The R-MC Women’s Field Hockey team is well-versed with the tale of the rabbit’s race against the turtle, and they are keeping a cool head while starting ahead of the pack. While they are off to a great start, the team knows that in order to continue their pace, they must be focused and united. Luckily, they have both qualities and are developing them even further.
The team started their season on a great note, with an overall 6-2 record and a current 1-0 ODAC record. Senior Renee Greenslade attributes their 75% winning record to the team’s chemistry.
“Our team chemistry is the best yet and it is not only good on the field, but we all connect off of the field as well. I believe that this is one of the reasons why we are doing so well this year. We work well together and we play for one another,” Greenslade explained.
Freshman Zoe Tallman agrees that the team has a strong bond.
“Coming into a team as close as this one as a freshman could seem intimidating at first,” Tallman shared. “I immediately felt welcomed and I feel like the team’s closeness off the field is bringing our work on the field to different levels.”
The team acknowledges that there is still work to be done in order to be the best in the ODAC conference.
“All of our conference games will be a challenge. Field hockey in the ODAC continues to get stronger and we must as well,” Coach Carper remarked.
Coach Carper explained that in order to maintain and improve their record, they must stay focused throughout the whole match.
“We need to improve on our overall conditioning to put two solid halves together and remain competitive heading into conference play,” Carper said.
“We have to keep up our intensity and aggressiveness in the games that are ahead of us still to come,” Greenslade agreed.
The team’s success does not fully show how hard and competitively they have been playing against their tough opponents. Tallman describes their first match against Mary Washington, a nationally ranked field hockey team, as one of the hardest. Despite a 10-0 loss, Tallman relished the experience and said that the team “came out with our head held high” at the end of the match.
Greenslade also described the match against St. Mary’s College as one of the toughest matches of the season. The game went into several overtimes and went well over regulation-time after neither team would yield. After two halves of overtime, the game went into five attempt penalty shoot-outs and neither team was able to score against the other. After the game moved to a sudden death, the R-MC team was able to score and seal the game against St. Mary’s.
During game days, the team stays consistent with their routine and focuses on essential points in their playmaking. The team eats together the nights and mornings before matches, and they continue to carry their hype to the locker room where they put on music to set an intense mood. Coach Carper reminds the players to focus on the smaller details so that they will bring a stronger united game to the team. Whenever the team heads to a match, they warm-up, get a feel for the match’s atmosphere, and then gather to say their game day prayer before taking on the field.
With the team’s mixture of a finessed and gritty playing style, they look to persist against tough opponents in order to win and maintain a great record. With a 1-0 record in the conference and a focused viewpoint on how to improve, the team is looking to blow their opponents out of the water and make a statement in the competitive ODAC conference.
-Bar Hass ’16, Senior Sports Editor