that we always have fresh legs. When the opposing team gets tired, we can just send a whole new line out, and the other teams doesn’t change that way.”

There are also advantages at practices. While scrimmaging, the team can play a full game together to practice. They can also practice with their full line, which makes them more comfortable playing with one another in a game.

They play well as a team. There are no major standout players.

“As a whole—there’s not one particular standout on the team,” said Sears. “When you look at our team as a whole, it is strong, determined, and ready for anything. We just need to play our game and worry about ourselves.”

Earlier this season, the team beat Stonehill for the first time in the school’s history. Stonehill is often a major competitor, due to both their level of skill and competition.

The field hockey team is now on a three-game losing streak, but still maintain their position as tenth in the nation. They are more determined than ever to succeed and make history for Saint Anselm.

“We treat every game like it’s our next big game, so the coach keeps reminding us that yes, we have been nationally ranked and it’s something to be proud of, but it’s something we have to leave in the past and move on with the present,” said Sears. “Today is game day, and that’s what’s on our mind. We’re ready to move and keep pushing forward.”