The Beginning of a Remarkable Season

Photo Courtesy To Dale Loungee| smithpioneers.com

Photo Courtesy To Dale Loungee| smithpioneers.com

Alyssa Barrett ’15
Sports Editor

This year’s Smith College Field Hockey season has started off unbelievably.  The Pioneers have battled hard in order to start the season off with an 8–0 record – an excellent way to begin any season. The team also has an opening record of 2–0 in the NEWMAC for the first time since 1998. Allie Stein ’14, the Pioneers’ co-captain this season, said of the success: “Every single person on our team this year is fully committed to field hockey.  We are able to trust that everyone is going to put in 100 percent to every game and practice.  We also have a very experienced team this year.  Besides two first-years, everyone has had at least a year of collegiate field hockey under their belt.  I think this has helped our team a lot, because we were able to hold our expectations high from the start and continue to grow from an already high level of play.” Stein holds the record for highest number of assists per game (18) and comes in second for most points in a season (66). With 48 points only eight games in, Stein is on the way to breaking the record for most points in a season.

When asked what is different this year from past seasons, Alexa DeJesus ’14 mentioned the same reasons. “We ended up with two first-years, but the rest of our team [are] returners. This I have seen as an advantage: we know each other, we have worked with each other for a whole year and we hold each other accountable to play a higher level of hockey. We worked 100 percent throughout and we have had a winning season thus far! So this momentum is amazing and really working in our favor.” Hard work in the preseason and seniority on the field seems to be working for the Pioneers as they tie for first place in the NEWMAC with Wellesley and MIT.

Stein added, “Our main goal this season is to make it to postseason.  We have not made it to postseason during the time my senior class has been here and we all want to go out with a huge bang. We have been taking each day as its own to continue to build up to this goal.”  The goals are set and Smith College Field Hockey is working hard. Stein continued, “Each person on the team has their own strengths and we are learning to highlight everyone strengths during the games.  We have a wide range of players who are putting numbers in the stat book along with a very strong defense.” Of the latter, Abbey Petronzio ’14 leads the team as goalie with fourteen saves, ten of which were against Vassar College, and a 74 percent save percentage. Across the board, SCFH is a team of skilled, hardworking teammates whose chemistry is undeniably strong.

Stein described her favorite part of the team: “We can all come from the craziness of our academic and outsides lives, but the moment that we step on the field for practice or a game, we are ready to give all that we have to make our team better.  We are able to joke around and have a good time when the time is right, but we can also focus back in to achieve our goal.” Team chemistry on and off the field obviously plays a crucial role for the undefeated team.

On a final note, DeJesus commented: “We are just about to reach the halfway point of our traditional season, and I think that our key to success will be to stay on our toes. We just need to keep feeding our fire, continue to give our all, and we will continue to find success! I am just so happy to be a part of this team. I am so proud of each and every one of my teammates and the level of dedication and hard work we have all put in for each other. Through these four years we have had a couple tough seasons, but this year is our year. We are all so ready and so determined and this will lead us to ultimate victory!”

The Pioneers are off to a great start and are clearly working extremely hard to finish the year off strong. Come root for the Pioneers on their home turf at noon on Saturday, October 5!

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